Instagram announced the release of a new feature that’s designed to help its users identify phishing emails impersonating the social media platform.
On October 7, Instagram tweeted out about the new capability and said that users can leverage it to verify whether an email claiming to originate from the social network is legitimate.
Heads up: Today, we’re launching a new feature to help people identify phishing emails claiming to be from Instagram. This account security feature (accessed through Settings) allows anyone to check if an email claiming to be from Instagram is genuine. pic.twitter.com/3UE5kSypM6
— Instagram (@instagram) October 7, 2019
The photo- and video-sharing service explained that users can access the new feature by visiting their settings and clicking on the security tab. There, they’ll see the option to click on “Emails from Instagram.” If clicked, Instagram will present each user with an index of emails pertaining to account security that it sent to them over the past 14 days. It’ll also use the “other” tab to display emails not relating to account security that it sent to the user.
A spokeswoman for the social network said that the Facebook-owned company decided to launch this new feature in response to the growing craftiness of phishers and other fraudsters. As quoted by CNET:
Bad actors are getting better at imitating emails from Instagram, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to distinguish between a genuine email and a fake one.
Going forward, Instagram users should resist the temptation to click on an email originating from the social media platform if they can’t verify if the company actually sent it.
They should also consider taking some steps to protect their accounts from digital attackers. As noted in a Help Center topic, users should pick a strong password, never give it out to anyone and try to change it on a regular basis. Additionally, they should consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on their accounts using SMS-based text messages or an authenticator app. Finally, they should secure their email accounts to prevent digital attackers from attempting to recover their Instagram passwords, and they should log out of their accounts if they sign in on a device that’s not their own.