5 simple steps to protect your Instagram account against hackers

Instagram security
13 Jun
8 min read
Protect your Instagram

It’s every creator’s worst nightmare. Years of work building a following, brand deals in the pipeline, and priceless memories - all taken away in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, countless creators have experienced this first-hand, losing everything they built after being hacked on Instagram.

The good news is that there are a handful of simple best practices you can follow to reduce the chances of falling prey to a hacking attack. Keep reading to learn more.

5 simple steps to protect your Instagram account against hackers

  1. Learn about phishing tactics
  2. Cross reference emails via your IG settings
  3. Set up Two Factor Authentication 
  4. Use a password manager 
  5. Get Instagram insurance 

1. Learn about phishing tactics

The most common way Instagram accounts get hacked is by social engineering or phishing tactics. In these cases, hackers impersonate trusted sources, like brands or Instagram itself, in order to trick users into providing their personal information.

Often, the hackers will add a sense of urgency to the email in order to prompt you to make a rash decision. Check out the screenshot below, which shows the bogus copyright infringement email sent to @wandertears. Unfortunately, they fell for the scam and their Instagram account got hacked. Read more about their story here

Phishing message on Instagram

By being aware of these tactics, and adopting a suspicious-by-default mentality, you’re instantly improving your Instagram security. 

Every time you receive an email from a brand, friend, or Instagram, pay close attention to the sender’s email address, look out for grammatical errors, and hover your mouse over the hyperlink. If anything looks suspicious, you should delete the email immediately and give other creator friends a heads up.

You might be interested in: How Instagram accounts get hacked: 6 tactics used by hackers

2. Cross reference emails via your IG settings

As you now know, Instagram accounts often get hacked when a hacker pretends to be an official Instagram employee. Two common methods are:

1. Offering blue tick verification

2. Claiming copyright infringement

The best way to check if an email is legitimate is by checking your Instagram account. All legitimate and official emails sent by Instagram will also appear in your profile settings. 

From your Instagram profile, go to Settings>Security>Emails from Instagram.

If you received an email claiming to be from Instagram, but there is no corresponding message in your ‘Emails from Instagram’ section within the app, it’s very likely that it’s a phishing scam. 

3. Set up Two Factor Authentication 

2FA Instagram

Two Factor Authentication adds another layer of security to your Instagram account against hacks. If Instagram sees a login attempt from an unrecognized device, you’ll be asked to enter a special code. 

Without 2FA, if a hacker obtains your username and password, they can immediately log in and steal your account. With 2FA, even if a hacker knows your login details, they’ll need that time-sensitive verification code that’s sent to your phone or authenticator app. 

To set up two factor authentication for your Instagram account, head to your profile and click on settings. From there, select security and then two-factor authentication. Tap Get Started and follow the instructions.

Despite this, it’s important to note that 2FA does not make your Instagram invincible against hackers - it can be bypassed, so don’t get complacent. For example, we spoke to Jessica Wenjia, a content creator with 180,000 followers, whose Instagram account got hacked even though she had two 2FA set up. The hacker used social engineering to dupe Jessica into providing her verification code, and soon after she was being held to ransom. 

Click here to read our full interview and learn from Jessica’s mistakes!

4. Use a password manager 

A password manager works like a centralized vault that stores all of your login credentials. Instead of remembering each one individually, you only have to provide the master password for the management tool. The password manager then autofills the login details as long as the domain is legitimate, allowing users to log in safely with minimal hassle. 

A password manager is a great security tool to protect your Instagram account against hacks: let’s say you fall for a phishing email and you click on a link to a bogus website that looks exactly like Instagram’s login page. The password manager works like your final piece of armor, because it recognizes when the URL of a website is unfamiliar and will give you a heads up. 

5. Get Instagram insurance 

Even with all of these security best practices, you can never protect your Instagram account 100% against hacking attacks. From lapses in concentration on your part to new and sophisticated hacking tactics, criminals will continue finding ways to steal accounts. That’s why business-savvy creators should protect their accounts with specialized insurance against hacks. 

Notch, for example, is the first insurance for creators and covers Instagram accounts against hacks. If you insure your account, you’ll get:

  • Real time monitoring of your account and instant alerts about suspicious activity
  • A financial safety net if you get hacked, with daily payments to cover your loss of income
  • A dedicated team helping you retrieve your account
You might be interested in: The what, why and how of social media insurance

Constant vigilance: Protect your Instagram

To summarize, to protect your Instagram account against hacks you need to do the following:

  1. Educate yourself about phishing tactics
  2. Cross reference emails via your Instagram security settings
  3. Set up Two Factor Authentication 
  4. Use a password manager 
  5. Get Instagram insurance 

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