Hackers, and Phishers, and Cyber Stalkers... OH MY!
"We Detected An Unusual Attempt to Log Into You Account from Athens, Alabama. Was This You?"
What do you do next?
Instagram and other social media platforms have gotten a lot smarter when it comes to recognizing unusual activity, but then again so have the hackers causing that activity. The best way to stop malicious account activity is to prevent it in the first place. We know, this seems like common sense, but hey - everyone can use a friendly reminder now and then.
Two-Factor Authentication - What is 2FA?
Multi-factor, or Two-Factor Authentication is a great preventative tool, stopping hackers in their tracks! So what is it? Two-Factor Authentication is exactly what it sounds like, a two-step authentication process to verify you are the one accessing your accounts. You would be amazed at how many apps offer this security feature and you can go to the two factor authorization list website to find those that offer 2FA.
TIP: Keep this website up on one device while you set up the 2FA on another. i.e. keep this website up on your tablet while you are updating the 2FA on your phone.
Two Factor Authentication can be set up a couple of different ways, however the most common are via text confirmation or security app confirmation. When you opt in to Two-Factor Authentication, you will have the option to chose between one of those two options. Be selecting text confirmation, the app will send a text message to your phone with a numeric code. The app will then ask you to provide your code. By doing so, an extra layer of security is added since there is an unlikely chance the hacker is able to receive your text messages.
Apps are also smart enough to recognize specific devices, so the authentication process will only be implemented if the app detects an unfamiliar device, meaning you don't have to verify your identity every time you want to update your status or post a picture!
An alternative option to text confirmation is to use a security app. There are specific apps made just for this authentication purpose, but your Google Mail App can also serve this purpose. For example, when selecting to opt in using a security app confirmation, you can enable the app to email your Google account, to which you would receive a notification email, asking you to confirm your identity. While this also adds a layer of protection to your accounts, we recommend enabling the text feature.
Why? Because if that hacker already has access to one of your accounts, he or she may have access to more, yet it is still unlikely they would have access to your texts.
Now that you know what it is, here is how to enable 2FA:
While every app is different, most apps using this feature have a similar opt-in process. For example: Log-in, select Settings, select Security and Privacy, click Two-Factor Authentication. Then chose to enroll or enable.
(for security purposes, we did not show the text message sent by instagram with the verification code)