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So you’ve built up a pretty sweet following on Instagram and want to make sure some hacker doesn’t come along and hijack your account. Smart thinking. As Instagram has become more popular, hacking accounts has unfortunately become more common. The good news is there are a few easy steps you can take to fortify your account and rest easy knowing your posts and followers are safe. We’ll walk you through enabling two-factor authentication, using a unique password, reviewing login activity regularly, being wary of phishing emails and malicious links, and keeping your email account secure. Follow these best practices and your Instagram account will be locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Read on to learn how to keep the hackers at bay and protect your Instagram fame.
Choose a Strong, Unique Password
Choosing a strong, unique password is one of the best ways to fortify your Instagram account. A weak, easy-to-guess password is like leaving your front door unlocked – it’s an open invitation to hackers and scammers.
Use a minimum of 12 characters that include a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. The longer and more complex the password, the harder it is to crack. Some tips for creating a secure Instagram password:
- Don’t use common words or personal info like your name, birthday or address.
- Don’t reuse the same password across sites. Use a different, unique password for your Instagram account.
- Include a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. For example, something like ‘Tr0ub4dour&3*’.
- Don’t use keyboard patterns or sequences like ‘1234’ or ‘abcd’.
- Don’t use common phrases or sayings. Hackers regularly check password dictionaries that contain thousands of common passwords and phrases.
- Consider using a password manager app to generate and remember complex, unique passwords for you.
Once you’ve created a strong Instagram password, enable two-factor authentication on your account for an extra layer of security. Two-factor authentication helps prevent hackers from accessing your account even if they somehow get your password.
With a secure password and two-factor authentication enabled, you’ll sleep better at night knowing your Instagram account and all those selfies are protected from prying eyes. Hackers don’t stand a chance!
Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Instagram
Enabling two-factor authentication on Instagram is one of the best ways to fortify your account. This adds an extra layer of security for logging in, making it much harder for hackers to access your profile.
To turn on two-factor authentication, go to your Instagram settings and select ‘Security’. Tap ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ and then ‘Enable’. You’ll be asked to enter your password to confirm.
Instagram will then send a security code to your phone via text message or an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Duo. Enter the code to verify your identity and complete the setup.
Now, whenever you log into Instagram from a device we don’t recognize, we’ll send you a security code to enter. So even if someone guesses your password, they still can’t log in without access to your phone.
Two-factor authentication does mean an extra step when you sign in, but your account security is worth it. We recommend you also set a strong, unique password for your Instagram account and enable login alerts so we can notify you if someone tries accessing your profile from an unrecognized device.
Take your Instagram security seriously and enable two-factor authentication right away. Your account, your memories, and your connections on the platform are too valuable to put at risk. With this feature enabled, you can rest easy knowing your profile is locked up tight against hacker attacks and unauthorized access.
Be Wary of Phishing Emails and Malicious Links
Phishing emails and malicious links are some of the most common ways hackers gain access to Instagram accounts. Be extremely wary of unsolicited messages and links, especially those claiming there’s a problem with your account or offering freebies. Hackers are clever and often disguise links to look legitimate.
Never click links in unsolicited emails
If you get a message claiming to be from Instagram saying there’s an issue with your account, don’t click any links. Legitimate companies like Instagram will not ask for sensitive information like your password via email. Report the message as spam and delete it.
Double-check links before clicking
Hackers often mask malicious links to look like real Instagram links. Look closely at the link—does it go to instagram.com or some other domain? Are there any extra characters or numbers in there? Not all hacked links will be obvious. If something seems off or too good to be true, it’s best to avoid clicking.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, adds an extra layer of security to your Instagram account. When enabled, you’ll enter a security code sent to your phone via text message whenever someone tries to log in to your account. This makes it much harder for hackers to access your account, even if they have your password. Enable 2FA on your Instagram account right away.
Use a strong, unique password
A strong, unique password is one of the best ways to fortify your account against hackers. Don’t reuse the same password across sites. Choose a password with at least 8 characters, a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Change your Instagram password every few months. Using a password manager tool can help generate and remember complex unique passwords.
Staying vigilant, enabling two-factor authentication and using strong account security are some of the best ways to avoid becoming an Instagram hacking victim. Be wary, think before you click, and make your account as hack-proof as possible. Your photos and followers will thank you!
Don’t Share Your Password With Anyone
Sharing your Instagram password with anyone, even close friends or family members, is a bad idea. Once someone else has your login info, they have complete access to your account and can do serious damage.
Don’t share for “likes” or followers
It can be tempting to share your password with an “Instagram growth expert” who promises to get you thousands more likes and followers. But giving a stranger full access to your account is extremely risky. They could lock you out completely, delete your posts, change account info like your username or email, or use your account to scam your followers. It’s never worth compromising your account security for more popularity or clout.
Don’t share with friends or family either
While sharing with a friend or sibling may seem harmless, it’s still not a good idea. They may mean well, but if their account gets hacked, yours could be next. Or they might post something embarrassing without asking first. It’s always best to keep your login info private.
Use a password manager instead
If you have trouble remembering different passwords for all your accounts, use a password manager app like LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password. These apps generate strong random passwords for you and remember them so you don’t have to. Share the master password to your password manager with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergency, but never share the actual passwords for your social media accounts.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds an extra layer of security for your Instagram account. When 2FA is enabled, Instagram will send a security code to your phone via text message or an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile each time someone logs in. This means that even if someone has your password, they can’t access your account without your phone. Enable 2FA for your Instagram account right away for maximum protection.
Keeping your Instagram password private and enabling two-factor authentication are two of the best ways to fortify your account against hackers and unauthorized access. Your account security is not something worth compromising for any reason. Stay vigilant and take proactive measures to keep your login info safe.
Review Your Apps and Remove Unused Ones
Instagram apps and services can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they offer useful features to enhance your Instagram experience. On the other, some contain security risks that could compromise your account. It’s a good idea to routinely review the apps connected to your Instagram and remove any unused or suspicious ones.
As you’ve added new apps over time to access Instagram, some may have fallen into disuse or are no longer providing value. Unused apps that still have access to your account pose an unnecessary risk. Go to your Instagram app settings and review each connected app. Remove access for any apps you’re no longer using by clicking ‘Revoke Access’. This cuts off their ability to access your Instagram data and account.
Watch out for apps requesting access to more data or features than they need to function. For example, a filter app doesn’t need to access your messages or save your login info. Only grant access to the minimum permissions an app needs. If anything seems off, it’s best to skip connecting that app altogether.
Some warning signs an app may be compromised or malicious are:
- It requests access to data unrelated to its functionality like messages, saved login info or contacts.
- It has a large number of negative or suspicious reviews mentioning security issues, data privacy concerns or account hacking.
- It pressures you to login with your Instagram password instead of using Instagram’s API. Legitimate apps will connect through Instagram’s API, not ask for your password.
- Its features seem too good to be true, like offering an abnormal amount of likes, followers or engagement. These apps likely use bots or fake accounts, which violate Instagram’s terms of service.
By routinely monitoring your connected apps and removing unused or suspicious ones, you can strengthen your Instagram security and reduce the risks of account hacking or data privacy issues. Take a few minutes to review your apps today and breathe easy knowing your Instagram account is better protected. Staying vigilant about app access will help keep your account safe for the long run.
Don’t Click on Suspicious Messages or Links in Your DMs
As much as we love Instagram, there are people out there looking to hack accounts and cause trouble. One of the easiest ways for hackers to access your account is through direct messages or DMs. Be very wary of any unsolicited messages in your DMs, especially those containing links or asking for personal information.
Don’t click suspicious links
Never click links in DMs from people you don’t know or trust. These links could contain malware, viruses or phishing attempts to steal your login info. Even links that appear to come from friends can be spoofed by hackers. If a link seems off, suspicious or too good to be true, do not click it.
Watch out for phishing messages
Phishing messages are designed to trick you into providing sensitive data like your username, password or credit card number. On Instagram, phishing DMs may claim there’s an issue with your account or that you’ve won a contest prize. They will then ask you to click a link or provide info to resolve the issue or claim your prize. Do not respond to these messages. Legitimate companies will not ask for sensitive data through Instagram DMs.
Don’t reply to spammy messages
Hackers will also send mass spam DMs advertising products, services or links in an attempt to get people to click or reply. Do not engage with these messages at all. Don’t even open or read them fully. Just delete them. Replying, even to unsubscribe, confirms to the spammer that your account is active and in use.
Be wary of account verification messages
Hackers have been known to send DMs posing as Instagram employees offering to verify badge accounts. These are scams. Instagram only offers account verification through their official process on Instagram.com. They will not DM you out of the blue to verify your account.
By being cautious and suspicious of unsolicited messages in your Instagram DMs, especially those containing links or asking for personal information, you can avoid hack attempts and help keep your account secure. When in doubt, do not click, do not reply, do not engage—just delete the message. Your Instagram account will thank you!
Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but they also pose risks to your Instagram account security. When using Wi-Fi at coffee shops, hotels or airports, be cautious about what information you access.
Change your Instagram password
Using public Wi-Fi to log in to Instagram means your password and username are visible to hackers. As soon as possible, change your Instagram password to a unique, complex one with a minimum of 8 characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t reuse the same password across sites and services. Regularly changing your password, like every few months, adds an extra layer of protection.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, adds an extra layer of security for your Instagram account. When it’s enabled, Instagram will require not only your password but also an authentication code sent to your phone via text message. This means hackers need both your password and access to your phone to log in. Enable 2FA in your Instagram account settings right away, especially if you frequently use public Wi-Fi.
Be wary of phishing emails and messages
Hackers may try to trick you into providing your Instagram login details or downloading malware. Be extremely cautious of unsolicited emails, DMs and comments asking for personal information or claiming you’ve won a contest. Legitimate companies don’t ask for sensitive data through social media or email.
Use a virtual private network
A virtual private network or VPN encrypts all the data you send and receive on public Wi-Fi, preventing hackers from seeing it. When connected to a VPN, it will appear as if you’re accessing Instagram from the location of the VPN server. Enable a VPN on your phone before logging in to Instagram on public Wi-Fi. Free or low-cost VPN options can work in a pinch.
Staying vigilant about account security, especially on public Wi-Fi, will help fortify your Instagram against hacks and unauthorized access. Regularly check your account activity and login locations to ensure there are no unknown logins from foreign IP addresses. If you do see suspicious activity, change your password immediately and check your account settings. Your Instagram account and community are worth protecting!
Review Your Login Activity Regularly
Reviewing your Instagram login activity regularly is key to protecting your account. Hackers are always trying to access accounts by guessing passwords or using phishing scams, so keeping an eye out for any unauthorized access is important.
Check Your Login Locations
In your Instagram settings, you can see the locations where your account has been accessed. Look for any cities you don’t recognize and log out of sessions from those locations. It’s also a good idea to enable two-factor authentication which requires a code sent to your phone in addition to your password when logging in from a new device.
Review Active Sessions
See which devices and browsers are currently logged into your Instagram account. Log out of any sessions you don’t recognize. While it’s possible a family member or friend accessed your account from their device, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Ask them if it was really them before logging back in from that device.
Check Follower and Following Lists
Quickly scan your followers and following lists to look for any accounts you don’t actually follow or recognize. Hackers will sometimes follow other accounts from your profile to make their access look more legitimate. Unfollow any accounts that you did not follow yourself.
Update Your Password Regularly
One of the best ways to fortify your account is to change your Instagram password every few months. Use a strong, unique password that contains a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Do not reuse the same password across sites and accounts.
Be Wary of Phishing Messages
Never click links, download attachments or provide personal information in response to unsolicited messages on Instagram, no matter how legitimate they may seem. Phishing scams and malware are common ways for hackers to gain access to accounts.
Staying vigilant and monitoring your Instagram account activity and settings regularly are the best ways to detect unauthorized access quickly and reduce your chances of being hacked. Take a few minutes each month to double-check that only you have access to your account and all seems in order. Your photos, messages and account security will thank you.
What to Do if Your Instagram Account Is Hacked
If your Instagram account has been hacked, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and follow these steps to lock down your account and protect your privacy.
Change your password immediately.
Choose a strong, unique password with a minimum of 8 characters, including a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t reuse the same password across sites and apps. Changing your password will log out the hacker and prevent them from accessing your account.
Enable two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, adds an extra layer of security for your account. When it’s enabled, Instagram will require not only your password to log in but also a security code that is sent to your phone via text message or authentication app. Hackers are less likely to access both your password and your phone.
Check your profile and settings.
Review your profile information, photos and posts to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. Check that your account settings like email, phone number and login credentials are correct. Remove anything that was changed by the hacker.
Be wary of phishing messages.
Watch out for unsolicited messages, friend requests or links related to your Instagram account, as these could be attempts at phishing for your personal information or account access. Never click links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious senders.
Report suspicious activity to Instagram.
If you notice any posts, messages or account changes that you did not authorize, report them to Instagram right away. Provide details about what was hacked or compromised so they can take appropriate action and help lock down your account. Instagram may also be able to restore your account to a previous secure state.
Consider logging out of all sessions.
For extra precaution, you can log out of Instagram on all devices to revoke access from anywhere else you may be logged in. When you log back in, any previous login sessions will be invalidated. This can help ensure the hacker does not still have access to your account from another device.
Staying vigilant about account security and taking swift action if hacked can help limit the damage and prevent future unauthorized access. Be sure to also be cautious of any unsolicited communications in the aftermath of an Instagram hack.
So now you’ve learned some key ways to lock down your Instagram account and keep the hackers at bay. Implement two-factor authentication, use a unique password, be wary of phishing emails, and enable login notifications. While no security measure is 100% foolproof, following these best practices will make your account a much harder target. Stay vigilant, be skeptical of unsolicited messages, and trust your instincts. With some vigilance and precaution, you can rest easier knowing your Instagram account and all those carefully curated photos are safer from compromise. Sweet dreams! Now get out there and keep snapping and sharing with your followers knowing you’ve done your part to avoid becoming another Instagram hacking statistic.