New Instagram feature helps users regain access to hacked accounts

Instagram created a new website where victims who think their account was hacked can visit to report and resolve such an issue. (Credit: Instagram)

Instagram users whose accounts have been hacked have a new way to try and regain access to their handle.

The social media company on Thursday announced new features "designed to help keep people’s accounts safe, and offer them more support if they lose account access." Recovering a hacked Instagram account has long been an issue, with various reports in the past highlighting the difficulties of some victims and the platform being slow to respond.

Those who are unable to log into their account or may have been hacked can now visit from a mobile or desktop browser to report and resolve such issues.

From there, users will be able to select if they think they’ve been hacked, forgot their password, lost access to two-factor authentication, or if their account has been disabled. After, they’ll be able to follow a series of steps to help regain access to their account.  

If they have multiple accounts associated with their information, users can choose which account needs support.

"We know losing access to your Instagram account can be stressful, so we want to ensure people have multiple options to get their accounts back if they lose access," Instagram said in a blog post.

Earlier this year, the platform began testing a way for people to ask their friends to confirm their identity in order to help regain access to their accounts. The company also noted how this option is now available to everyone on Instagram. 

"If you find yourself locked out of your account, you will be able to choose two of your Instagram friends to verify your identity and get back into your account," Instagram explained in the blog post.


People can now ask their friends to confirm their identity in order to help regain access to their accounts. (Credit: Instagram)

Instagram also debuted this week other new features on the app — including a new way to share thoughts called "Notes," and a feature called "Candid Stories" that appears similar to the rising social media app BeReal.

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How to prevent Instagram accounts from being hacked

To start, Instagram said the easiest things people can do to help keep their account safe is to make sure they have a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication

Instagram users can also review and increase security for their accounts by completing the app’s Security Check-Up.

The platform said it automatically removes accounts that it deems to be "malicious," including ones that impersonate others. 

"Because bad actors often don’t immediately use accounts maliciously, we’re now testing sending warnings if an account that we suspect may be impersonating someone requests to follow you," Instagram said in the blog post. "In the coming months, we’ll also send warnings if an account that may be impersonating a business sends you a Direct Message (DM)."

Lastly, the platform said it’s now showing the blue verified badge for verified accounts in more places across Instagram — including in Stories and direct messages. 

"That way, you can quickly determine whether the account you are interacting with is authentic," Instagram said.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.