Recently, there seems to be a surge in Instagram accounts getting hacked and many users are wondering how they can protect themselves from falling victim to such an attack.
Finding out that your account has been hacked can be a pretty terrifying situation, especially if you rely on Instagram to share and create content and are a self employed blogger working as an Influencer on a full time basis. So what steps can you make to prevent your Instagram account from getting hacked? This blog will detail some important ways in which you can keep your account secure and out of the hands of vicious hackers.
August Instagram Hacking Spree
Earlier this month, Mashable posted an article that details the accounts of hundreds of Instagram users who have reported a hacked account since the beginning of August. According to the article, hacked Instagram victims from all over the world have reported the same scenario: the profile photo was changed, along with the contact information associated with the account, which was modified and linked to an email with a .ru Russian domain.
While Instagram were quick to report that they have not seen an uptick in hacks, Twitter data suggests otherwise. Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram’s Twitter account for assistance even as the month heads toward its end.
— les (@LEXXXLIEEE) August 29, 2018
In response, Instagram published an article that references the hack and provides advice to help users keep their account secure. If your account has been compromised, please make sure to reference Instagram’s guide immediately.
Now is a better time than ever to secure your Instagram account to ensure you remain protected against such attacks. Here are a few tips to prevent your Instagram account from getting hacked.
Tips to Prevent Your Instagram Account From Getting Hacked
1. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra security layer when you log into your Instagram account from a unrecognized device. You’ll be asked to enter an SNS security code in addition to your username and password. This will prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your account and changing contact information.
You can turn Two-Factor authentication by:
- Tapping “Settings” from your Instagram Profile
- Scroll down to “Two-Factor Authentication”
- Tap the slider to “On”
- If your account doesn’t have a phone number attached to it, you’ll be prompted to enter one in. Once it’s entered, tap the “Next” button.
Whenever you try to access your Instagram account from an unrecognized device, you’ll be sent a security code via SMS.
2. Choose a Strong Password
This one is quite an obvious tip, but nonetheless one of the most important. Hackers can frequently gain access to Instagram accounts by guessing common passwords or using old passwords that were previously compromised in data breaches. One way to overcome this is to check the security of your password with the help of websites such as How Secure Is My Password. This will quickly let you know whether or not you’re using a strong password or if it should be revised to one that is more challenging to guess.
Instagram recommends using “a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks (like ! and &)” and to use a unique password that isn’t used elsewhere. It also helps to change your password on the regular– once or twice a year is recommended.
3. Be Weary of Phishing Emails
You always want to verify the legitimacy of the emails you receive in your inbox, as many hackers gain access by sending phishing emails.
Phishing attacks work when hackers send an email, often sounding urgent or commanding immediate attention, containing a fake link to a fake Instagram login page in attempt to gain your login credentials. The landing page will often look genuine and will mimic the same format Instagram uses on their landing page, including the same logo and layout. When you enter your email and password, the hackers gain your personal information.
In order to prevent this from happening, ensure two-factor authentication is turned on and always check the legitimacy and authenticity of the emails you receive before following fake links and entering sensitive information.
4. Revoke access to Suspicious Third-Party Applications
You can manage the third-party apps by:
- Heading to your Instagram profile on Desktop
- Click the “Settings” Gear icon
- Click “Authorized Apps”
This will pull up a list of applications that you’ve authorized to access your account information. If you see anything odd, simply click the “Revoke Access” button.
5. Secure your Email Account
If someone gains access to your email, they can gain access to almost everything you’ve utilized your email for. The vast majority of email providers have security measures such as two-factor authentication or security questions already set in place to help you stay protected.
There you have it! To ensure you protect your Instagram account from getting hacked, it’s important to stay on top of ways to secure your account to prevent any unauthorized access from hackers. If you have any strategies to keep your Instagram account safe and secure, please let us know in the comments below!