As a marketing and networking tool, Instagram is vital for businesses to create various influencer marketing campaigns. However, imagine for a moment that your account got hacked. What should you do? First, don't panic—you're not alone.
If you got an Instagram hacked account, you must recover it as soon as possible. Here are the procedures to regain access to your Instagram account and precautions you may take to strengthen your online security.
Scenario #1 - You still have access to your IG account
If your credentials were kept the same when your Instagram account got hacked, then your hacked Instagram account recovery will take fewer steps. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 - Change your password
You should not only update your password as quickly as possible, but you should also make it robust. Skip any passwords that you use on several websites. Instead of a single word, Mulder recommends a phrase or term that is more difficult to hack. Instead of picking "qwerty123,” choose "Jelly22fi$h." Even better, replace certain characters with digits or symbols.
Make sure it does not follow a straightforward format for hackers to guess, such as sequential numbers or simple phrases like "qwerty." Concerned about forgetting a complicated login?
Step 2 - Enable two-factor verification
As you can see, Instagram hacking is unsettling and a major nuisance. Mulder explains that you may instantly increase your account's security, preventing hackers from breaking in.
Step 3 - Revoke suspicious or all 3-party apps
Allowing third-party apps to access your account is a convenient way to share material across several platforms. Still, it comes with a risk: hackers can sneak into these apps and steal your Instagram login information. Navigate to your account's security settings and then choose Apps and websites to view which apps have access to your Instagram account. Keep a watch out for any significant data breaches that could affect these apps; if one occurs, you should immediately change your password.
Step 4 - Check if you can still use the same phone number/email
Be sure to check whether the phone number or the email you’ve used for your Instagram account is not compromised. If you can’t tell whether it is safe to use, we strongly suggest changing it to another one.
Scenario #2 - You do not have access to your IG account
Have a hacked Instagram account and can’t access it using your credentials? If that’s the case, you must take several recovery steps on the Instagram website or the mobile app. Depending on the type of account you're attempting to recover, some of these methods may not be available, but it is recommended to try all of them. Here’s how to get your hacked Instagram account back.
Step 1 - Check if you have received an email directly from the IG team
Once your Instagram account gets hacked, the chances are that the IG security team will know about it and let you know via email. If you received an message from “email@example.com” that informs you that your email address or your phone number was changed, you might be able to cancel that change by clicking “Secure my Account” in the email.
If other information has been changed (for example, your password) and you cannot change your email address, that leads us to another recovery step: request a login link or security code from Instagram.
Step 2 - Request a verification link to sign in
You can request the verification link directly from Instagram to your phone number or email address so that they can verify that you own the account. To request a link for login:
Tap “Get login help” on the login screen or “Forgot password?”
Tap “Next” after entering the username, email address, or phone number linked with your account. If you do not have access to the username, email address, or phone number connected with your account, input the most recent login information you used, and then press “Can't reset your password?”.
Enter the captcha to verify that you are a human.
Select your email or phone number, then hit “Next.”
Follow the on-screen steps after clicking the login link in an email or SMS message.
Step 3 - Request a security code for your mobile phone
If you cannot retrieve your account using the login link Instagram supplied, you may contact them for further assistance. To request support from Instagram for Android:
Below the login page, select “Get help logging in.” Log in.
Enter the user name, email address, or phone number linked with your account, and then select “Can't Reset Your Password?” Consider that if you have many Instagram accounts, you may need to pick the account you're having difficulties with before following the on-screen directions.
Tap “Need more help?” then follow the directions on-screen.
Select your phone number or email address, then tap “Send security code.”
If you do not receive a security code, select “I can’t access this email or phone number” below “Send the security code,” then adhere to the on-screen prompts.
To get more support from an iPhone:
From the “Send log in link” button, hit “Can't Reset Your Password?” Select your phone number or email address, then tap “Send security code.”
If you do not receive a security code, select “I can’t access this email or phone number.” Click “Send the security code,” then adhere to the on-screen prompts.
Enter an email address that only you can access. After submitting your request, Instagram will email you further instructions.
Step 4 - Verify your persona
If you submitted a support request for an account without images of yourself, the Support Team at Meta would send you an auto-response email. They’ll ask you to verify your identity by providing the email address or phone number you used to sign up and the device you used when you registered (for example, iPhone, Android, iPad, or other).
Suppose you want support for an account with images of you. In that case, you will be requested to record a video selfie of yourself tilting your head at different angles so that the Instagram team can verify your identity and ensure that you are a real person.
After submitting the video selfie to assist us in authenticating your identity, Instagram will send you an email to the protected email address you supplied. Instagram will then utilize this video to verify that you are a real person and are who you claim to be.
Consider that the video you post will never appear on Instagram and will be erased within 30 days.
If they cannot verify your identity based on the submitted video, you might submit a new one, and they will review it again.
Fraud Activity Rise
There are numerous ways malicious persons are hacking Instagram accounts. And even though some of them are already outdated, here are the ones that are more or less popular these days.
False copyright infringement messages
Instagram expressly specifies that only original content that does not breach copyright laws may be shared. However, it is possible to violate copyright inadvertently, so Instagram will take action and contact you to resolve the issue.
This has led to numerous crooks posing as Instagram representatives and claiming to address copyright violations. Sometimes, a hacker gives you a link via email or a private message on Instagram and requests that you check in to address the issue.
The deceitful verified badge offers
Validated badges are the blue pins at the top of Instagram profiles verified by the social network. While helpful, this account feature is also the focus of another social engineering attack that Instagram hackers use to gain access.
In this situation, hackers send a private message or email offering the opportunity to add a validated badge, which contains a link to a fraudulent website that captures your login information. To gain enough time to break into your account, they may suggest that you refrain from changing your profile information, such as your username or password, until the change takes effect.
Fraudulent giveaways and brand sponsorships
Because there are so many real promotional freebies in the environment, fraudulent giveaways are especially problematic. This type of social engineering can have two distinct forms.
This type of hack functions similarly to a bogus confirmed badge attack in its basic form. The distinction is that the hacker impersonates a well-known brand, intriguing start-up, or other reputable business, providing a large prize to specified social media influencers.
Some con artists have accounts that appear natural, have been active for some time, and have thousands of followers. Typically, the initial message contains at least one faked link that leads to a fake Instagram login page meant to steal the username and password supplied.
How to avoid being hacked on Instagram?
If you want to be a step ahead of any incoming malicious activity towards your Instagram, you need to know how to avoid getting hacked on Instagram. For that, follow these recommendations.
Report content and accounts you find questionable
Individual content can also be reported to Instagram by hitting the three dots above a post, pressing and holding on a message, or by visiting an account and reporting directly from the profile.
Instagram will never send you a DM
Instagram claims to have observed an increase in fraudulent accounts attempting to acquire sensitive information via direct messages, such as account passwords. They may inform you that your account is at risk of suspension, that you are breaching Instagram's intellectual property policies, or that your photographs are being shared elsewhere. Typically, these messages are scams. Instagram has guaranteed it would never send a direct message (DM).
Suppose Instagram needs to contact you regarding your account. In that case, they will do so via the 'Emails from Instagram' option in the app's settings, which is the only location where they can discover direct and authentic communication.
Always update your phone number, email, and password
Ensure the email address and phone number linked with your device are current. These methods allow you to retrieve your account even if a hacker has altered your information.
Nowadays, when our data is constantly at risk of being hacked, you should never disclose your account information with unknown apps and websites. Do follow our recommendations if your Instagram account gets hacked. Otherwise, please be careful when allowing various third-party apps access to your Instagram account, and carefully read through our suggestions on protecting your account.
FAQ - Common questions about the hacked Instagram account
How to recover hacked Instagram account?
We’ve already covered all the steps required to recover a hacked Instagram account correctly. To summarize, if you still have access to your Instagram account, you need to:
Change your password
Enable two-factor verification
Revoke 3-d party apps
Check if you still can use the same credentials (phone number or email)
If you do not have access to your Instagram hacked account, then you need to:
Check if you have received a security message from the Instagram team
Request verification link
Request security code
Verify your persona
What to do if your Instagram account is hacked?
If you discover that your Instagram account got hacked, you must immediately check whether you can still sign in with your credentials. If you do, follow the Instagram recovery account steps described in the first scenario.
Otherwise, you need to follow through with the second scenario described above. The entire hacked Instagram recovery process may be a bit long, but it is worthwhile if you have valuable information on your Instagram account.
How to reset your Instagram password?
If you forgot your IG password or have been changed, you can reset it by following these actions:
On the login screen, tap “Forgot Password?”
Enter username, email, or phone, and tap “Log in with Facebook”
Tap Next, and follow the on-screen instructions.
A link will be sent to your email or phone to help reset your password.
How do Instagram accounts get hacked?
There are undoubtedly different ways how Instagram accounts can be conveniently hacked. To summarize, here are a few ways your Instagram was hacked:
Phishing and different forms of social engineering
Data & Security breaches