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What to Do When Your Instagram Gets Hacked

Having your Instagram account hacked can be a stressful experience, especially when you rely on Instagram for marketing and promoting your business. But the truth is, it is common for Instagram accounts to get hacked, which is why it's so important to take the proper precautions to protect your account.  

What Does it mean for your account to get hacked?

Generally, getting your Instagram account hacked means that someone has accessed your account without your permission and is using your account in unauthorized ways.

Why Do Instagram Accounts Get Hacked?

There are many reasons why a hacker may choose to steal your account, but some of the main reasons include distributing spam, scamming your followers for money, or trying to steal your followers' data. In 2022, more than 1 million social media accounts were hacked. In 2021, 84% of victims of social media hacking came from Instagram.

With this being such a common issue, read on for the steps to take when your Instagram account is hacked and best practices to protect your account from hackers.

What To Do If Your Instagram Account Gets Hacked

Step 1: Check your settings to make sure the phone number and email address associated with your account has not changed

If Instagram notices any suspicious activity, these are the channels they will use to get in touch with you to try to help you regain control of your account. It's common for hackers to change this information first to prevent this, so if you're still logged in, making sure your contact information has not been changed should be your first course of action. You can check this by going to Settings > Account > Personal Information.

You should also check for an email from security@mail.instagram.com, as Instagram will inform you if the email address on your account has changed. If this does happen, you can undo this change by selecting 'secure my account' in that message. This email will also allow you to request a login link or security code if you've been logged out of your account or the password has been changed.

Step 2: Protect Your Email Account

There are varying levels of hacking, and in some cases, the person or entity hacking your account may also try to hack your email address too. To reclaim your account, you'll need to communicate with Instagram via the email associated with your account, so reset the password to that email account to ensure you can still access any security updates from Instagram.

Step 3: Request a login link from Instagram

If you've been logged out of your account and can not get back in, you can try one of the other security options to regain access. The first thing you can try is to visit the login page on Instagram and select 'Get Help Logging In.' From there, you'll be prompted to enter your login information, and Instagram will send you a login link.  

If none of these options work, or you no longer have access to request a login link or security code, visit https://www.instagram.com/hacked/, where you can get additional help from Instagram.

Step 4: Notify Your Followers

Hackers will often reach out to your followers requesting money or private information for scamming purposes, so it's essential to inform your followers to be aware of any suspicious messages that may come from your account while it's hacked. We recommend sharing a post on your other platforms or sending a message to your email list if you have one.

How to Protect Your Instagram Account From Getting Hacked

The best way to protect your Instagram account from getting hacked is by taking the proper preventative measures. Here are some things you can do to protect your account.

Turn on Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security designed to ensure that people trying to gain access to an online account are who they say they are. In the context of Instagram, 2FA adds an additional step to the login process after you enter your username and password.

You can set up 2FA on your Instagram account in your security settings. You have the option for Instagram to either send you a security code after you enter your password to your email or phone, or, as Instagram recommends, you can set up a third-party app to generate security codes each time you log in.

Revoke Access to Suspicious Apps

Instagram has strict policies against connecting your account to unauthorized apps, such as apps you can use to grow your followers. These accounts can expose your account to security hacks, so disconnect them from your account. You can do this by visiting Settings > Security > Apps and Websites. Also, check your settings to ensure your account isn't connected to any other devices you haven't authorized.

Regularly Rest Your Instagram Password

Weak passwords are among one of the main reasons why accounts get hacked. We recommend changing your password every three months to reduce the chances of your account getting hacked.

Your Instagram account is your asset, so protect it with these tips.

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Gabriella Layne-Avery

Gabriella Layne-Avery is a Content Strategist, Creative Director, and the founder of the content marketing agency Strut Communications. Known for coining the term ‘sustainable social media,’ she believes it’s 100% possible for small business owners to leverage social media to cultivate engaged, loyal communities for their brands without spending 24/7 doing so.

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