Don't miss the latest stories
Instagram’s ‘Private’ Posts Can Secretly Be Seen By People Who Don’t Follow You
By Thanussha Priyah, 11 Sep 2019
Image via ulyana_andreeva / Shutterstock.com
Comforted by the option to keep their accounts private, Instagram users might feel confident about posting pictures and videos they wouldn’t want outsiders to see. However, it looks like there might be a “loophole” that allows posts to be accessed, downloaded and shared by anyone.
The trick only requires a basic understanding of HTML and a web browser, and can be done simply by having a user inspect an image or video and then retrieving and sharing its source URL.
JPEG and MP4 files saved in Instagram’s database can be opened by anyone as long as they have access to the URLs, even those who are not logged in or are not following a private account, BuzzFeed News discovers.
URLs belonging to content uploaded on feeds can be opened permanently. This trick works for Instagram Stories, as well, even though they are supposed to expire after 24 hours.
Since the data is hosted by Facebook’s content delivery network, the “hack” also works on private Facebook content.
Instagram can only control those who view your content within the app, but these public URLs are out of the social network’s reign. This means that you might never have a conclusive number of views and the identities of these viewers.
Deleted photos and videos are still being stored and accessed on Facebook’s content delivery network, which could put your content at risk of being shared as well.
Privacy has been an ongoing issue for Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made a privacy pledge earlier this year by introducing a privacy-focused vision for social networking.
But now that this hack has been exposed, it will yet be another obstacle for the social networking giant to uphold its promise to protect users’ privacy.
[via BuzzFeed News, image via ulyana_andreeva / Shutterstock.com]
More related news
Also check out these recent news