Instagram adds new feature to tackle phishing emails

Instagram has added a feature it says will help users identify hoax emails from hackers pretending to be the social network, to help better protect them from email scams.

The Facebook-owned platform says the tool allows users to check all correspondence sent to them by Instagram in the previous 14 days, helping to distinguish genuine emails from fake ones.

The practice of sending such emails is known as phishing, where hackers pose as legitimate companies in the hope that users will either share personal data or click on a link in the email which could trigger the downloading of malicious software that can mine a user’s computer for data or block access to it until a ransom is paid.


Instagram said its new tool will appear in the Settings section of the app and will also be accessible from the desktop version of the site.

One list, in a section labelled Security, will display all the emails sent to a user in the last two weeks related to account security and login, while another section called Other will show all other emails sent by the company not related to account security during the same time period.

The social media platform said it hoped the feature will help users better identify the source of emails being sent to them.

It said that while phishing was not a new tactic, scammers were getting back at imitating emails from Instagram, acknowledging that many people were finding it more and more difficult to differentiate between real and fake emails.

Last week Instagram also introduced an anti-bullying tool which allows users to hide content from others without needing to publicly block that account as part of on-going plans to improve safety on the platform.

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