What to do about Instagram hacking
For all levels of artist, having your Instagram account hacked is a hugely frustrating invasion of privacy and can be highly damaging to your personal brand. We here offer some advice on how to prevent Instagram hacking, and how to clean up the mess if it’s already happened.
Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog
If you’ve ever had your Instagram account hacked, you know how annoying and frustrating it can be. Artists of all levels have endured this invasion of privacy all too often. From leaking personal information to posting inappropriate photos and statements, hackers do all sorts of shitty things once they’re in. Luckily, you can avoid this with a couple preemptive steps. Here’s what to do if your account gets hacked and how you can prevent it from ever happening in the first place…
What To Do If Your Instagram Gets Hacked
22% of internet users have had their online accounts hacked at least once. Did you know turning on two-factor authentication and managing your third-party apps can help you avoid being a part of this statistic? Click To Tweet
Choose a Stronger Password
You’ve heard it before and I’ll tell you again, you need a strong password. You need to change it as often as you can, and it needs to be long, unique, and impossible to guess. The strongest passwords include:
- a minimum of 10 characters
- a combination of letters, numbers, and characters
- no consecutive letters or numbers
- definitely not the word “password” in any variation…
You should also have a different password for all your accounts. Doing so will ensure if a hacker does get in, they don’t get access to all of your accounts in one go.
Pro Tip: Auto generated passwords are your best bet here. They’re strong and significantly limit your chances of being hacked. In addition, you should always check your password’s strength. — Security.org is a great site that lets you plug in the password in question and see just how strong it is. (Don’t worry, it’s free.)
Always Utilize Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a security feature that enables a two-step authentication process each time someone tries accessing your account from a device it doesn’t recognize. With this turned on, you’ll be asked to enter a special login code or confirm your login attempt.
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).
You’ll need to have at least one of these set up in order to use two-factor authentication.
Sharpen your skills…
Secure Your Email
You should also enable two-factor authentication with your email. Whenever you create an account on any platform, you always need to confirm it by email. That means your email address is linked to all of your accounts, too. If a hacker gets into your email, they can get into everything.
It doesn’t hurt to be extra careful.
Manage Third-Party Apps
Remember that time you logged into that random app on your phone and used Facebook to log in? Those third-party apps usually still have access to your social media profile and account information months, even years, after you’ve last used them.
If their database is targeted, all your information is up for grabs. This has personally happened to me before, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Trust me, you want to avoid this at all costs. To manage your third-party apps, open your Instagram profile on your desktop computer, click the settings button, then click on “Apps and Website”. — This is where you can find a list of apps that you’ve authorized access to.
- If you notice anything suspicious, click “Revoke Access” or the “View and edit” button to revise these.
Already been hacked? — Here’s what to do:
- Check your email to see if you’ve received any notification of the breach. (If it isn’t from email@example.com, it’s a scam… Don’t click that shit.)
- Request a Login Link from Instagram so you can change your password immediately. // On the login screen, click “Forgot password”. Then, you’ll be prompted to the next steps in changing your password or compromised email address.
- Report your hacked account. // Tap the “Help Us Recover Your Account” screen. Then, select “I can’t access this email or phone number.” It’ll take you to a form to fill in your account details, then you can select “My account was hacked” and click “Request Support.”
Sadly, even if you’ve done everything right you could still get hacked one day. It’s just the way of the web. However, these tips will make it way harder for the hackers out there. We hope it never happens, but if it does, you’re ready to take action.