Empowered to Detect Spyware & Prevent Hacking Hacking Techniques [Full Guide] What to Do if Your Instagram Is Hacked

[Full Guide] What to Do if Your Instagram Is Hacked

[Full Guide] What to Do if Your Instagram Is Hacked post thumbnail image

In the USA alone, there are more than 143 million Instagram users. What makes the platform so popular? The ease of communication is the most evident reason. Users can instantly share every inch of their life on posts and stories, not to mention private chats.

However, extensive data sharing comes with its price –  Instagram profiles have become a prime target for hackers. A 2021 study by Statista found that 35% of attacks on social media accounts occurred on Instagram.

The worst part is hackers do more than just spread spam on DMs as they might have done ten years ago. They can text your entire friend list to ask for money or send malware. More experienced ones can even exploit your large following to sell fake products.

But there’s good news: you can protect your data even if your Instagram has been attacked. In this post, I’ll explain what to do if your Instagram is hacked and suggest some tips for protection against future attacks.

5 Signs That Your Instagram Was Hacked

If you suspect my Instagram has been hacked, a few signs may indicate a data breach. Let’s look at the most common ones:

1.   Unexpected Password Reset Email

Unexpected Password Reset Email

If you suddenly notice a request to change your Instagram password in your email inbox, somebody might be trying to crack it. Sometimes, you might also receive a text message on a number linked to your account.

At this point, you can disrupt any attempts to access your account. Log out of Instagram on all devices and change your password. You can also report the incident on the official Instagram Help Center website.

2.   Changed Email Address

Changed Email Address

Instagram hacked email changed is one of the most common signs of a data breach. Malicious actors often reset your credentials, including email and phone number, to prevent you from recovering the account. Since Instagram Help Center usually requires a few days to authenticate account ownership, hackers seize this opportunity to distribute malware or collect personal information.

To check if your email has been changed, go to your inbox and look for a message from Instagram that states, “The email was changed from [your current address]. Your new one is [hacker’s address].

3.   Login from an Unusual Location

Login from an Unusual Location

You may not immediately notice that your Instagram account hacked and email and phone number changed. Instead of adjusting the profile’s settings, malicious actors may use your current credentials.

However, if your Instagram session is active, the system will alert you about a login attempt from an unfamiliar location. You can also check recent sessions on your profile settings. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Instagram account.
  2. Tap on Menu in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Settings, then choose Security.
  4. Tap Login Activity.
  5. Look for a suspicious attempt to access your account.
  6. Unlink the unfamiliar device from your account by tapping “This wasn’t me.”

4.   Strange Messages

Strange Messages

If you’re looking for typical Instagram hacked account signs, review your direct messages, both Primary and General folders. Hackers may send your followers messages with phishing links or trick them into sending money. Pay close attention to missing parts of the conversation and contextual clues suggesting malicious activity.

It’s also a good idea to reach out to your friends and ask if they have received any strange messages from your account. If they confirm your suspicions, change your password and contact Instagram help center to regain control over your profile.

5.   Unusual Posts & Comments

Spammy posts with unusual descriptions indicate that my Instagram got hacked. You might also see replies to comments and ad-like stories you don’t remember sharing. Additionally, a sudden increase in subscribers with whom you have no mutual friends may also be a warning sign.

What to Do if Your Instagram Account Is Hacked?

Even If you have detected signs of a hacking attack, it doesn’t mean your profile has gone forever. Here’s what to do if your Instagram account is hacked:

If You Can Log in to Your Account

If you can still access your account, check your email linked to Instagram. Look for a message from the security system informing you about an unauthorized login attempt. Next, go to the Instagram app and log out from your profile. Make sure to log out of any active sessions on other devices as well. Finally, return to the verification email and click the link “Change your password.” Create a new strong password by including capital letters, numbers, and symbols.

If You Can’t Log in to Your Account

If your Instagram was hacked and you can’t access the account, try one of these methods:

#1 Set Up New Password

  1. Open the Instagram app.’
  2. Tap on “Get help logging in” (for Android) or “Forgot password” (for iOS). Follow the link sent to your email or phone number to reset the password.

If you don’t receive a login link shortly after your request, chances are that Instagram hacked email changed. In that case, you’ll need to verify account ownership by following the steps outlined below.

#2 Verify Account Ownership

  1. Tap on “Get help logging in” (for Android) or “Forgot password” (for iOS). ‘
  2. Tap “Need more help?” below the “Next” button.
  3. Select “I can’t access this email or phone number”.
  4. Submit a request for account restoration. Ensure to provide a secure email address to receive a message from the Support Team.

Shortly after submitting your request, you will receive an auto-response email. This email will ask you to provide the phone number or email linked to your account and the type of device you used when signing up. If you have portrait photos in your profile, you’ll need to record a video selfie to verify your identity.

What to do if your Instagram is hacked and lacks portrait photos? In that case, Support Team may require further details about your device or personal information to confirm your identity. Once these steps are completed, you must also record a video selfie.

Once you have sent the necessary information, the support team with send you a link to reset your password. The process usually takes up to two days.

Keep in mind that Instagram has no other methods to verify your identity other than a video selfie. To avoid delays in restoring your account, take a high-quality video from various angles. Otherwise, you may be asked to send a new recording.

If You Don’t Have Access to the Device

If you notice Instagram account hacked signs but can’t access your device, you can try to recover the profile from the desktop. To do so:

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Paste the link https://www.instagram.com/hacked/.
  3. Select the option “My Instagram was hacked”.
  4. Click “Next”
  5. Enter your username, email, or phone number and click “Next.” This step will log you out from all current sessions, so hackers won’t be able to access your account even with the correct credentials.
  6. Go to your email and create a new message asking customer support for help. Input this address into the “To” field: [email protected]
  7. Explain the situation providing as much detail about your account as possible. Attach any information that can help verify you are the account’s rightful owner, such as profile pictures or past posts.
  8. Wait for customer service’s response and follow their instructions to complete the recovery.

My Instagram Got Hacked: How to Prevent Future Attacks?

instagram scams

Weak privacy settings are the primary factor leading to data breaches on social media platforms. Although I’ve explained what to do if Instagram is hacked, securing your account against potential threats is more practical than trying to fix the issue after it happened. Here are our best tips.

Keep Login Details Safe

Old saying states, “If you want to hide something, hide it in plain sight,” but this won’t work for Instagram login details. To ensure that nobody can easily crack your account, take these steps:

  1. Hide your personal email and phone number from the profile page. If you have a business account, create separate contact channels that are not linked to your login credentials.
  2. Download a reputable password manager to store your passwords. For example, you can try LastPass or Bitwarden.
  3. Never share your login credentials with anyone.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) works as an extra security barrier. You must use a unique code and password to access your profile. If someone tries to log in using your current credentials, they will be asked to input a security code sent to your device. Otherwise, the authorization will be denied.

My Instagram has been hacked before, mainly due to password leaks. However, since I had secured it with 2FA, all attempts to compromise my profile were unsuccessful. Here’s how you can activate it:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Tap on your profile picture.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Choose Account Centre > Password and Security> Two-factor authentication.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

Use Strong Passwords 

When choosing new passwords, opt for complex combinations not similar to your previous passwords. Avoid using elements like your username, birthday, or other publicly available information.

Instead, choose a long-tail password that includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. My Instagram got hacked because of a short and outdated password, so I recommend updating it every few months. This applies to all of your accounts; protect them with unique passwords.

Beware of Spying Apps

Most Instagram accounts hacked signs are related to changes in login credentials or suspicious activity. Indeed, any malicious attacks on your data typically require login credentials. But is that always the case?

It turns out that it’s possible to bypass security filters and hack Instagram without leaving a trace, thanks to spy apps. Hackers simply install a spy app that harvests personal data from your device and then sends it to the cloud server, which can be accessed anytime. No passwords are needed.

So, how can you detect a spy app on your device, then? It’s challenging, as most spy apps work in stealth mode. You will unlikely find any without using antivirus software. I’ve compiled a list of such apps to help you identify which one might be the reason why Instagram was hacked.

AppTarget DevicesInstagram DataHidden Mode
mSpyAndroid 4.0+ iOS 7.0+-Chats, including deleted ones -Shared files & links -Contact lists -Posts & comments -PhotosYes
EyezyAndroid 4.0+ iOS 7.0+-Chats, including secret ones -Shared photos -Posts & comments -Passwords  Yes
CocospyAndroid 4.0+ iOS 7.0+-Direct messages -Contact listsYes
HoverwatchAndroid 4.0+-Direct messages -Shared links -Follow requestsYes
iKeyMonitorAndroid 2.3+ iOS 9.0+-Direct messages -Shared photosYes

Key Takeaways

Number of account takeovers on social media is increasing, so it’s better to implement preventive measures before you noticeInstagram account hacked signs.Let’s recap the key steps:

  1. Create a unique, long-tail password.
  2. Enable two-factor authentification.
  3. Regularly scan your device for Instagram spy apps.
  4. Take immediate action if you receive a security alert from Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the primary signs that my Instagram has been hacked?

Look out for these signs:
-Security alerts and emails from Instagram
-Posts you don’t remember sharing
-Sudden increase in subscribers

What should I do if my Instagram account has been hacked?

If you still have access to your account, change your password, set up 2FA, and contact customer support. If you can’t access your account, send a request to customer support via the app or send an email to [email protected].

How can I secure my Instagram account?

Create strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and install a robust antivirus scanner.

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