Instagram Adds 2FA to Increase Security – How to Turn It On
Instagram added a new security feature to user profiles. Two-factor authentication, known as 2FA, is rolling out to all Instagram profiles. Instagram users will be able to secure their accounts with by adding phone number. The process to enable two-factor authentication is rolling to all accounts, personal and business, in stages. Users can see go to their settings and see if the option is available.
Whoa! You obviously already have a phone connected to Instagram, right? Yes. You had to use a phone number to set up Instagram in the first place, so why the extra step? The addition of 2FA gives you the opportunity to add an additional phone number to help secure the account. And right again, you can use the phone number of the device the app is installed on to set up the security.
How to Enable Instagram 2FA
- On your mobile device open the Instagram app
- Login to your account
- Tap your profile icon on the lower right-hand corner of the app
- Tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the upper-right corner
- Select settings at the bottom of the screen
- Scroll down to the Privacy and Security section
- Select Two Factor Authentication (if it is there)
You will be prompted to enter a phone number. After which, you will receive a SMS message to connect the phone number with that Instagram account. You will receive a log in code to enter into the Instagram app. You will also receive a set of backup codes in case you lose the device.
If two-factor authenticate does not appear under the Privacy and Security section, then your account does not have the feature available yet. DO NOT store the backup codes as a screenshot on the same smartphone. If you lose the phone you will also lose the backup codes and be locked out of your account!
What is 2FA?
Two factor authentication (2FA) is an extra step added to online accounts to verify the identity of the user. For example, a person trying to log into a bank account may be asked to answer additional security questions after entering the correct account password. The additional layer of security helps ensure that the person trying to gain access to the account is indeed the owner.
In the case of Instagram, the user must connect a phone number to the account. The phone is sent an SMS message with an authentication code. From there on, every time the user attempts to log into the account they will have to have the connected phone in their presence to respond to the log in attempt.
This works well for Instagram since it is primarily a mobile-only social media app and the Instagram user is highly likely to have the connected phone in their possession when trying to log in. Instagram has extremely limited web browser capabilities.
The downside of Two Factor Authentication is that enabling 2FA is optional. Requiring 2FA would make the channel more secure overall. Instagram reported that a few hundred accounts were hacked just a few weeks ago.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social media channel launched in 2010. It is owned by Facebook, Inc. Instagram has over 800 million users globally.
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers