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Matt Elliott/CNET

How to protect your Instagram account from hackers

Set up two-factor authentication for added security.

Instagram added two-factor authorization last year to help protect your account, and now it's even better. 

Before, IG's two-factor relied on SMS, which isn't the most secure way to receive authorization codes. Now, you can set up IG 2FA with an authentication app to make your account even more secure. Here's how.

Protect your Instagram account with 2FA

Open Instagram, go to your Profile page, tap the menu button in the top-right and then tap Settings. Scroll down to the Privacy and Security section and tap Two-Factor Authentication. If you've been using 2FA via SMS, toggle off the switch for Text Message and then tap the toggle switch for Authentication App. Instagram will scan your phone for an authentication app or suggest such an app to download.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I use Google Authenticator, so Instagram kicked me over to that app, where I copied a confirmation code that I then pasted in Instagram to complete the setup.

With two-factor authentication enabled, someone would need more than just your username and password to gain access to your account. They would also need to be able to retrieve the security code sent to your phone.

Now playing: Watch this: Turn on two-factor authentication to protect your accounts

Recovery codes, too

When you set up 2FA, Instagram also issues you five recovery codes, which you can use if you need to get back into your account and can't access codes via SMS or your authentication app. 

You can screenshot or print them to keep in a safe place. And should you worry that prying eyes peeped your codes, you can get new codes by going to Settings > Two-Factor Authentication > Recovery Codes > Get New Codes.

Read more: Two-factor authentication: How and why to use it