Information about more than 14 million Instagram accounts is being kept in an unsecured database that could render users vulnerable to hackers, a security researcher told cybersecurity website, CyberScoop.
Data including users’ profile names, stored links to profile pictures and their Instagram ID is available in the database, which researcher Oliver Hough found on the Shodan web scanning service.
The database, physically located in the U.K., includes 14,526,602 entries. Hough suggested a third party could be scraping Instagram and storing public data for analysis later, either for targeted marketing or another purpose.
He suggested the information could be combined with unrelated databases of stolen passwords, which hackers could correlate with the usernames leaked here to try to infiltrate victims’ accounts.
With third-parties collecting data and looking to link that data with names, addresses, and passwords it’s evermore important that you take a look at how secure your personal and business devices are.
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Social media companies previously have tried to stop outsiders from scraping public information about user profiles, but for now it’s still very much possible, and definitely something to think about.