How to set up two-factor authentication on Instagram to help protect your account

Thomas Trutschel/Getty ImagesYou can set up two-factor authentication on Instagram in two ways.
  • Two-factor authentication on Instagram helps secure your account and information, and there are two ways to set it up.
  • One way is to use your cell phone – register your phone number to receive a text message with a unique code to gain access to your account.
  • You can also set up two-factor authentication on Instagram using a third-party app.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Any social media user will tell you how important securing your account is. Hackers and spammers have become a lot more sophisticated, so platforms like Instagram have encouraged users to enable two-factor authentication — an extra level of security connecting your account with two or more devices before you’re granted access.

On Instagram, there are two ways you can enable two-factor authentication. The first, and by far the easiest, is with your cell phone number. When you log into your Instagram account, it will send a text message to your phone with a unique code. The second is with a third-party authentication app.

Here’s how to do both.

How to set up two-factor authentication on Instagram using your phone number

1. Open the Instagram app on your device.

2. Go to your profile by tapping the profile icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.

3. Select the three horizontal lines icon in the top right corner.

IG2F1Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap the three-line menu icon at the top right of your profile page.

4. From the pop-up menu, select “Settings.”

IG2F2Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap ‘Settings.’

5. In the Settings menu, select “Security.”

IG2F3Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap ‘Security.’

6. Under “Login Security,” tap to select “Two-Factor Authentication.”

IG2F4Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap ‘Two-Factor Authentication.’

7. Select “Get Started.”

IG2F5Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap ‘Get Started.’

8. Select “Text Message.”

IG2F6Meira Gebel/Business InsiderTap the toggle button next to ‘Text Message.’

9. Enter your phone number and then select “Next.”

IG2F7Meira Gebel/Business InsiderType in your phone number and tap ‘Next.’

10. Enter the code sent to your phone and then select “Next.”

IG2F8Meira Gebel/Business InsiderType in the code that was texted to you, then hit ‘Next.’

11. Once you’ve entered the correct code sent to your device, your two-factor authentication should now be active. Instagram will also give you a list of codes you can use when you don’t have access to your phone, so be sure to take a screenshot or save wherever you keep your password manager.

How to set up two-factor authentication on Instagram using a third-party app

1. Open the Instagram app on your device.

2. Go to your profile by tapping the profile icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.

3. Select the three horizontal lines icon in the top right corner.

4. Select “Settings.”

5. Select “Security.”

6. Select “Two-Factor Authentication” from the menu options.

7. Select “Get Started.”

8. Select “Authentication App.”

AuthenticateMeira Gebel/Business InsiderTap the toggle button next to ‘Authentication App (Recommended).’

9. If you don’t already have one of these apps on your phone, Instagram will recommend either Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile, depending on your device. Download the suggested app, and tap “Next.”

IG2F10Meira Gebel/Business InsiderDownload the app and tap ‘Next.’

10. Once the app is done downloading, a pop-up will take you to the third-party two-factor authentication app to retrieve an access code.

11. Copy the code from the third-party app and then return to Instagram and paste it in the text field.

IG2F11Meira Gebel/Business InsiderCopy the time-sensitive code from the authenticator app before returning to the Instagram app.

12. Now you will be registered with the third-party app so that anytime you log into your Instagram account, a code will be sent to the app for verification.

IG2F12Meira Gebel/Business InsiderYour authenticator app is now confirmed — tap ‘Next’ to complete the process.

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