Privacy and security warning when using alternatives to Top Nine
How to ensure you're not compromising your Instagram account and photos when generating your Top Nine.
At CreatorKit, we take security and privacy seriously. In case you missed it, you can find on CreatorKit.com/Privacy some of our efforts to ensure the highest standards safeguarding users' data.
We launched Top Nine in 2016, starting a huge trend that has grown exponentially every year. Every December, millions of Instagram users, influencers and celebrities use the Top Nine tool to find and share their Top Nine Instagram moments of the year.
Top Nine’s viral growth has caused dozens of clones to surface on the App Store. Millions of users download the Top Nine app every year, but some unknowingly download fakes thinking it’s our app. And it’s easy to think that any of the fake apps will work exactly the same, as long as they solve the problem of generating a collage with the best nine Instagram photos of 2019.
But this article is not about the difference between Top Nine and every other clone out there in the App Store. If you want to learn more about the difference between using Top Nine, Best Nine, or any other non-authentic clone you can follow the FAQ questions on this link.
This article is about the fact that some of those clones may be compromising user privacy, and maybe even the security of your Instagram account.
How do we know this?
We receive messages from people saying that after they used our app their Instagram account username has been “hacked”, deleted, or modified.
In fact, they were unknowingly using a fake tool thinking it’s our Top Nine tool. That's one of the reasons why we chose to make it under the CreatorKit platform, on CreatorKit.com/TopNine.
The goal of this article
The main goal is to make people more aware of the security issues that many of the Top Nine clones have, potentially exposing Instagram account credentials for millions of users who use these clones every year. If Top Nine is used by millions of users, we’re sure that these clones will have a similar amount.
While it’s clear that we don’t want people to use fake clones, what really drives us to write this post is making the Internet a more secure place for everyone. We will take legal actions regarding their intellectual property infringement, but these actions require more time than what’s left before NYE.
We want to believe these developers are not exposing your Instagram account voluntarily. While we don’t expect them to take down their clones because of this post, we hope at the very least they make their apps more secure without risking users’ security and privacy. We also expect that by the time you read this, they’ve already made the required fixes we mention below. Hopefully, this article helps change the current state of things.
As creators of the Top Nine trend, we’d rather you used our Top Nine app. However, we wrote this post with the main goal of telling people how to know if a Top Nine or Best Nine app is safe to use, be it our own app or one of its many fake clones.
If you’re about to use a Top Nine app to find your best nine Instagram photos of 2020, this is what you should make sure to pay attention to:
If your Instagram account is private, make sure you’re securely signing in to Instagram.com
Some of the apps don’t let you see whether you’re signing in to https://instagram.com or some other fake page that looks exactly like Instagram’s login page. This is called a phishing attack.
To ensure you’re signing in securely, make sure you look at the web browser’s address bar. If you can’t see the address bar, then it’s better not to risk it using this app.
If your Instagram account is public, you shouldn’t need to sign in to your account
If you chose to make Instagram account public, then that means that your Instagram posts will be available for anyone on the web to see, including our app. If this is the case, you shouldn’t be prompted to sign in to your Instagram account and risk yourself to any phishing attack.
We made it super easy to generate your Top Nine Instagram collage. After you enter your Instagram handle, our app will fetch your posts and generate a collage with your photos. As a reminder, you can use the Top Nine app entering only your Instagram account.
DO NOT fill any personality tests
When we launched Top Nine, we started a huge trend.
Some of the clones claiming to be Top Nine monetize their fake tool with personality tests that we believe pose a risk to data privacy and security.
We recommend not filling any personality tests. Here's why, explained by The Atlantic:
Every website and tool developed requires some monetization method. Personality tests are often attached to personal data that is later sold for marketing purposes.
We make money selling our PRO membership for the CreatorKit platform, giving access to hundreds of videos and Instagram story templates.
Asking for permission to access your photos when it’s not necessary
Privacy is super important to our users, and unlike other apps, we think you shouldn’t need to give us access to your camera roll to find and generate your Top Nine collage.
We believe apps shouldn’t ask for photo access unless is absolutely necessary, which is why when you use Top Nine, you will only need to give us save images on your camera roll.
How do I know I’m using your Top Nine and not a clone?
Top Nine is now part of the CreatorKit platform, so just download the only app on the App Store provided by the developer with name "CreatorKit".
Have more questions about privacy or security?
You can learn more on CreatorKit.com/Privacy or email us all your questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.