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Instagram announces more secure login options

Hand holds phone on Instagram login page over red background
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Instagram will begin offering users the option of using more secure third-party authentication apps, such as Google Authenticator, to log in to Instagram, the service's co-founder and CTO, Mike Krieger, announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The announcement underlines the pressures social media companies are facing to confront misinformation campaigns on their platforms that can weaponize political beliefs to influence politics in the U.S. And it's not just about Russia — in just the last few weeks Twitter, Google, and Facebook alike have unveiled newly discovered misinformation campaigns on their platforms, some of which are linked to Iran.

Why it matters: Instagram already offered SMS two-factor authentication, but that is not always a strong enough security measure to keep hackers out. Earlier this month, Instagram users were reporting they were being hacked, only to discover their account credentials had been replaced with Russian email addresses.

Instagram will also soon add an “About This Account” page, it announced. Users can access this information on others' accounts to determine ads associated with the account, the country the account is located in, and username changes in the last year. This move reflects aspects of the ad transparency initiative Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced in June.

What they’re saying:

“We've been focused on the safety of our platform since the very beginning, and today's updates build upon our existing tools, such as our spam and abusive content filters and the ability to report or block accounts. We know we have more work to do to keep bad actors off Instagram, and we are committed to continuing to build more tools to do just that.”
— Mike Krieger, Co-Founder & CTO of Instagram

Read the blog post here.

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