Protecting Your Instagram with Two-Factor Authentication

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you may have come across the term “two-factor authentication.” There’s an even better chance that you’ve actually used it or at least had a website offer it to you, even if you weren’t aware of it.

Two-factor authentication means you have to supply two forms of credentials in order to access an account. It might be entering your username and password combo as well as your phone number or birthdate, or it could be something even more involved like waiting for a text message to come from the website, then entering a unique one-time-use code that the site texts to your phone.

Right away, you might be envisioning having to answer complicated questions to log into your account or waiting for a text message in order to pay electronically at the register while impatient customers behind you grow more and more angry. But that’s truly not the case with this type of security. The process for two-factor authentication is very rapid and entirely secure, enabling you to put more trust in the sites you use and the convenience features that you take advantage of.

One major website that is moving to this two-factor process is the social media photo site Instagram. This popular site lets you post photos and share them across your social media channels. For the majority of Instagram users, their phones’ cameras are the source of the photos; that means that your phone, in the wrong hands, can upload photos to all of your social media contacts.

It’s bad enough to envision someone getting a hold of your phone and posting some pictures from your camera roll that you might not want the internet to see. But it’s even more frightening to imagine someone posting photos that they took themselves, then sharing it all under your name. With more and more employers checking their workers’ and applicants’ social media feeds, it’s more important than ever to make sure there’s nothing illegal or incriminating in your account.

The adoption of the new process for posting will require you to log into Instagram and then to submit a unique code that the site texts to your phone before it will let you upload. This won’t help you if the thief has your actual phone in his possession, but it will stop hackers from accessing your username and password and then submitting photos from their hard drives to make you look bad.

Other sites are already incorporating optional two-factor authentication, so it’s a good idea to begin that process now. By making this a good habit that you follow for all of your online accounts, you can help ensure that your content and your good name are safe.


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