Are you not able to log in to your Instagram account?
Is your password showing “incorrect”?
Does the username you entered is showing as not linked to any Instagram account?
If you nodded on any of the questions above, chances are your Instagram account has got hacked.
When it is asked how often social media accounts are hacked, the clear answer that comes out is “way too often”. And Instagram is one of those popular social media platforms where hacking is a common scenario. This might have got you worried that you got to be one of those unfortunate Instagram users whose account got hacked.
But, fret no more, this article has been compiled keeping in mind all the concerns of those Instagram users whose accounts have been hacked and even those who are not sure if they are a victim of a hacking attack or not. So, make sure to give it a thorough read if you do not want to end up creating a new Instagram account.
How to Know If your Instagram has got Hacked?
You will never get an official notification from Instagram stating,
“Your Instagram account has got hacked”
You have to figure it out on your own if you are under a hacking attack or if you are already hacked. Here is what you can do to know if your account has been hacked on Instagram:
Look Out for Suspicious Activities- If you are still able to log in to your Instagram and manage your profile, lucky you. Just quickly go through your account, and see if you see any changes that were not made by you. Check your liked posts and comments you have made on Instagram. Also, go through your followers’ list, check your registered email address and phone number and if you notice any changes, quickly revert them and also change your Instagram password.
Check Who is Using your Instagram- The ‘Login activity’ section of Instagram can be very helpful in knowing if someone else has access to your account. The section lets you know if someone else has logged into your Instagram account, and you can also make them log out of it. Once you log out of all the unknown devices, make sure to update your password. You might also get informed by Instagram about suspicious login attempts, so always keep a check on your email account.
Watch this video to know how to check who is using your Instagram and how to log them out of it:
Incorrect Username and Password- If you are sure of entering the correct username and password, but still, it is showing as incorrect, this could mean you have been hacked. However, there are chances you might have forgotten your Instagram username and password. The only option you have left is to recover your forgotten Instagram password. This might help you get back to your account.
Your Email Address has been Changed: If this is what you have received in an email from Instagram, chances are the hacker has got lucky in replacing your registered email address with theirs. Instagram will let you know that someone has changed your registered email but they will easily let the hacker do that which is the sad part. And you will only get the option to confirm it, not to revert the change.
A Disabled or Deleted Instagram: God forbid, if you found your Instagram account has been deleted or disabled and you haven’t done any violation that could result into that, possibly hackers have done so. But nothing to worry, as Instagram offers you the option to get your account back; here are the detailed Instagram account recovery guides that you can refer to:
Enter your Instagram username, or email address or phone number linked to your account and tap “Next”.
Tap “Send an Email”.
Open your linked email account and look for the email from Instagram; click on “Reset your password”.
After that, you will be allowed to create a strong password for your Instagram account, enter the same password twice and tap “Reset Password”.
That’s how easily you can get back your hacked Instagram account if your linked email address or phone number is still the same.
If you haven’t linked your email address to your Instagram but your phone number, you will automatically get the option to use your number to reset the password.
Scenario-2 If the Email Address or Phone Number has been Changed
The unfortunate situation is when your Instagram account is not only hacked , but the linked email address or password have also been changed or removed. In that scenario, you will not only be logged out of Instagram, but when you will try to reset your password using the above steps, you will not be able to find your account and you might see a message “No users found”.
The good news is, Instagram lets you recover your account using the username.
If you are wondering what if the hacker has changed the username as well, the other good news is Instagram keeps a track of the old usernames as well, and this will let you easily find and recover your hacked account.
To know the ‘former usernames’ used by any Instagram account, go to their profile, tap the three dots in the top-right, select ‘About this account’ and then you can check ‘Former usernames’.
Now, if your Instagram account has been hacked and your email address or phone number has been changed, you will need to create a selfie video and send it to Instagram in order to recover your hacked account.
Solution Synopsis: get help with logging in> enter username or email address> send an email> reset your password> create a strong password
Open the Instagram app
Tap “Forgotten your login details? Get help with logging in.”
Enter your Instagram username, or email address or phone number linked to your account and tap “Next”.
Tap ‘Need More Help’
Again, select ‘Try another way’ when asked to confirm your identity
On the ‘Request Support’ screen, select “My account was hacked” as your reason for “why can’t you get into your account?” and press “Next”.
Next, you will be asked if you have a photo of yourself in your account so that Instagram can verify your identity with the help of a selfie video; tap ‘Yes, I have a photo of myself in my account’ and then tap ‘Next’.
In the next step, enter your active email address that you are currently using where Instagram can contact you regarding the recovery of your account; type in your email address and tap ‘Submit’.
Then enter the six-digit code sent to your email address you have entered previously and tap ‘Confirm’.
After that, you have to create a selfie video and send it to Instagram. You have to position your face in the circle and then follow the instructions shown on the screen to create a selfie video.
Once you send the selfie video to Instagram, you will have to wait for a few days for their reply, and if it gets verified successfully, the hacker will lose access to your account and you will be able to recover your Instagram account.
For better understanding, watch this video:
How do Instagram Accounts get Hacked?
After knowing what all you need to do to recover your hacked Instagram account, you might be curious to know how hackers manage to get into your account or where you went wrong that got your Instagram hacked.
Here are some popular methods that are used by hackers to get into your account; keep on reading to know more about them so that you can prevent your account from getting hacked in the future:
Key logging is one of the common methods used by hackers to get into someone’s hacked account. Hackers can install key logging software on your device without your knowledge. This software records anything that you type, and this way allows unauthorised parties to capture your Instagram login details.
Hackers can also install malicious software on your device when you click upon a suspicious link or download a dangerous attachment; this can also get your Instagram account hacked.
There are several fraudulent websites that use phishing techniques to learn passwords; you must have seen websites that don’t let you access their content without signing up using your Instagram account or Facebook; this is one of the methods they use to steal your login details.
There are software that promise you to give access to someone else’s Instagram account , but that is nothing and just to lure you to sign up for that software using your Instagram login details so that they can hack yours.
Hackers will send you emails posing as the member of the official Instagram help team and will offer you something like a verification badge or maybe they will ask you to secure your account by logging it. Just make sure you are not logging in on any untrusted website or third-party app that is just looking like Instagram.
These were some of the techniques that are largely used by hackers to get access to your Instagram account. Now, let’s learn about some tips that can save your account from further hacking.
Tips to Secure your Instagram to Prevent Hacking
The most important part of this article that will tell you about what all you need to do to safeguard your Instagram from getting into the hands of hackers.
First things first, you need to use a strong combination of words as your password; make sure to include upper case letters, lower case letters, symbols, numbers and try to keep it at least 8-characters long.
Turning on two-step verification for your Instagram account is another way to keep your Instagram secure from hackers. This way, you will receive a verification code on your phone number whenever someone else will try to log in to your Instagram from an unrecognised device or location.
Always keep a check on login activity to know if someone else has access to your Instagram account; this way you can log them out even without their knowledge; don’t forget to change your password immediately.
It is never recommended to log in to any third-party app or untrusted websites using your Instagram email address and password. Always use a new email address or social media account for that matter.
Never click on any suspicious link as they can install malware or key logging software on your device, ultimately stealing your login information.
Do not reply to random Instagram DMs that might look like from official Instagram but they are not; also don’t share your personal information with any untrusted person over emails or DMs.
Instagram will never ask for any sort of payment for account recovery or to give you the verification badge. So, steer clear through scam messages that you often receive on Instagram.
Can you see who is logged into your Instagram?
Instagram lets you keep a check on your Instagram account’s login activity in order to prevent hacking attempts. You can log in to your Instagram, go to settings and under security option, tap ‘login activity’ to know if someone else is logged into your Instagram account. You can also log out of any unrecognized device that is logged into your account.
How do I Get my Instagram Back?
If your Instagram account has been hacked, there are two ways to get it back. One is to use your recovery email address to get the link to reset your password and in case, the hacker has changed the email address linked to your Instagram account, you can create a selfie video and send it to Instagram to verify your identity.