Two-factor authentication is a popular identity confirmation method for a variety of web pages and online applications. This is an extra layer of security that protects you and your account from imposters. Instagram added two-factor authentication in 2022. With so many users around the world, the platform needs to be careful about account security. Of course, some people may have enabled two-factor authentication just to change their minds – it adds a few extra steps.
You're probably familiar with one-factor authentication (SFA), which requires users to go through a security step to log in, most often a password.
Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security, which can take many forms. This significantly improves the security of your account by making it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access. This means that even if a hacker gets their hands on someone's password, they'll still have to go through an extra layer of security, preferably in the form of information they can't get their hands on.
While the first security step is almost always a password, the second factor can be any number of things. But one thing is certain. It should be something a hacker doesn't have access to. As you may know, common 2FA for bank and other financial accounts is to text a security code to your phone. The assumption is that you have the phone in your possession, so the hacker won't be able to retrieve that text (at least not that easily).
Here are all the possible authentication factors (in order of common adoption):
- Knowledge factor – Based on the knowledge of the user (like a password, PIN or personal information), SFA is usually based on the knowledge factor.
- Possession Factor – As described, this is the most common form of 2FA. In addition to a password, the user must have access to something in their possession, such as a text message on their mobile phone, a security token, an identity card, etc.
- Inherence Factor – This is a more complex form of 2FA. It is commonly referred to as the biometric factor as something physically specific to the user. This includes fingerprint, retina, face and voice identification and down to keystroke dynamics, behavioral biometrics and gait/speech patterns.
- Location Factor – The location of the connection attempt is used as a confirmation factor.
- Time factor – A specific allowed time window can be used.
Instagram's 2FA is an SMS sent to your phone containing a code that you will need to enter to access your Instagram account. This is, of course, a possession factor, where you will need to have your phone with you. If you no longer want to use 2FA for Instagram, or need to assign it a different phone number, here's what to do:
- Go to your profile by tapping your profile picture in the lower right corner of the Instagram app.
- Next, tap the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner.
- Go to Parameters.
- From there navigate to Safety.
- Tap Two-factor authentication.
- Now disable both the option you have enabled, most likely the Text message option.
You can also do this on the Instagram site.
- Click it profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click it gear icon.
- Aller vers Confidentialité et sécurité.
- Scroll until you see Two-factor authentication and click Change two-factor authentication settings.
- Uncheck both Authentication application et Text message option.
Authenticator apps are often more secure than using Instagram's built-in 2FA text message. This is because text messages are much easier to hack than an authenticator app designed for more sophisticated security and safety. If your Instagram account has a lot of followers and a great follower-to-follower ratio, it's best to use both text messaging and authenticator app options in your two-factor authentication settings.
Using Instagram's two-factor authentication all the time can be a bit inconvenient, but some might say it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, you won't have to log into your Instagram account too many times because the app knows how to keep you logged in.
Do you use 2FA on Instagram? Is it worth it? Discuss your thoughts on using 2FA on Instagram in the comments below.