Amy Graham is the owner of sustainable fashion brand Anyo and a content creator on Instagram. Just when she began building a following and earning meaningful income as a micro influencer, she got hacked - not just once, but 4 times in the space of two months. Keep reading to hear Amy’s story and lessons learnt about securing her Instagram account.
Journey as a creator and entrepreneur
“I've always loved fashion and Instagram became a platform where I could share my creativity and give styling inspiration to others. I worked as an assistant fashion buyer full time and so posted outfit pictures as a hobby rather than a career move.
I loved getting creative with my content and the positive feedback I gained from it. Although starting as a hobby, this soon escalated as brands would approach me and send freebies in return for posts/story content and eventually turned into paid work which was amazing!
More recently I launched a sustainable clothing brand named This Is Anyo to promote rewearing and restyling clothing. I’ve also got into acting and modelling, so my posts are based around behind the scenes content of being on set, and general lifestyle snapshots!”
Getting hacked on Instagram
“I was posting about fashion and beauty as a micro influencer, and worked with several brands. When I had around 4.5k followers, I was hacked - not just once but 4 times in the space of two months. It was awful.
There was no two factor authentication back then - this was in 2017 - but it was linked with my Facebook account. In hindsight my initial password was too simple, but after I got my account back each time I created more complex passwords to try to stop hackers gaining access. When I was hacked they would change my password straight away so I would lose access. Then they made my profile private, changed the profile picture to a girl in a bikini and added a link to a dodgy site on my bio”.
Devastation losing followers and revenue
I was so stressed that I wouldn't be able to get my account back. It was heartbreaking that I had worked hard to grow a small but engaged following and revenue stream, which could all disappear and there wasn't much I could do about it.
“It was heartbreaking that I had worked hard to grow a small but engaged following and revenue stream, which could all disappear and there wasn't much I could do about it”.
The first few times I was hacked I was able to gain access via my Facebook account, but the fourth and final time of hacking I also got locked out of Facebook and had no way to retrieve my account.
I was locked out for 7 days and during this time my photos had been deleted and new photos of women in bikinis had been uploaded along with captions to click on the link in my bio. I lost a lot of followers as people thought it was a spam account. My relationship with some of the brands I worked with suffered also as I missed deadlines by not posting content for them. I believe I lost around 600 followers in that week, which was really upsetting. I felt like a lot of hard work had been lost in an instant.
“My relationship with some of the brands I worked with suffered also as I missed deadlines by not posting content for them”
Left on her own
I was really disappointed with the lack of support from Instagram. This was a very stressful time and was made worse by having to chase Instagram for answers. It was really difficult to find contact information and speak to anyone other than getting automated email responses that were not helpful.
Advice for securing your Instagram account
“Now that the two factor authentication is available I would 100% ensure that it is set up with your account. Have a complex password that includes a mixture of special characters and numbers. If possible, use a different password for different social media accounts. Keep up to date on any updates to security and privacy policies to always be on top of securing your accounts. I’d also say that relying on Instagram/Facebook to keep your account safe is too risky - so having insurance is a great back up in case anything goes wrong. It gives you peace of mind that you are covered against losses in income in the event of hacking.
“Having insurance is a great back up in case anything goes wrong. It gives you peace of mind that you are covered against losses in income in the event of hacking”
Click here to learn more about Notch's insurance for Instagram creators