Earlier this year, Instagram started letting users download a copy of their data, including everything they’ve ever uploaded to the platform, such as photos, videos, comments and profile information. Unfortunately, a recent issue with the feature resulted in some users’ passwords being exposed.
The “Download Your Data” tool, which Instagram announced in April, allows users to export their profile information, photos, videos, comments and other data associated with their account. The tool prompts users to enter an email address to which a download link will be sent and their Instagram password.
The social networking service said it recently discovered that when customers used the download tool, their password may have been displayed in the URL in their web browser after the data was downloaded. The company also found that the passwords were stored on its systems as a result of the process.
Instagram says it has made changes to the tool to prevent such data leaks and it’s deleting the passwords logged by its internal systems.
While there is no evidence that the exposed passwords have been misused, the company has advised users to change their Instagram passwords as a precaution. If the same password has been set for other online services, those should be updated as well, and Instagram also recommends clearing browser histories as they may include the URL exposing the password.