Instagram is finally working on token-based two-factor authentication!!
Thank you Instagram! I have been waiting for this since 2016! We finally won’t have to rely our account’s security
Instagram is working on a two-factor authentication solution that would not require a user’s phone number, according to a report from TechCrunch. Instagram has confirmed that it’s working on the more secure method, just hours after a prominent Motherboard investigation on SIM hacking was published earlier today. Like other social media platforms, the upcoming option will let you authenticate with code-generating apps like Google Authenticator and Authy.
Though Instagram’s confirmation was likely prompted by the investigation, it appears that the company has been working on moving beyond phone numbers for some time. Engineer and tipster Jane Manchun Wong discovered a prototype version of the updated two-factor feature in the Android version of Instagram’s APK code and publicized it yesterday on Twitter.
Right now, Instagram lets you recover your account and log in on new devices so long as you can confirm your identify via a phone number associated with your account. But, as the Motherboard article makes clear, a growing new form of online theft has resulted in hackers illegally gaining access to a user’s phone number and tying it to a new SIM card. They do so by using a bit of information like a social security number, perhaps leaked during one of countless data breaches, to trick a telecom customer service agent into reassigning a phone number to a new SIM.
From there, the hackers can extort a victim for financial gain, or they can use the phone number and its recovery benefits to reset Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, and other accounts. Specifically, hackers are targeting rare and lucrative Instagram and Twitter handles because those go for high sums on virtual underground markets, Motherboard reports.
Many tech companies have built tools to protect against the vulnerability of SMS-based two-factor authentication. For instance, Google has its Authenticator app that uses randomly generated numeric code with a strict time limit, and Facebook now uses a similar tool built into the Facebook app itself. It’s good to see Instagram now following suit.
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Instagram plans to offer high-profile influencers special tools that will provide them with a deeper insight into various data regarding their followers. These tools will be delivered in the form of Creator Accounts, which will only be available to select Instagram users (i.e. influencers, celebs).
An Instagram official recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the company wishes to make sure that “Instagram is the best place, and easiest place, to build fan communities and also build creators. personal brands.”
These creator accounts are meant to function like business-focused profiles and will offer growth insights, including information about follows and unfollows. Influencers will also be able to see weekly and daily data about their followers count changes so that they can better understand what might have caused a decline in their fan base or a spike in new followers.
Also, direct messaging tools that will enable Instagram users to filter notes from brand partners and friends will be available as well. Furthermore, influencers will be allowed to choose how they want to be contacted via flexible labels.
According to Instagram. these new features are being tested with a small beta group at the moment, but they are expected to be rolled out to everyone sometime in 2019.
Outlook India reports that WhatsApp’s vice-president Chris Daniels confirmed the move, though he did not provide a timeline for when it would be rolled out or how the ads would work.
“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp,” he said.
Like with Instagram stories, WhatsApp’s ‘Status’ feature lets users to broadcast text, photos and videos which disappear after 24 hours.
Users will be able to see status updates by their saved contacts in the ‘Status’ column, between ‘Chats’ and ‘Calls’.
WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion global users and maintained its ad-free status until now, although it did experiment with an annual subscription fee several years ago.
Facebook Inc acquired the messaging apps four years ago for US$19bil (RM79.47bil) and it appears it’s finally going to monetise the service through ads.
WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton had opposed monetisation via targeted apps, telling Forbes that it would compromise the assurance of encryption in the app’s messaging.
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