Instagram is arguably the biggest and most successful social media platform in the world right now. The site has transcended its original use of keeping in touch through images. It has become a full-fledged media platform that you can use to grow your influence, share ideas, make friends, and even to build businesses!
But using Instagram can also make you vulnerable to forms of cyber-attack such as hacking. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see accounts being closed down for posting inappropriate content only to find out that they’ve been hacked. Oftentimes, business accounts are the most vulnerable, but even personal accounts with a large following can be targeted.
Before few weeks we made the tutorial how to hack into Instagram Account, and today you’re going to learn how you can protect it from those attacks.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid getting hacked on Instagram and protect your account from all kinds of cyber threats.
Read on to find out the top ways to keep your Instagram account safe.
1. Keep Your Main Email Account Secure
Think about it; the moment someone gains access to your email account is the moment they gain access to all your other accounts as well. That’s why email service providers recommend changing your email account password every now and then, and activate “two-step verification” just to be on the safe side.
2. Choose a Strong Password
You’ll notice when signing up for an Instagram account (or any online account for that matter) that it’s always recommended to choose a strong password. A combination of uppercase and lower case letters, as well as characters and numbers, are always a good start because they’re difficult to figure out and hard to break using bruteforce hacking tools. Also, be sure to avoid dictionary words, because even clever dictionary words are easy to figure out. It’s also best to avoid things like your pet’s name, your middle name or phone number, as that information can be easily found.
A good example of a difficult and strong password would be a word that replaces some of the letters with characters and numbers, such as this one: “G!nG8r!!” You’ll notice that I’m spelling out the word “ginger” but in a way that would make it impossible for anyone to guess.
It’s even more important to create a strong password if you share access to a business account with your fellow colleagues. For the best results, use a password combination that’s different from the one you use for your personal accounts and don’t share it with anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. Treat your IG account password like you treat your bank card PIN – it’s yours and yours alone to know.
3. Keep Different Passwords for Different Accounts
Try to come up with different passwords for all your online accounts. This means you’ll need a different password for your Instagram account, email address, Facebook account etc. That way, even if a hacker figures out the password to one of your accounts, they won’t be able to access your information on other platforms.
4. Keep Your Personal Information Private
Another easy way to keep our Instagram account safe from hackers is to avoid sharing personal information on the platform. This is especially important if your password is based on something personal like your date of birth or home address. Besides, it’s a general rule of thumb to never share anything overly personal on social media as that can open you up to being stalked or worse!
Nevertheless, you should also refrain from posting provocative content, like photos that show a lot of violence or nudity. And be sure to avoid sharing other people’s private information as well.
If you have kids, be sure to think things through before you start sharing their photos on Instagram. Instagram doesn’t really prevent parents from sharing pictures of their kids, and anyone is free to create a profile or page dedicated to showing off their kid. But, you should also think about the long term repercussions of sharing your private life on social media and think about how your kids will feel about it when they’re older. This one’s up to the parents to decide.
5. Activate 2-Factor Authentication
If you like you can also activate two-factor authentication or 2FA for short. This means every time someone tries to use your credentials to log in from an unknown device, Instagram will send a verification code to your mobile number to authenticate the login attempt. That’s when you’ll know that someone is trying to hack into your account. This is a great way to deter hackers from using your Instagram account and changing your credentials. Since the hacker cannot remotely gain access to your phone’s private messages, he/she won’t be able to go through with the hacking process.
To activate two-step verification on your Instagram account, go to the “settings” button. Scroll down and click on the option that says, “Two-Factor Authentication.” Activate the option which says, “Require Security Code” and enter your mobile number for verification. Then, take a screenshot of the screen as it appears so you always have access to the backup codes. Instagram may ask you for a verification code at any time you try to login to make sure that you’re not being hacked.
6. Only Use Authorized Third-Party Apps
Another helpful tip to keeping your Instagram account safe is to not give access to dodgy third-party apps that may threaten your account security. In fact, you should allow access to third-party apps only when it’s absolutely necessary and not just for entertainment or fun.
To remove access by third-party apps, start by signing into your Instagram account via desktop. Select “Edit Profile” and select “Authorized Applications: on the top left column. Actively manage the apps you’ve already allowed access to and remove any suspicious looking third-party apps.
7. Check Your Email Messages Frequently
Instagram may ask you to confirm the changes you make to your account. They’ll also give you an option to revert the change if you’re not the one who initiated the changes. That’s why it’s important to check your email at least once a day because that’s how Instagram communicates with you sometimes.
8. Don’t Use a Shared Device
This one’s a no-brainer; whenever you use a public or shared computer, make sure to log out of your Instagram account before you even move away from the device. Also, a pop-up saying “remember me” will appear after you’ve entered your credentials; don’t click on it.
9. Don’t Share Your Password
Whether it’s your Instagram password or your bank account PIN – make sure to keep it your little secret and don’t share it with anyone! Don’t even share it with websites, apps or people you trust because delivering such information online means a hacker might see it and use it even before your friend does!
10. Change Instagram Password Often
Make sure to change your Instagram password frequently. Instagram may even prompt you to do so if they notice irregular activity on your account. Although this seems like a small step, it could go a long way to protecting your account from unscrupulous hackers in the future.
11. Don’t Accept Suspicious Followers
Setting your Instagram page to “private” is a great way to protect your safety by vetting everyone who requests to follow you. Even if your page is public, you can always block suspicious followers if you’re unsure of their intentions.
12. Don’t Click on Shortened URLs
Refrain from opening shortened URLs on Instagram – especially if you don’t know what they’re for! Beware of downloading software that you’re not familiar with just because it was suggested to you online. Keep in mind that some hackers use links to hide malware that’ll give them full access to the files in your device without you being the wiser. This is known as a “Trojan” or a keylogger and can be avoided by staying vigilant with regards to the links you click and follow online.
13. Don’t Follow Every Instagram Account Out There
Before you follow an account on Instagram, make sure to put it through a strict vetting process. Accepting dodgy accounts may lead you to hackers who’ll share infected links with you in order to get access to your personal information.
14. Don’t Click on Attachments
The general rule of thumb when it comes to Instagram is to never open an attachment sent to you via DM. That’s because clicking on such links can open your device to hackers. They often tries to trick users to login trough a fake copied login page which looks exactly like Instagram’s official one. If users fail on this, hacker will get your login details to their email address. This method of hacking is called phishing. We’ve already explained in detail how it works.
15. Make Your Account Private
There’s so much more that you can share on Instagram apart from your private moments. It’s especially important to avoid posting personal information if your page is public because that means it can be seen by pretty much anybody. Your best bet is to set your account to private and minimize the chances of anyone seeing the private information you share. To do this, simply go to your Instagram profile, click on the “Settings” button (Located from linking on three dots icon in your upper right corner of your mobile screen) and move the cursor to the “Privacy and Security” then “Account Privacy”. If your account is public, this button will be gray in color, but once you slide it, it’ll turn blue to show that your account is now private.
Extra Security Tips
The above-mentioned tips are great at keeping an Instagram account safe, but it’s not the be all and end all of IG safety and security. There are additional measures that you can take to secure your account.
For instance, always log out of Instagram if you’re using a shared device, whether it’s a phone or a desktop. Remember to NEVER click on the “Remember Me” box as doing so will make it easy for the person who logs in after you to hack your account.
Next, remember to never share your password with anyone. This seems obvious enough because no one in their right mind would share their online credentials with someone else. But anyone can fall victim to a practice known as “phishing.”
How does it work? Well, it usually starts with an innocent looking email that looks like a legitimate request from Instagram to “confirm your credentials” by logging into your account. The hackers will then get your credentials as you’re logging in and by the time you realize it’s a scam, it’ll be too late.
The best way to avoid falling victim to this scam is to activate two-step verification and only click on emails that you know are legit. After all, why would Instagram send you an email asking you to log in if you didn’t try to log into your account in the first place?
Also, make sure to check our “About This Account” an IG tool that allows you to perform a thorough background check on any IG account before you follow it. To use this tool, simply click on the Profile button, click on “About This Account” and read the available information.
This will take you to the account’s details, including information on when the person joined IG, whether or not they’ve made changes in their username credentials in the recent past, and you’ll even see where they’re located!
What You Should Do If You Are Already Hacked?
Getting hacked is the worst thing that can happen to anyone. But, when it happens you can bet that the hackers have gained access to your email account as well. The first thing you should do is report the incident to Instagram.
Unfortunately, both Instagram and Facebook have slow business support agents. But they’re fairly easy to contact because all you have to do is search for “Facebook business report” on Google and look for the available contact options. Live chat is usually included in there somewhere too.
On the other hand, if you can still gain access to the phone number or email address linked to your Instagram account then you can always use the “forgot your password” option to take back the control of your account.
If that doesn’t work, follow this link to report the issue to Instagram security team directly.
It might seem like a lot, but taking these steps is a small price to pay to ensure the safety and security of your Instagram account, whether you’re using the platform for personal or business purposes.
As you can see, there are many methods that you can use to secure your Instagram account, which allow you to protect your account against hackers in a matter of minutes. Has your Instagram account ever been hacked? Let us know in the comments section below if you found this article helpful.