Your Instagram account has been hacked… now what?
Unfortunately, hackers can get into your Instagram account in less than 10 minutes if it is not secured properly.
A hacker will commonly do this in one of three ways:
- Getting ahold of your login information.
- Phishing. In short, hackers will send you a convincing email that has a link to a fake Instagram login page. If you click it and log in with your username and password, they get your information. Never click a link sent to you via email.
- Using third-party apps. Always revoke access to suspicious third-party apps. Never authorize an app that you do not trust to gain access to your personal information.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think your Instagram account has been hacked, it’s important to act quickly.
Follow these steps to help guide you to the recovery of your account.
3 Actions to Take When Your Instagram Has Been Hacked
If you suspect your Instagram account has been hacked, here’s what to do.
1. Use Instagram Account Recovery
This is where you request a login link (the Forgot password button) directly from Instagram.
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 are so quick to change your username and password that this will not work.
If your username is deemed invalid, continue onto step 2.
2. Report the Account Hacking to Instagram
If you are not able to recover your password due to the hacker changing it too quickly, the next step is to report it directly to Instagram.
On their website, you will fill in a form with all your account details, and there you will select My account was hacked and then click Request Support.
When you hear back from Instagram, they will have you verify your identity for an extra measure of security. The process looks like this:
- You will be sent a code directly from the site.
- They will have you take a picture of yourself holding a piece of paper with the code (usually they prefer this to be a selfie).
- They will also have you show the original email address or phone number that you used for the account.
- Finally, Instagram will verify that you are in fact the user of the account by comparing the photo with your Instagram photos.
This is considered a surefire way for Instagram to recover your account because there essentially is no way to hack this system they have in place.
3. Check Your Login Activity
This step is also found in your Instagram settings. Checking your login activity will show you every time someone has used your username and password combination to get into your account.
Doing this can help you to recognize suspicious logins to your account.
When checking your login activity, it will show the date and time of each login. This can sometimes be tricky to remember if it was you or someone else.
However, if you notice you suddenly have followers that you did not approve or photos posted that you know you did not take, then most likely someone has hacked into your account.
Pro Tips: Measures to Avoid Future Hackings
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
This step is critically important because it will minimize any future hacking, as well. Two-factor authentication is a security feature and setting it up is easy.
Simply go to your Instagram settings and enter a specific login code to confirm your login effort every time you (or someone else) attempts to go onto Instagram from a device that the platform does not recognize.
According to Instagram, there are several two-factor authentication methods you can use with your Instagram account.
To get started with two-factor authentication, choose either:
- Text message (SMS) codes from your mobile phone.
- Login codes from a third-party authentication app (such as Duo Mobile or Google Authenticator).
Confirm Your Phone Number & Email Address in Account Settings are Correct
This is one of the first things hackers will change once they have a successful login. They will change your phone number and email address to one they can gain access to and you cannot.
If your phone number and/or email address have been changed, it is important to first change them back to your personal accounts, and then check for any suspicious activity that may have transpired on your page.
You must then follow all of these steps in this guide to secure your account.
Change Your Password for Instagram (and Your Email)
Pick a strong password that is different than other passwords you commonly use on the internet.
If a hacker has your login information for Instagram, they may also have your email credentials. Make sure your email is secure by changing that password regularly, as well.
Pay Attention to Notifications from Instagram
If you receive an email or notification from Instagram recommending that you change your password, do it.
Remember, to avoid phishing scams do not click a link in any email asking you to change your password.
Navigate straight to Instagram and change your password there.
During automated security checks, Instagram sometimes recovers login information that was stolen from other sites. If Instagram detects that your password may have been stolen, changing your password on Instagram and other sites helps to keep your account secure and prevent you from being hacked in the future.
If your Instagram account has been hacked, there are measures in place that will help you regain access to your account.
Instagram is certainly aware that their social media platform is subject to hackers and those creating fake accounts, so they have administered new systems to help preempt these types of accounts. Learn more about these systems in place here.
If you follow this guide quickly after noticing a failed login, suspicious posts, or changed information, there is a good chance you will be able to recover your account.
If posts on your page have been wrongfully deleted, you can learn about how to recover deleted Instagram posts here.
Even if you have not been hacked, these tips are useful for additional security to prevent any future hacking that could unfortunately occur.