Last year, Mashable published an article detailing how hundreds of Instagram accounts got hacked. Having your account hacked is especially scary if you’re a business that relies on Instagram to make sales or generate leads. So how can you protect your Instagram account from hackers?
Below, you’ll find 4 strategies that will help you keep your account safe, as well as advice on what to do if your account has already been hacked. Let’s jump right in!
How to protect your Instagram account
Step 1: Pick a strong password
This is an obvious tip, but it’s also the most important. Many people use easy to guess passwords for their Instagram accounts. Or, even worse, they use the same password for multiple accounts.
Usually, hacked accounts were not protected by a strong password, or the password was old and already compromised in a data breach.
Tip: you can use a free tool like Have I Been Pwned? to check whether your password has been compromised.
Instagram recommends using a “combination of at least six numbers, letters, and punctuation marks”. However, it’s best if you choose a password at least 8 characters long. You should also consider updating your Instagram password regularly (at least twice a year) and using a password manager tool like LastPass.
Step 2: Turn on two-factor authentication
If you have two-factor authentication turned on, whenever you log into Instagram from an unrecognized device, you will need to enter an SMS security code, along with your username and password. This will prevent any attempts by hackers to log into your account and change your contact information.
Here’s how you can turn on two-factor authentication on Instagram.
Step 3: Secure your email account
If someone gets access to your email account, they also get access to nearly everything else you’ve used your email for. Including your Instagram account.
So you should also secure your email account by changing your password regularly and enabling two-factor authentication.
Step 4: Revoke access to suspicious third-party apps
There are many third-party apps that ask to get access to your Instagram data (for example, apps that schedule Instagram posts for you). First, think about whether you really need to do that and only allow access to third-party apps that are necessary.
To manage your third-party apps, open your Instagram profile, click the settings button, and then click on “Authorized Apps.”
How to recover a hacked Instagram account
If someone hacked your Instagram and the hacker has already changed your contact information, getting your account back is going to be much harder.
In case of suspicious activity, you’ll get an email notification from Instagram. You need to act fast and revert the changes by following the link they will provide. Once submitted, Instagram’s security team will get back to you using an automated process, asking you to verify your identity.
How to report a hacked Instagram account
If you can’t access your account, you may be able to get additional help through the Instagram app. Open it on your mobile device and, on the login screen, tap “Get help signing in” below “Log In”.
Instagram also provides other suggestions on this Help Page.
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