Instagram Security Flaw: Is your private Instagram account really private?

The readily accessible hack allows your followers to share your private data from Instagram & Facebook publically. Shockingly, the hack requires only a basic understanding of HTML & any available web browser.

A security flaw on Instagram makes it extremely easy to access your private posts and stories by people who are not even following you. According to reports by Buzzfeed, the photos and videos posted on private Instagram and Facebook accounts aren’t exactly private. 

The infringement that surfaced a couple of days ago illustrates how a couple of clicks on any web browser can expose the unbroken URL of private posts and stories cached on Facebook servers. It makes every post easy to be accessed, downloaded, and distributed by the public “via a stupidly simple work-around.


How does the ‘hack” work?

The hack which works on Instagram stories as well- requires a basic knowledge of HTML. A user can easily inspect the images and videos that are being loaded on the page and then pull out the source URL. The Verge independently confirmed that the process works smoothly. The process, though a bit finicky, makes the URL readily available by reloading the private page of the account and loading the ‘Img’ section. The previews of the image even load in chat applications like Slack. It is a piece of scary news for celebrities and young users who have chosen to save their account from unwanted scams by making their accounts private.


Oh yes, even your stories aren’t safe

However, the hack also works on private Instagram stories which are meant to last for 24 hours. The URLs retrieve images of the Facebook servers even after the posts have expired or been deleted. The URLs for private stories can apparently return the story for multiple dates after the expiration date. 

In response, a Facebook spokesperson stated,

“The behavior described here is the same as taking a screenshot of a friend’s photo on Facebook and Instagram and sharing it with other people; it does not give people access to a person’s private account.”

Nevertheless, the process of invading someone’s privacy is different from just taking a screenshot of their pictures. These publically available URLs contain some basic information about the data they link to, including how it was uploaded, and it’s photo dimensions. You also can not fake one as they also prove authenticity.


Another Facebook glitch?

As all the data is hosted by Facebook’s own network, the hack also applies to private Facebook content. The content can be shared to almost anyone if a friend or follower grabs the link. While the apps allow you to track your content viewership, it can also be noted that if someone publically shares your private posts via links, you would have no clue about it.

Earlier, phone numbers linked to hundreds of millions of Facebook accounts were found to have been deserted on an unprotected server which could be accessed by nearly anyone. According to reports by TechCrunch, the unsecured server contained over 419 million records of users globally which comprises of 133 million US-based users, 50 million from Vietnam and 18 million from the UK, among others.

Another such loophole was discovered by Quartz for private Instagram content in 2015. Tests proved that a photo once posted through a public Instagram account would remain viewable on the web even after the person made their account private.

A user deserves the right to privacy for their personal data. Moreover, in a 2018 statement, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO said, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” 

+ posts

A passionate writer with bachelor’s in the field of English & Journalism. Other than being a bibliophile, some of her hobbies are travelling, photography and poetry.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

Note: If you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a small commission on it.

Saumya Uniyal
Saumya Uniyal
A passionate writer with bachelor’s in the field of English & Journalism. Other than being a bibliophile, some of her hobbies are travelling, photography and poetry.

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

related stories

Customer-first marketing is a tactic that allows businesses to create content, product, & marketing campaigns that aim to put their customers first.

Your Ultimate Guide for Customer-First Content Marketing Plan

It offers a significant change from traditional marketing strategy, which focuses on creating marketing initiatives based on their organization's needs over customers' needs.  If you...
With the rapid rise of digitalization and businesses moving online, the popularity of no-code and low code apps is also moving up the ladder.

Democratization of the Tech World with Low-Code and No-Code Platforms

A slew of startups and early-stage companies are choosing NCLC, no code, low code software when the Indian software engineers' monthly remuneration is witnessing...
A growth mindset is an important lesson Elon Musk has taught to every business worldwide. Let us dive into this very lesson today.

Growth Mindset: A Key Success Lesson to Learn from Tesla’s Elon Musk

A stroke of ill luck has caught car companies into mayhem with a worldwide shortage of chips and ships. However, there is one company...
An energy crisis is looming over the coal supplies growing perilously low, adding challenges to the world's fifth-largest economy.

Explained: Why is India Experiencing Coal Crisis

Mere few days ago, people were in chaos as Facebook and its products were down for over six hours (1). Imagine if you had...
The phenomenon of startups helping startups goes a long way in building a dynamic, diverse, and driving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Peer Mentoring: A Proactive Measure Needed for Startup Success

Being an entrepreneur can be pretty lonely. It is challenging to come across the right person to generate a peer mentoring relationship and learn...
Evergrande, the Chinese real estate giant, is the world's most indebted company at present. It owes more than 300 billion USD in liabilities.

Evergrande Crisis: The Chinese Infrastructure Giant is Set to Collapse

The Evergrande crisis in 2021 is reminding people of the 2008's economic crisis. The colossal Chinese real-estate developer is trembling while also threatening markets...

Get the Attention of High-Profile Founders, Investors, and Executives With These Tips

You may have several reasons for connecting with industry leaders, such as looking for new job opportunities, courting investors, selling their products, consultation, networking,...

Shiba Inu: The Rising Popularity of Dogecoin’s Spin-Off

Dogecoin, a crypto token that started as a joke, is now worth serious money. It is now challenged by an upstart, a puppy-themed competitor:...