Instagram's data download tool revealed some user passwords

The Download Your Data tool Instagram recently launched may have revealed some passwords to the world at large, the company says – though only a few users were affected apparently, and the bug has now been patched.

As a per a report in The Information, when some users opted to download their Instagram photos and videos, their passwords were included in the URL needed to access the archive – a URL other people may have found if they had somehow got access to the same browsing history or the same computer or device.

If your account was affected by the security flaw, you should have already received an email about it from Instagram. Via an official statement, Instagram says a "small number of people" were hit, and that the issue has now been patched up.

Keep it secret, keep it safe

While this seems to have been a relatively minor security problem, it's not the only security issue Facebook (which owns Instagram) has had to deal with in recent months. Let's hope it's not a sign of something more serious in the Instagram code.

As always, we'd recommend using different passwords on all your accounts, and enlisting the help of a password manager. Switch on two-factor authentication where it's available (as it is on Instagram), and make sure your mobile devices and computers are well protected with passwords, PIN codes, and face unlocking too.

If you have got an email off Instagram or you just want to be on the safe side, you might want to change your password to something new. Instagram says the passwords weren't leaked anywhere except in the browser URL for the data download.

Via 9to5Mac

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.