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Instagram’s hacker-proof ‘Recently Deleted’ tool gives you more control over your memories

By Nadeem Sarwar February 2, 2021, 2:36 pm
instagram recently deleted

When it comes to Instagram hacks, the most common form of damage that malicious actors inflict is deleting content such as pictures and videos that form precious memories. To tackle that, Instagram is adding a new feature called Recently Deleted that will allow users to recover media such as photos, videos, reels, and stories. Instagram is also adding a layer of security before media files linked to an account are deleted, or restored.

Starting today, Instagram will ask users to verify that they are the legitimate owner of an account via a text or email verification prompt. Only when verification is done that someone can proceed to permanently delete media or restore it from the Recently Deleted section. 


All deleted content will now temporarily exist in a Recently Deleted folder

Following the change, all content such as reels, photos, videos, and stories go directly to the Recently Deleted folder when users delete it. Stories remain in that folder for 24 hours, while other non-ephemeral content exists for 30 days before automatically getting deleted forever. 

READ MORE: Instagram’s carousel view for Stories on desktop goes live

However, if you want to restore some content from the Recently Deleted folder, or you can’t wait for 30 days for a photo or video to vanish permanently, you can do so manually. It is at this stage that you will have to verify your identity through a text or verification email.

To permanently delete or restore content from the Recently Deleted folder, verification will be required

Thanks to the added layer of security, users will have a chance to restore their precious photos and videos in case their account is hacked and the hacker erases content from their timeline. However, this is not a substitute for two-factor authentication, which you should definitely enable for your account to prevent hackers from taking control of it in the first place. 

The Recently Deleted feature on Instagram is more like an insurance or fail-safe mechanism. But it is not a perfect solution. If you fail to regain control of your account in 30 days, all the content that was deleted by a malicious party and moved to the Recently Deleted folder will automatically be erased permanently.  


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