Instagram is making it easier to get your hacked account back - Does it really work?

Michal Dahan

Support Specialist at Notch

Instagram security

Instagram is always trying to introduce new features and tools to keep up with its users and improve the app. This time, on the support side of things - it looks like Instagram is trying to answer our prayers and help people who lose access to their accounts.

This past week, Instagram introduced where if users find that they can't log in to their account, they can supposedly come here to try to resolve the issue. They can ask for help if they get hacked or lose access, report impersonations, get help if they forget their password, or request assistance if their account gets disabled. Basically, they’ve created an all-in-one support page. What we found though, is that it isn’t any different than the flows and forms we already know of. 

Is Instagram giving us false hope? 

A few months ago Instagram hinted at creating a new feature that will let users verify and confirm a friend’s identity if their account gets hacked. Essentially, a hacked user can select two friends to verify their identity, and these friends have 24 hours to respond to the request. Once they do, the hacked friend will be able to reset their password and restore their account. Does it already work? We checked it out and sadly, not yet like promised, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for more changes. here's what we've learned so far

Back to the support page - once you go to, you’ll be given 6 options regarding your account. It’s important to mention that you’ll have to try to recover your account from a device on which your account was already logged in to. Otherwise, you’ll just get sent to the Help Center. 

Instagram hacked page
Screenshot from Instagram's new hacked page

Why can't you get into your account?

My account was hacked

  1. You’ll be asked to identify your account by entering your username, phone number, or email address.
  2. You’ll be asked to choose a way to recover the account. This will be either through the email and phone connected to the account or the original email and phone number that were connected to your account (if you happened to change them). If you have access to any of them, you’ll receive a 6-digit code and then an option to reset your password
  3. If you don’t have access to those contact options like a lot of people when they get hacked, you can click “Try another way” (mobile only). Then, you’ll be asked to verify your account through the video selfie step. 

Keep in mind that this isn’t different than the “forgot password” flow that you can do now, because it’s all the same steps. Once again, you must try this from the same device your account used to be logged into for any of the steps to work. 

Instagram hacked account recovery flow
Hacked account recovery flow

I forgot my password

  1. You’ll be asked for your username, email, or phone number to identify your account.
  2. You’ll get an option to receive a login link to either an email or phone number connected to your account. Once you click on “Send login link”, you’ll get a 6-digit code to enter in on the next step and then an option to change your password or directly log in. You can then change your password from the app itself.
  3. If you don’t have access to those contact points, click “Can’t reset your password?”. You’ll then get the second part of the forgot password flow and you’ll have to go through the steps in order to reset your password and recover your account.

Once again, this isn’t any different than clicking “Forgot password” on the login page.  

The login code was sent to a mobile number or email that I don't have access to

Unfortunately, we don’t have great news here. You’ll go through the same steps as if you chose “My account got hacked”. 

If you still have access to your account, go make sure your contact details are correct and that you have access to them! You could lose your account over something so simple, and sadly, it happens too much.

Someone used my name, photos, or information to create a new account

You will be asked if you want to report an account that is impersonating you. When you click “report”, you’ll be taken to Report an Impersonation Account on Instagram form. There, you’ll have 4 options to choose from, and after filling in your information and adding a picture of your ID when needed, Instagram will accept the report.

Still though, the best way to report an account is directly through the app through your account, but this is a great addition.

My account was disabled

Instagram will ask you why your account was disabled and you can choose one of the following: 

  1. My account doesn't follow Instagram's Community Guidelines.
  2. My account was hacked and they disabled my account.
  3. I disabled myself.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll get redirected to disabled Instagram Account article. It’s basically a Help Center article and can’t help you too much. You’re better off filling out the correct “disabled contact forms” to retrieve your account.

You can learn more about disabled Instagram accounts in one of our articles that talks all about suspended accounts and mentions what to do if your account gets suspended.

Something else

Want to take a guess at what you’ll see if you choose “Something else”? You guessed it, the Help Center. Once again, you can try to use it and see if it's helpful, but it isn’t different than what you probably already know. Here’s the link if you’re interested in checking it out.

To finish this off, here are our main points

  1. Currently, there still isn’t any new feature on Instagram that will help you recover your account. If you’re vulnerable to losing your account to a hack (we all are), then you’re still at a point where recovering the account yourself can be extremely difficult. 
  2. If you’ve read online that you’ll be able to use your friends to retrieve your account, sorry but it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit more. That feature isn’t out yet, at least not for everyone.
  3. Make sure you have access to the contact information listed on your account (in your account settings). Just for your research purposes, we’re seen that people are two times more likely to recover their Meta account if they have access to their contact information rather than when they don’t have access.
  4. If you want to rely on yourself to protect your account in the best way, we have an endless list of things you can do. It begins with turning on your 2FA and ends with getting Instagram insurance or any other social media insurance. Protect your account, protect your income, protect yourself.

Food for thought

We had 3 questions for each other while looking into this new feature, we’ll share them with you as well.

Will hackers start using this for their own good as a new social engineering technique?
And could this be the beginning of a new era of customer service from Meta?
Could we finally be getting the customer service we’ve been begging for for years?

Only time will tell! Stay tuned for more updates!

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