Instagram is finally addressing a huge problem on its platform: hacked accounts.
The company says it is making a series of changes that will make it easier for people to regain access to a hacked account. The update comes almost a year after Mashable first reported that a wave of bizarre hacks had hit Instagram users, leaving them little recourse to get their accounts back.
With the newly announced changes, which are currently being tested ahead of a wider rollout, Instagram will allow users to access its account recovery tools directly in the app, even if a hacker has changed their account information. So when a person is unable to login to an account, Instagram will prompt users to enter information associated with your account like your email address or phone number. (Users can also access this via “need more help” in the app’s login screen.)
From there, Instagram will send a verification code you can use to access your account. Instagram will also remove any other devices logged into your account, so a hacker who has access to your email will be unable to use the recovery code.
This may sound fairly straightforward, but these changes address significant issues with Instagram’s previous account recovery process. Because hackers often changed the email, phone number, or username associated with an account, it could be incredibly difficult if not impossible for the actual account owner to navigate the automated support system.
Users have reported Instagram sending recovery emails to the address of their hackers, for example, or inexplicably telling them it could not verify their identity even though they provided the information requested. This caused some people to resort to more elaborate schemes, such as reporting a hacked account for impersonation or leaving voicemails for Instagram support.
This new process will hopefully make those kinds of moves a thing of the past, as Instagram says its goal is to move the entire account recovery process in-app. Additional support will still be available to those who need it though, according to an Instagram spokesperson.
Notably, this new process will also apply to people whose accounts have previously been hacked and unable to regain access.
Additionally, Instagram says it’s addressing another major issue often associated with hacked accounts: username theft. Because accounts that have short or original names are considered valuable and desirable, they often face a disproportionate amount of hacking attempts. Hackers will often change a username in order to scoop it up for a fresh account or sell it on shady forums.
Now, Instagram says that a previously used username will not be available for anyone else for several days in order to make it more difficult for hackers to steal valuable usernames. (The company isn’t disclosing exactly how long names will be inaccessible to others but a spokesperson says it will be “multiple days.”)
While it’s unlikely these changes will put a stop to hacking attempts, or the massive business of buying and selling stolen accounts, it could make life more difficult for hackers — at least until they find new ways to circumvent Instagram’s policies. But it should also give users more power to get their accounts back.
CAREER ADVICE: 3 Ways To Succeed In Tech.
So much has been written about the lack of diversity in tech but it’s less often that we get access to the candid career advice of those black professionals who have successfully navigated the corporate ladder in the industry.
Dell Technologies’ Najuma Atkinson, the only black woman senior vice president at the tech giant, recently shared some of those insider tips with students of color from HBCUs and minority-serving institutions during a panel on building the tech pipeline at the Dell BE Smart Student Symposium.
Afterward, she sat down with Black Enterprise for an exclusive interview about her 20 years at Dell, her career advice, and the responsibilities that come with her position. “I’m the only but I can’t be the last,” Atkinson, the senior vice president for customer advocacy, insights & analytics, says.
“I have a unique seat at the table now that I didn’t have. And so when we’re talking about roles or new projects that come up, and we look at the slate of candidates, if I don’t see diverse people even being considered, then I ask. It’s my responsibility. Someone did that for me. They found something in me that was important, and they wanted to invest in this. I have to invest in others.”
Part of Atkinson investing is others is making herself available to professionals of color on the come-up and sharing her experiences and her learnings. Here’s her career advice for young professionals who want to succeed in tech:
BE OPEN TO EVERYTHING
“I think, because we invest a lot in ourselves, particularly students from underrepresented populations, we feel a tremendous pressure to do things to achieve. But the learning comes in the learning. The university says you don’t have to declare your major in the first year; you want to go and do a bunch of different things. Because it is those skills that you’re building that prepare you for the senior roles. And you want to take things that make you uncomfortable, that are not in your area of expertise. You want to do things where you are learning, so you constantly want to challenge yourself.”
“In technology, you become irrelevant very quickly. Technology changes very fast. And so your adaptability and capability to do so is critical to your success. You may have spent six months on a project and we’ve decided that that’s not important. Don’t get your feelings hurt. The importance is that you can pivot to say “what’s next?’ and ‘let me figure out where the value is to the organization.’ Know that you want to be constantly changing and be flexible, and understanding what is the value. And then what does the company need from me? Why is it that they have invested in me and how can I make a difference?”
“There were times when I got some really direct feedback about being aggressive, about being direct, about being very passionate. And I would internalize that. So I found myself trying to adjust. There was probably a period of five years of my career when I was in middle management when I was adjusting, and it was awkward, and you could tell. And I don’t think that I was very effective all the time. And then there became a point in time when I was like this is who I am. If you say to me, this is an environment where I can bring my whole self to work and you’re going to embrace it, this is what it means in my thought, my perspective, how I present myself, and what you accept from me. So then it became a conscious ‘I’m going to embrace me, and I’m going to show you why people like me can be successful.'”
Aftown Music Launches New App Interface.
Ghana’s premier music streaming platform just marked its third year in the business of bringing seamless audio and visual content to its subscribers through its streaming app available for android and IOS.
In just three years, the Ghanaian based music service has succeeded in being a major part of music consumption culture in Africa, with content from major African artists across the globe; from Angelique Kijo, to Hugh Masekela, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Sarkodie & Stonebwoy; aftown music has become go-to for African inspired content.
After three years of constant improvements they’ve unveiled an upgrade to their app – aftownmusic V 2.0, which is now available on IOS and android. The revamped app comes with offline streaming modes, a new interface, more artistes interactions and 24/7 radio feature amongst other exciting features set to roll out between now and January 2020.
The launch was done during the maiden aftown music concert; and starred the likes of Kelvynboy, Tneeya, Reynolds, A.I, Ko-jo Cue, Kobla Jnr, as well as new music sensations like Yung Pabi, Rojayjay & Phrame.
The well-attended concert marked the climax of the aftown music week celebrations. Go ahead an upgrade your aftownmusic app to enjoy a better music streaming experience.
iTRASH Technology To Embark On Segregation Educational Tour.
iTrash technology Limited, operators of Your Trashman partners with Filthbusters Ghana on it's first Waste segregation educational tour to secondary schools and other communities in the Capital Accra.
Your Trashman is Africa’s first Trash – Tech mobile eco-system inclusive technology waste management company, with unique model designed to use the technological advancement of the century to revolutionize the entire waste management industry in Africa and beyond making us the future of waste management.
Filth Busters Ghana herein referred to as FBG, A third sector organization which is operational with focus on the environment and sanitation to create enabling platforms that will help cultivate in the citizenry, especially the youth, the culture and attitude of keeping the environment clean and tidy.
Filth Busters Ghana has over the years carried out several sanitation programs aimed at educating the general public on sanitation related issues, sanitation and environmental education programme in a number of Senior High Schools to create awareness, programs for students among others. Hence the partnership for this project.
The waste segregation tour is set to start in November and end in December 2019 which is the phase one of the project .
The aim of the waste segregation educational tour is to educate the general public on the process of separating waste into different elements, and dividing waste into dry and wet.
If waste is not separated properly, it all gets mixed up in landfills. Waste segregation basically means keeping wet and dry wastes separately so that dry can be recycled and wet waste can be composted.
Your Trashman will Match Make anyone, anywhere with the mobile trash application to get the most convenient waste disposal ever to end the unmanaged garbage problems across Africa’s Cities, as well as empowering ordinary people to become “Trashpreneurs”. This of course will help in creating more sustainable jobs, increasing enterprises and strengthening local economies.
Motorola Releases Fold-able Smartphone – Razr.
We all remember the classic Motorola Razr V3 clamshell phone from the early days of the millennium. Now, in the age of foldable screens, Motorola reinvented the device and introduced the all-new Motorola Razr with a 6.2” foldable panel on the inside.
The Razr runs on the mid-range Snapdragon 710, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. There are only two cameras on the phone - one on the outside of the flip part and another on the inside, tucked inside a notch (yes, really).
The main shooter is 16 MP f/1.7 with EIS, Dual Pixel AF, and Laser AF. It is coupled with dual-LED flash. The selfie shooter is 5 MP f/2.0 with no flash, but the screen can be used to light up your face in the dark.
The biggest talking point of this device is the foldable panel. It is pOLED with a 21:9 ratio and has the marketing name Cinemavision and a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. There is another Quick View screen on the outside of the device with a 2.7” OLED panel and a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels.
The good thing about the secondary display is you it lets you use the phone without unfolding it for almost all important features like calls, taking selfies, turning some basic settings off/on and talking to the Google Assistant.
Motorola equipped the Razr with a 2,510 mAh battery that should top up in no time with the 15W TurboPower charging. The OS is Android Pie and it comes with all the Google services you need.
Offered in one color - Noir Black - the Razr is expected to cost $1,500. Motorola is yet to officially confirm the price and announce an actual launch date.
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