Instagram followed the path of other social networks and enabled two-factor authentication. The latter is a valuable security feature designed to protect your account from being compromised via password reuse or phishing. You can enable it by clicking on the settings icon in the top right of your profile, hit “two-factor authentication” in the following menu, and enable the setting “require security code”.
When the setting is enabled, Instagram will text a 6-digit code to your mobile phone to confirm it and will do that every time you want to log into the service. The app will also issue a list of security codes to use instead of receiving texts in case of being unable to receive messages and will offer you to save a screenshot with the codes to your gallery. Two-factor authentication is a simple security measure, but it provides an extra layer of protection for your accounts against hackers who steal credentials.
Instagram followed the example of Facebook, Google, Twitter and many other tech giants in offering two-factor authentication in any form. However, all of them use different methods of verification – for example, Twitter requires you to log in to be approved by opening the app on a trusted device; Google uses an open standard to link up with its authenticator app generating new 6-digit codes every 30 seconds; WhatsApp offers to come up with a code and requests it from time to time, calling it two-step verification (this feature was introduced last month).
In any case, two-factor authentication strengthens the security of the users and is recommended by security experts as an easy and free way to secure your accounts against hackers.