You may have created an Instagram account and have managed to gather lots of followers within a short time. What will happen if your account is hacked? What steps should you take to prevent such unwanted occurrences? What should you do after your account is hacked? You may feel confused by all these questions. Starting an account and gathering followers in similar numbers is not an easy task for anyone, including industry experts. Hence, as a layperson, you will be worried about the potential loss.
Essential things to know
1. Your account could be hacked in various ways, like in-app scams, weak passwords, 3rd-party apps, or some malicious software.
2. Your account could be hacked if you notice weird account activity or some unusual login activity.
3. If you are unable to login to the account, send a password reset request to the account managers.
How can an account get hacked?
1. Malicious software:
Your account might get hacked due to malicious software, such as keyloggers. Avoid downloading software derived from unknown sources. They may contain malware and viruses that could put your account in trouble. In case you doubt your computer is infected with malicious software, run a scan without further delay. Flagged files should be removed to make your computer and Instagram account safe.
2. Weak passwords:
Anyone can guess weak passwords and crack your account effortlessly. In case you use the same password and if it is a data leak, then anyone can find your password and use it to their benefit.
3. In-app scams:
Perhaps you receive a DM from someone stating that you will receive gifts. However, clicking the link might redirect you to a malicious site that enables cybercriminals to know your password.
4. Third-party apps:
Third-party apps used with Instagram might be taken over by cybercriminals. With two apps being connected, criminals might access your third-party app and Instagram effortlessly.
5. You may even receive fake emails from someplace claiming to be an Instagram official. The email will link to a particular site that appears like Instagram. As you log into the fake site, you may end up passing over your sensitive information to the hackers unintentionally. Check Instagram emails within the IG app. Visit Settings>Security>Emails from Instagram. You will see here all the emails that Instagram has sent you during the last fourteen days.
6. Celebrities and influencers often become hackers’ targets. However, even ordinary users might get hacked.
How to know if your account is hacked?
1. It could be that you are unable to enter your account even after using the correct credentials. Make sure you have made some mistakes. Otherwise, it could be that someone has changed your login information.
2. Check your account regularly for unusual account activity. Staying alert will ensure your account is safe from hackers. Open the app to check login history and visit Settings>Security> login activity. Following the steps will reveal the location of the logins made.
3. You may notice some new likes or posts that you never created. If your feed has them, then it can be some suspicious activity that you should be bothered about. Someone might have hacked your account, changed your algorithm, and might intend to harm your reputation. Someone could be using your account.
4. Your account may have received new direct messages or new followers, you don’t recognize. If you notice them after logging in, then it could be that someone has been using the account.
5. Monitor logical activity to check if your account is entered from some unknown device. Log out from all unrecognized devices to get back control of your account. Visit Settings-Security-Login Activity. Then tap log out present after unknown devices. Turning on login requests will be a wise step taken. It will require new devices to request access first before getting access to the account. Visit Settings-Security-2-Factor Authentication-Additional Methods-Login requests. However, you may avail of this feature only if you can enter your account.
6. Check account details:
In case you get locked out of the account, the platform provides support to verify personal information. Visit Settings-Account-Personal Information. Ensure the information present here is correct.
7. Change password:
Visit Settings-Security-Password to change the current compromised password to a new one. Here, enter both old and new passwords. The latter should not be easily guessable and needs to be strong.
8. Revoke account access:
Some third-party apps might cause your account to become vulnerable to hackers. In such a case, it will be useful to revoke its privileges to stay protected. Visit Settings-Security-Apps and Sites-Remove. Here, remove access to all unknown apps or websites.
How can retain your hacked Instagram account, however without proper access?
1. Report the account hack to the platform moderators:
Use the platform’s contact form to report the hack. Do it without delay. They will send an email to your assigned recovery email for identity verification. It can be either identifying the device used for opening the account like your iPhone or Android) or taking your current picture. Once you receive a reset password from the platform officials, change it instantly to something more tough.
2. Request a link:
To do so, tap on Get Help in logging in using Android or Forgot Password from iPhone. Instagram will send you an email in which you will receive a link. It can even be sent to your registered phone number. In case the current email was changed, then an email will be sent to the original email to confirm action. Use the email to reverse the option. Your emails will be sent to the original address mentioned in the account.
How to prevent your account from getting hacked?
“Instagram hacked email changed” is indeed a term that can get anyone panicked. To avoid such issues, you should take several appropriate measures.
1. Adopt two-factor authentication:
It enhances the security layer of your account. Visit Settings-Security-2-Factor Authentication. You may opt to use an Authenticator, such as receiving an ode through SMS or Google Authenticator.
2. Adopt a strong password:
Use an effective password. It will enable you to prevent hackers from guessing your password.
3. Keep information private:
Never disclose your password to anyone including those close to you. Remember even fun games, like ‘Favorite hobby, food, etc.’ can be ways to crack your password.
Protecting your Instagram account will enable you to enjoy using it to your satisfaction.
Source: Cosmo Politian