In cases where the hacker is someone close to you, you may not notice any changes to your account if the person solely did it to spy on you.
In cases where professional cybercriminals have hacked Instagram profiles, there may be significant changes to the account and its accessibility. These users will likely find themselves locked out of the account. If someone else controls it, they can change the passwords to keep you locked out of the account.
How Do People’s Instagram Accounts Get Hacked When They Are Influencers?
Cybercriminals often take a particular interest in hacking the accounts of influencers. When people have tens of thousands of followers or more, malicious parties could have a broader reach by compromising those accounts.
Sometimes, internet criminals use special software that launches a brute-force attack against those accounts.
In some cases, hackers demand a ransom for the account. In other cases, they may change significant details on the account, such as images. Hackers often sell off accounts with many followers or hijack the accounts of specific well-known people for profit.
What To Do if Your Instagram Gets Hacked ?
Instagram’s security features get progressively more advanced in response to hacked user accounts. These changes make it more difficult for hackers to access accounts and easier for affected users to regain access.
If you believe someone has hacked your account, the first step is to report it to Instagram. They will record all the details, examine the case, and assist in getting the service restored as quickly as possible.
The hacker may have also logged you out of your account and changed the password. Select Get Help Logging In (on an Android device) or Forgotten Password? (on an Apple product). You’ll then need to verify your account by entering one of the identity confirmation details, such as a phone number.
If you do not have any of the requested information, choose Need More Help? and follow the on-screen instructions. This is the first step to contacting Instagram’s support team, but you must enter a security code to go further. It goes to your email address or phone number.
Verifying Your Identity
The methods of confirming your identity vary depending on if the Instagram account in question contains pictures of you. If it does not, Instagram’s support team sends an automated email requesting that you provide the following information.
- The email address or phone number used when creating the account
- The type of device used during the account’s creation (such as an Android phone or an iPad)
If the compromised account has photos of you, Instagram uses a video-selfie method for verification. It requires turning your head in different directions while creating the clip. The Instagram team reviews the video within two business days.
Passing this test results in getting an email from Instagram containing a link to reset your password. Conversely, you may receive an email requiring the submission of another selfie video.
Additionally, Instagram’s Recently Deleted folder is a helpful feature that restores deleted posts, stories, and reels. Whenever you remove your Instagram content, they first go and stay in the folder for 30 days before being permanently erased.
If you suspect an account hack but can still log in, take the following steps to secure your account:
- Change your password. Passwords should be unique to Instagram and strong to deter hackers from guessing the correct one.
- Enable two-factor authentication. This requires an extra code when you’re attempting to log into your account; cybercriminals would need access to that device or service to sign in too.
- Confirm that your contact details (email address and phone number) linked to your account are correct. If you get an email regarding unknown changes to your Instagram account, verify that it’s real by trying to log in on a different window. Otherwise, it could be a phishing scam. Contact Instagram separately, without clicking on any suspicious links.
- Check which linked accounts and third-party apps have access to your Instagram. You can do this in the Security section of your Instagram account, which shows your log inactivity. Remove access from suspicious accounts and apps. You can see the geographic locations of where you’re logged in and which devices are being used. If there are any that you do not recognize, you can log out of them.