Saturday, March 25, 2017

Instagram Has Two-Factor Authentication Now, So Turn It On

BECAUSE YOU CARE greatly about your personal security hygiene, you’ve already enlisted two-factor authentication to help protect most of your online accounts. That’s good! Instagram, though, hasn’t given you the option. That changes today. Go get it.
While Instagram had made two-factor available to a select group of users previously, the extra layer of protection is now available to all, meaning you, meaning it’s time to fiddle with some settings. In the app, head to your profile page, tap on the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner, and then tap Two-Factor Authentication. Toggle the Require Security Code option, select Turn On.


Instagram will then send you text with a six-digit code to make sure it’s really you making the request, then give you the option to screenshot a set of backup codes in case you need access somewhere without phone service. Go ahead and do this, lest you find yourself locked out of your account on a six-hour flight, but maybe keep it off of your cloud back-up services.
Two-factor isn’t a security cure-all, but it does make it that much harder for someone to illicitly access your account. With two-factor on, they’d need access to your phone, or to take the extraordinary step of spoofing or stealing your SIM card. It’s especially important if you store and share sensitive images on Instagram, either in your private feed or through direct messages.


And speaking of sensitive images: Instagram today also introduced a system to flag and blur mature content. A “review team” screens any photos or videos that users report to Instagram, and determines whether they need a filter to hide what’s underneath. Think of it as the opaque plastic shields that some grocery stores put in front of especially racy Cosmo covers, but in your feed. To reveal what’s underneath, just tap.
InstagramTA.jpgNeither change on its own will revolutionize your Instagram experience, but both offer welcome (and, in the case of two-factor, long-overdue) measures of control. Go ahead and take advantage; you’ll be back to your regularly scheduled filters in no time.

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