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Instagram launches new tool to help hacked users regain account access

Instagram launches new tool to help hacked users regain account access


Instagram is adding new ways for users to recover accounts that have been hacked. Regaining access to hacked accounts has long been an issue.

Share this story screens showing the steps to regain access to a hacked account.
Image: Instagram

Instagram users who are victims of hacking now have a new way to try to claw back their account. The company announced today, a new feature for reporting and trying to resolve account access problems.

The new platform is an all-in-one account support page. Users can ask for help recovering hacked accounts, report impersonation accounts, or get help if they’ve forgotten their passwords. The most pressing issue for many is likely getting help when an account has been hacked — something that users have struggled to get in the past.

Recovering a hacked Instagram account hasn’t been easy; a 2018 Motherboard report detailed how some users have paid ransoms to hackers who’ve held their accounts hostage. A separate report from 2019 showed how influencers who’ve had their accounts overtaken have had to turn to other hackers for help. In both cases, users say Instagram itself was slow to respond, if at all.

Earlier this year, Instagram announced it was testing account recovery features like asking a user’s friends to vouch for them in order to regain control of their account. The company said today that the feature is now available to everyone: users locked out of their account can select two friends who can help verify their identity.

The company also says it’s working on ways to stop account hacking before it happens, including sending warnings about suspicious accounts that could be impersonating someone else.

More broadly, Meta is finally beginning to build out a more robust customer service division aimed at helping users who run into account and moderation issues. It might seem surprising that it’s taken this long, especially given the sheer scale of platforms like Facebook, which added live chat support just last year.