According to a January 22 report in CNET, panic is growing among a number of Instagram users who fear that their accounts have been hacked. These people are sharing their concerns on Yahoo Answers and are asking what is going on. Here's a sample from Yahoo Answers:
“The same thing just happened to me and I gave them [Instagram] my driver's license like a moron but I covered up the number. It was from Instagram.com. This has got to be hacked.”
This all started over the weekend when a number of users were locked out of their accounts. These users received this message;
“Your account has been secured and requires account validation. Please login to Instagram.com from your desktop computer to validate your identity.”
This validation process requires users to upload a government issued photo id (like a driver's license or passport), a request that seems bizarre to many of these concerned users who fear that hackers are trying to get personal information about them. But while their concerns of hacking are justified, their fears are unfounded.
It isn't hackers who are locking their accounts and asking for government-issued photos—it's Instagram.
The January 22 report in CNET suggests these account lockouts might be the result of an effort by Instagram and it owner, Facebook, to filter out any accounts used by those under age 13. Children under this age are prohibited from owning an account (as they are in any public company).
Whatever it is, the Yahoo Answers comments make one thing very clear: Instagram users are worried and rumors of hacking are growing because Instagram does not seem to be responding in a timely manner to their requests for information.