How to Prevent Getting Instagram Hacked
Like with every other social media platform, Instagram comes with the possibility of being hacked. But don’t worry because there are several ways we can prevent Instagram hacks. Let’s explore the most common Instagram hacks and the ways to counteract and prevent them.
Hacking Through Malicious Software
Some hacks require keylogging software which records anything that is typed, including credit card, social media login, and email account information. Keylogging software may compromise your account if you click on a suspicious link, download something harmful, or visit a dangerous website.
Some websites use this software in phishing scams that lure individuals into providing their personal information. Some keylogging software can also make it possible for the hacker to take screenshots on your device, track the URLs of the websites you visit, record what apps you use, log what emails leave or enter your inbox, and log the messages you send on different messaging apps.
How to Prevent Malicious Software Hacks
- Do not use links that you suspect may be a part of an online or email phishing scam.
- Do not download any suspicious files or documents.
- Do not visit websites that you deem suspicious or harmful.
Hacking Through In-App Scams
Many hacks come from inside Instagram. Hackers can utilize various scams to obtain personal information from Instagram users. Some scams include companies offering cheap followers, job opportunity scams, investment scams, merchandise scams, giveaway scams, and brand ambassador scams.
These scammers may send “proof” through pictures or videos or urge you to act quickly because the deal they are offering may only be available for a short period of time. But these scammers will also send links with these messages that will steal your important and sensitive information putting you at risk.
How to Prevent In-App Scams
- Look into the companies that message you and make sure they are legitimate.
- Do not click on any suspicious links that you may have received in a DM.
Hacking Without Cybersecurity Knowledge
Instagram stores account information on any device that you may have used to login. Because of this, your account may still be active on a device that is not your own. This means that even without in-depth knowledge about hacking individuals can still gain access to your accounts if they have a device that your account is logged into. Similarly, if someone steals your phone, you lose your phone, or someone you do not know gains access to your email your information may be compromised.
How to Prevent Hacking Without Cybersecurity Knowledge
- Check your recent Instagram logins through Instagram settings to make sure no unauthorized person is using your account.
- Change your password immediately if you suspect someone other than you is using your account.
- Change the email you used on Instagram if you believe someone gained access to your Instagram through your email.
Hacking Through Third-Party Apps
While there are many third-party apps that are useful and safe to use, there are also many that can take your information. Third-party apps can be risky because you are unable to truly be sure if they will keep your Instagram login information safe.
Many apps that are used to unfollow and follow through mass automation are examples of the potentially dangerous and predatory nature of third-party apps. You may also login to third-party apps and forget that you did so. These apps usually don’t require that you grant them regular access to your account but they still pose a potential threat.
How to Prevent Hacking Through Third-Party Apps
- Log out of all third-party apps that you aren’t sure are safe. You can do so through the Instagram security setting.
- Do not make a habit of granting access to third-party apps and then forgetting to log out of them.
- Research the apps you plan to use to make sure they aren’t harmful.
Keeping your Instagram Account Protected
Protecting your Instagram account is important and should be done regularly. Luckily there are many different steps you can take to actively protect your information from the many different types of Instagram hacks.
- Regularly change your Instagram password. Make sure these passwords would be difficult for someone to guess and have characters other than just numbers and letters.
- Use the two-factor authentication feature. This feature provides an extra step when logging in that requires you to sign in on another account other than the one you are using.
- Make sure to keep your contact information such as your phone number and email address updated. Without access to your phone number or email, you may not be able to recover your account if it is hacked.
How to Recover a Hacked Instagram Account
While a hacked Instagram account is inconvenient and frightening there are several steps you can take if this does occur.
- In most cases, Instagram hackers will change the password for your account. If this occurs then you will receive an email reporting this change. Find this email and report any suspicious activity and change your password immediately.
- You may also receive an email saying that your account’s email address has been changed. You can deny the change which will default your account to its original email address. From here you should change your password.
- Sometimes if your account has been hacked you will receive an alert that notifies you of a “suspicious login attempt.” If you notify Instagram that this activity was not from you, Instagram will log out of this device. Change your password after this occurs to further protect your account.
Like most parts of the internet, Instagram is not immune to hacking. This is why it is so important that you are able to recognize potential threats and protect your personal information.
In the event that your account is compromised make sure that you take the necessary steps to recover it and protect it in the future.
Author: Lindsay Pelliccia