Instagram, the popular photo sharing app used by more than 700 million people recently was hacked. One of the more visible effects of the hacking was the stealing and temporary posting of nude photos of Justin Bieber on the Instagram account of his former girlfriend, Selena Gomez. Although the exact number of hacked accounts is not known at this time, it is estimated that six million accounts were hacked and personal information was stolen by the hackers who are already selling this information on the Dark Web to other cybercriminals. The compromised information appears to include phone numbers and email addresses, but not passwords is particularly dangerous because this information can be used by cybercriminals to create spear phishing emails and text messages that can be used to lure unsuspecting victims into clicking on links in emails and text messages that will download malware that can lead to identity theft or other crimes.
While Instagram is saying that no passwords were compromised, it is still a good idea to change your Instagram password. In addition, this data breach is again a warning that you should have a distinct password for each of your online accounts. This is not as difficult as it may appear. You can use a strong base password, such as IDon’tLikePasswords and then adapt it for each account you have so that you will have a secure and easy to remember password for each of your online accounts. Thus, your Instagram password could be IDon’tLikePasswordsINST.
Additionally, you should both maintain updated security software on all of your electronic devices including your cell phone and never click on links in emails or text messages unless you have confirmed that they are legitimate.