How do Instagram accounts get hacked? We all think hacking is for maximum security information where cyber-spies target big businesses. Very few of us imagine that a hacker could be peeking into our personal information… until it happens! 

How Do Instagram Accounts Get Hacked?

In recent years, many people have either been a victim of hacking or known somebody who has. Across digital platforms, security is growing more and more important, and most people are trying to increase their awareness of their cyber safety. Instagram is no exception. 

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, was accused of having poor security, making it and its other platform users vulnerable to hacking. 

There are various techniques that hackers may use to gain access to your account: 

  • Via third party apps. These are applications that are not created by Instagram but that can work together with it. Not all third-party apps are safe for Instagram use.
  • Coding
  • Via your email account
  • Using the forgotten password link
  • Phishing. This is when dodgy accounts pretend like they’re trustworthy to trick you into giving them your information. 

These are only some of the ways that Instagram accounts get hacked. It’s all very scary stuff but you do have options to protect your privacy.

5 Steps To Prevent Your Instagram Account From Getting Hacked

Now that you know how Instagram accounts get hacked, what can you do to protect yours? Here are 5 things you can do to prevent hackers from accessing your Instagram account. 

Step 1: Update Your Passwords

This is the easiest way to protect your Instagram and other accounts. Change your passwords regularly and make sure each one is unique. If you use the same password for all your online logins, hackers can notice the pattern and access your Instagram (as well as other accounts) easily. 

More specifically, it’s very important to update the password to your email because your email address connects to your Instagram. Once in your email, anybody can get onto your Instagram with the ‘Forgot password’ feature.

Make sure that your password is strong (including numbers, symbols, and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters), and don’t share it with others. 

P.S. If you think you might forget your new complicated passwords, maybe go old school and write them in your journal that you keep in a safe place? Don’t put a password list anywhere on your devices because… you know… hackers!

Phone security

Step 2: Activate Two-Factor Authentication

Password updating is a good way to go, but it’s still pretty elementary! The whole reason for this blog is that hackers are finding ways to get past password protection so you need to take it to the next level. 

Platforms have developed a second phase for logging in: two-factor authentication. It’s like sliding in the door chain after the lock – it gives that extra bit of safety. By turning your authentication on, Instagram will send a pin to your phone anytime somebody tries to log in to your account. To activate it: 

  1. Go to your profile and open your settings.
  2. Select Two Factor Authentication.
  3. Flip the slider ‘on’. 
  4. Enter your phone number if it isn’t already there. This way, you’ll receive an SMS for all attempted logins. 

Step 3: Manage Suspicious Third-Party Apps

Another Trojan horse and an answer to how Instagram accounts get hacked are third-party apps. If left unchecked, these accounts can control who you follow, your comments, and other actions on IG. 

To prevent this, you can manage third-party apps, by clicking on your profile, selecting authorized apps, and revoking access from any suspicious-looking platform on the list. 

If you are in doubt about the safety of an app, you can check if it is an Instagram partner or do a little research into the business. 

Step 4: Don’t Log In To Instagram Through Facebook

It’s very easy to use Facebook to log in to Instagram and other platforms or accounts and, while quick and convenient, this is a big mistake. If a hacker gets into your Facebook account, they’ll be able to access all your related accounts. 

So, it’s important to create unique, individual passwords for each of your accounts. Doing this can be a lifesaver should your Facebook account become compromised. 

Step 5: Be Cautious

In general, it’s a good idea to just be cautious. Here are some extra tips to keep your account safe:

  • Do not give the password to your IG to anybody. 
  • Avoid logging into devices that aren’t yours. If you do, make sure to logout and clear your information after. 
  • If an email, website, or DM seems dodgy, it probably is! Don’t follow unknown links from it and do not enter your information!

Already Hacked? 

How Do I Know If My Instagram Account Is Hacked? 

  • Your account is completing actions you haven’t taken (i.e: liking people’s pictures, sending out messages, leaving comments, etc).
  • You can no longer log in to your account. 
  • You get an email notifying you of changes to your account information (i.e: changes to the email address linked to your Instagram account)
  • Instagram informs you of suspicious activity from your account and it isn’t you. 

What Should I Do If My Instagram Account Gets Hacked? 

If you think you’ve been hacked, Instagram has this comprehensive policy telling you what you can do. Your options include the steps above as well as: 

  • Checking for security emails from Instagram
  • Selecting ‘Get help logging in’ or ‘Forgot Password’ to request a login link
  • Asking for a security code or assistance 
Instagram-login-screen

Now You Know How Instagram Accounts Get Hacked

We all use our Instagram accounts differently – for business, as photo journals, for personal reflections… The platform has become valuable to millions of people. 

Yet, what’s clear is that part of using social media means being in the know about the safety of your data. And knowing the answer to the question “how do Instagram accounts get hacked” helps you actively keep your IG safe. 

Adie Marais
Author

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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