Instagram data breach: Avoiding spam and hacker attacks

Instagram users, beware: The Facebook company has announced that a programming error, which has since been fixed, made an unknown number of e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers accessible to the public – despite users not necessarily having agreed to share that information. 

Anyone who has since been harassed by unfamiliar calls, SMS messages or e-mails is requested to report these to Instagram.

In addition, users should upgrade their account security settings. Hackers can use the information from the data breach to take over a profile, so it is important to change weak passwords and to activate Instagram’s Two-Factor Identification, which has been available since March.

This security option sends the user a security code via SMS, which they must enter after filling in their regular login details.

For those users whose accounts have already been hacked and deleted, there isn’t much that can be done about it. According to Instagram support, if your account has been deleted by you or by someone else with access to your password, it cannot be recovered.

The only option is to try to register a new account with the same username, but you would have to use a different e-mail to the one used for the original account. – dpa