What to do when your Instagram account is hacked

Your Instagram account has been hacked… what now?

This is especially scary for a business that relies on social media for its marketing efforts and drives traffic to Instagram.

Unfortunately, hackers can access your Instagram account in less than 10 minutes if it is not properly secured.

A hacker will usually do this in one of three ways:

  • Obtain your login information.
  • Phishing. In short, hackers will send you a convincing email with a link to a fake Instagram login page. If you click on it and log in with your username and password, they get your information. Never click on a link that has been emailed to you.
  • Use of third-party applications. Always revoke access to suspicious third-party applications. Never allow an app you don’t trust to access your personal information.

If you find yourself in a situation where you believe your Instagram account has been hacked, it’s important to act quickly.

Follow these steps to guide you in recovering your account.

3 steps to take when your Instagram has been hacked

If you think your Instagram account has been hacked, here’s what to do.

1. Use Instagram account recovery

This is where you request a connection link (the Forgot your password button) directly from Instagram.

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From there you will enter your phone number or email address and click Send login link. Then Instagram will send you an email to help you recover your account.

Sometimes hackers will change your username and password so quickly that it won’t work.

If your username is found to be invalid, go to step 2.

2. Report the account hack to Instagram

If you are unable to recover your password because the hacker changed it too quickly, the next step is to report it directly to Instagram.

On their website you will fill out a form with all your account details, and there you will select My account has been hacked then click on Request assistance.

When you hear from Instagram, they will ask you to verify your identity for an added security measure. The process looks like this:

  • A code will be sent to you directly from the site.
  • They will have you take a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper with the code (they usually prefer it to be a selfie).
  • They will also ask you to view the original email address or phone number you used for the account.
  • Finally, Instagram will verify that you are the user of the account by comparing the photo with your Instagram photos.

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This is considered to be a surefire way for Instagram to get your account back as there is essentially no way to hack this system that they have in place.

3. Check your connection activity

This step can also be found in your Instagram settings. Checking your login activity will show you whenever someone has used your username and password combination to access your account.

This can help you recognize suspicious connections to your account.

While checking your connection activity, it will show the date and time of each connection. It can sometimes be hard to remember if it was you or someone else.

However, if you notice that you suddenly have followers that you haven’t approved or photos posted that you know you haven’t taken, chances are, someone has hacked into your account.

Pro tips: steps to avoid future hacks

Enable two-factor authentication

This step is extremely important because it will also minimize any future hacking. Two-factor authentication is a security feature and it’s easy to set up.

Simply go to your Instagram settings and enter a specific login code to confirm your login effort whenever you (or someone else) try to access Instagram from a device that the platform does not. not recognize.

According to Instagram, there is multiple two-factor authentication methods you can use with your Instagram account.

To get started with two-factor authentication, choose one of the following options:

Confirm your phone number and email address in account settings are correct

This is one of the first things hackers will change once they have successfully logged in. They will change your phone number and email address to one that they can access and that you cannot access.

If your phone number and / or email address has changed, it’s important to reset them to your personal accounts and then look for any suspicious activity that may have occurred on your page.

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You should then follow all of these steps in this guide to secure your account.

Change your Instagram password (and your email)

Choose a strong password that is different from other passwords you commonly use on the Internet.

If a hacker has your login credentials for Instagram, they may also have your email credentials. Make sure your email is secure by also changing this password regularly.

Pay attention to Instagram notifications

If you receive an email or notification from Instagram recommending that you change your password, please do so.

Remember, to avoid phishing scams, do not click any link in any email that asks you to change your password.

Go straight to Instagram and change your password there.

Depending on the platform:

During automated security checks, Instagram sometimes collects login information that has been stolen from other sites. If Instagram detects that your password may have been stolen, changing your password on Instagram and other sites helps keep your account secure and prevents you from being hacked in the future.

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Takeaway meals

If your Instagram account has been hacked, steps are in place to help you regain access to your account.

Instagram is certainly aware that its social media platform is subject to hackers and those who create fake accounts, so they have administered new systems to help prevent these types of accounts. Learn more about these systems in place here.

If you follow this guide quickly after noticing a sign-in failure, suspicious posts, or changed information, there’s a good chance you can get your account back.

If any posts on your page were mistakenly deleted, you can learn how to recover deleted Instagram posts here.

Even if you haven’t been hacked, these tips are useful for additional security to prevent any future hacks that unfortunately could occur.

More resources:

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