InstaAgent and the potential dangers of third party apps

Lots of people use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And while many people use the official clients and apps to access those services, there are many good third party alternatives.

A developer from Peppersoft found something interesting about the (formerly) top free UK iPhone app, InstaAgent (full name - “Who Viewed Your Profile - InstaAgent”). The app, which claims to show who is viewing your Instagram account, is actually stealing usernames and passwords and sending them to the InstaAgent developers. In other words, hundreds of thousands of Instagram accounts are potentially compromised because the app steals login information.

Thankfully, both Apple and Google have removed their respective app stores.

When it comes to social media, many people want to know what is going on with their account. But to track who is viewing your posts: if the official app doesn’t provide this information, it likely isn’t something that a third party app can provide. In short, avoid apps that say otherwise!

That said, while you should never give your login credentials to an app like InstaAgent, there are some times where a third party app is useful. Twitter grew because of the abundance of third party clients. But before using any of them, do your research.

Facebook and Instagram typically provide users with the best experience when using the official application. With no official Instagram app for the iPad, I’ve come to use Retro, and it’s been a great replacement. On Twitter, Tweetbot has been my client of choice for several years.

Again: do your research before giving your login information to a non-official app.

Despite the developer of InstaAgent's insistence that your personal account data is safe, if you were one of the hundreds of thousands who installed the app, you may want to change your Instagram password.