How to Protect Your Instagram Account from Hacking

Async Labs
  • Date Published
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Although it is a valuable tool for many, social media profiles are also exploited and prone to unregulated attacks.

Internet security is a complicated thing. In an online world, our only protection is a simple password and email. It is enough for the attacker to access your email account and thus take over all social networks. Nowadays, stealing an Instagram account is identity theft and, for some, a source of income.

Suppose the account itself is compromised. It can also affect and even destroy the brand reputation and affect users who are lured to click malicious links, directing them to phishing sites, scams, or exploits.

According to Statista’s survey conducted in October 2018 in the US, 14% of respondents stated that their online accounts (social media, email) had been hacked more than once.

Instagram is among the top 5 most used social networks worldwide. As such, it is prone to hacker attacks. One of the indicators that your Instagram profile has been hacked is unusual posts or fake followers you are sure you never wanted to follow.

How can any Instagram account get hacked in just a few minutes?

In the next few lines, we will explain a few main hacking techniques that attackers use to log in to Instagram accounts. The more we know about how cybercriminals break into profiles, the more it will encourage us to find better protection.

1. Phishing

Phishing is a prevalent and effective hacking technique. Phishing is usually done by sending emails from banks, public bodies, service providers, and anything that contains links to websites that, on the surface, look authentic and traceable to the institutions they claim to represent.

Phishers create a fake login page that looks exactly like the real Instagram. Once you log on with your username and password, they can access your credentials and get you in trouble.

Protect yourself from phishing: Keep an eye on the URL address when you’re logging in. Phishers will always try to make it look like the official one. For example, they will change a letter or two and register a domain under “” or change the letter ‘a’ with the alpha symbol ‘α’ symbol to look like this – Instαgram.

Instagram helps users differentiate between fake emails and official Instagram correspondence with the feature “Emails from Instagram,” This way, you can check if the email you received from Instagram is genuine. The feature is located in Settings > Security > Emails From Instagram.

2. Keylogger Apps

Among the tools that hackers use the most is keylogger software. Keylogger is an application that monitors every keystroke made on a targeted device and stores them in logs hidden inside a hard drive. Once installed on a user’s computer or smartphone, it spies on his activities, including everything users type on the keyboard.

Protection tip: Install good antivirus software and keep it up to date.

3. Social engineering

Another hacking technique is social engineering. Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people to reveal confidential information.

Hackers search for different data types and try to trick you into giving them your passwords or bank details or accessing your computer to install malware that will allow them to access your data and passwords.

It is easier to take advantage of someone else’s trust through social engineering. For example, it is much easier to trick someone into giving you their password than if you try to hack the password.

By using a compelling story or pretext, hackers trick you by sending an email containing different messages. They ask for your help, pretending to need you to send them money to buy a cure, use phishing attempts with a legitimate-seeming background, notify you about the huge amount of money you won, and request you to donate to their charitable fundraiser or some other causes, etc.

Ways to protect yourself: Set your email spam filters to high and ignore any suspicious requests for charity donations, delete any request for financial information or passwords, and keep your devices secure by installing anti-virus software.

How to make a hacker’s life harder

Strongest password

While this is obvious, the right password is a deciding factor in keeping your account secure. Today, it is no longer enough for a password to be only strong. It has to be the strongest ever. The most common passwords in SplashData list include these words and numbers: 123456, 123456789, qwerty, password, 1234567, nothing, secret, password1, admin, iloveyou.

Avoid using the same password on many platforms and social networks. This way, you will avoid account vulnerabilities. Create the most complex password. It should contain various numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, characters, and symbols. You can also save the password using a unique password storage application.

Friendly advice: As a part of your cyber hygiene, change your passwords from time to time to reduce the risk. Your account will be grateful.

Avoid connecting to Instagram via Facebook

Have you ever used Facebook to log in to Instagram? Well, it’s time to stop doing it ever again immediately. If your Facebook credentials get exposed, a hacker can seize all your related accounts as you snap your finger.

Extra tip: Avoid falling for phishing scams and create individual logins for every account you have.

Two-factor authentication

Instagram has an extra layer of protection, a two-factor authentication option. It ensures, for each login, a temporary password besides your regular password. You must type a code you received via SMS or an authentication app whenever you want to access your account. Although this is an extra step in the login process that takes more time to log in, it adds an extra security layer.

For this option, go to your profile and click on the three vertical lines in the screen’s upper right corner. Then on Settings and click on Security, find the two-factor authenticity option and enable it.

Friendly advice: Enable this option on all social media channels.

Don’t trust Instagram direct messages

You will never receive direct messages from Instagram, only notifications and emails. Hackers will try to trick you and send you a direct message with relevant information that looks as if it directly came from Instagram. Never trust these DMs and immediately report the account that sends you the message. Never click on any strange or suspicious link you receive in direct messages.

Extra tip: Always double-check everything you receive. For any warning, check your email. And before you open an email that looks like it’s from Instagram, check to see if anyone else has received such an email.

What do I do if my Instagram gets hacked?

You will get a notification if someone tries changing your Instagram account’s email address and password. But what if someone managed to hack into your email and use it without your knowledge?

If this happens, check the previous activity related to your account. Check your Instagram Stories, Posts, Comments, and Instant Messaging. You probably have a security issue if you find anything suspicious or something you don’t recognize.

We have recently witnessed numerous hacker attacks on Instagram profiles of influencers and social media personalities who overnight and irretrievably lost tens of thousands of followers. Influencers fear hackers “breaking through” their profiles, especially those whose only income source is Instagram.

Since Instagram often cannot help them return the account, they are forced to turn to the so-called ethical hackers who use their knowledge for good purposes. In the end, if even the white hat hackers fail to help them, they must reopen their account and start from zero again.

If you think that someone hacked your account, but you are still able to log in, there are a few things you can do to secure your account:

  • Change your password or send a password reset email to yourself.
  • For extra security, turn on two-factor authentication.
  • Go to account settings and ensure your phone number and email address are correct.
  • Check the Accounts Center and remove any linked accounts you don’t recognize.
  • Revoke access to any suspicious third-party apps.

According to the guideline on Instagram Help Center, if you still can’t access your Instagram profile, you need to do the following.

  • Check your email

Ensure you receive an email notification from Instagram that your email address has changed. You may be able to undo this using the revert option.

  • Report a hacked account

If you can’t recover your account, report it to Instagram.

  • Verify your identity

When you submit your support request, you will receive an auto-response email from the Support Team to help them verify your identity. After you provide information, you will receive specific instructions to recover your account.

Social media continues to grow in popularity. Social platforms connect people, spread messages, and generate brand awareness, and with the role it carries, consequently comes greater vulnerability.

Hackers worldwide are continually trying to find ways to hack computers, networks, social media accounts, and emails. They do everything they can to access your personal information and use it against your will. That’s why it’s crucial to be proactive, educate ourselves about security ways, and do everything we can to protect ourselves from cyber thieves.

We hope this article will help you become more aware of security and protection on Instagram and the Internet. Stay safe and change your passwords!

DISCLAIMER: By reading this article, you agree to use learned information only to protect yourself and secure your account from hacking attempts. Don’t use any information provided in this article for malicious purposes.