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No matter how good you think your password is, your Instagram account could get hacked. And if and when that happens, you need to know how to fix it.
In this article we explain what to do when your Instagram account has been hacked. We’ll also help you prevent your Instagram account getting hacked in the future.
How to Know If Your Instagram Account Got Hacked
When someone tries to change the email or password associated with your Instagram account, Instagram will notify you. But it’s possible for someone to log into your email account and use it without your knowledge. Instagram only sends an email if your account is accessed from a different territory or country.
In that case, you should look through the previous activity on your Instagram account. Take a look at your Stories, posts, comments, and direct messages to figure out any changes or updates that have occurred that you don’t know about. If a friend of yours has hacked into your account, you’ll be able to find out this way.
You can also use Instagram’s Account Data section to view information regarding login activity, privacy changes, and associated email addresses.
If you can still log in to your Instagram account, open it in a web browser, go to your Profile and click the Settings icon. From here, click on Privacy and Security and select View Account Data.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so here’s what to do if your Facebook account has been hacked too.
Step 1: Change Your Instagram Password
If only your password has been changed, you can get your Instagram account back by resetting the password. On your Android or iPhone, go to the login screen and tap on Forgot Password?.
Follow the on-screen instructions by entering your email ID. You’ll then receive an email to reset the password. Click on the link and create the new password. Make sure that the new password is strong and isn’t one that you might have used previously.
Step 2: Revoke Access to Suspicious Applications
Sometimes a malicious application can be the reason why you’re having trouble logging into your account.
After logging into your account on the web, go to the Profile section, click on the Gear icon and select Authorized Apps. Now you can go through the list of apps and remove the ones that you are not using or ones that you don’t remember authorizing.
Step 3: Restore Your Hacked Account
If your Instagram account has been hacked and the hacker has changed all identifiers, including your email address and phone number, getting the account back is going to be much harder (and will require a lot of patience). It can sometimes take multiple weeks to restore a hacked Instagram account.
You’ll need to act fast the moment that you receive a notification email from Instagram. The email will tell you that your password or email address has been changed. You’ll also find a Revert this change (or reset your password) link in case the password change wasn’t authorized by you. Click on it to make your request.
Once submitted, Instagram’s security team will get back to you using an automated process asking you to verify your identity.
You’ll need to take a photo of yourself holding a paper which shows the handwritten code that Instagram sent in the email. Plus, you’ll need to specify which device you used for signing up for the account (an iPhone, Android phone, iPad, etc).
After this, it’s out of your hands. You’ll need to wait for the security team to do their due diligence and once authenticated, you’ll get an email saying that your account has been restored with you as the rightful owner.
Step 4: Ensure Your Instagram Doesn’t Get Hacked Again
While we can’t guarantee your Instagram account won’t get hacked again, by following the advice below you’ll be making it much less likely to happen in the future.
Choose a Stronger Password
Instagram recommends that you use a password with at least six numbers, letters, and punctuation marks. If you like, you can take this up a notch by using our guide to creating strong passwords.
Make sure that the password is at least 10 characters long, contains numbers, special characters, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters. Stay away from common passwords like “qwerty”—they could make you a victim of password spraying.
Most importantly, ensure that your password isn’t connected to you. This way, it can’t be guessed by looking up any of your publicly available information, like your post code or phone number.
Change Your Password Regularly
It goes without saying that you should never share your password with anyone. But even if you create a strong password, there are still chances of misplacing a written copy of it. It’s also best to change your password every couple of months.
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
The best way to make sure your Instagram account is as secure as it possibly can be is to use two-factor authentication. If you don’t know what 2FA is, here’s why you should use two-factor authentication. This feature makes sure that no one other than yourself can access your account.
Every time you log in to your Instagram account, it will send a one-time security code to your phone as a text message. Only after entering this code can you access your account.
To enable the two-factor authentication feature, go to your Profile > Settings > Privacy and Security > Two-Factor Authentication > Get Started.
On the next page, you can choose to get the code using a text message or an authenticator app. The Text Message method is easier to use, but it’s not the most secure. If someone gets access to your phone or manages to take over your phone number, they can easily log into your Instagram account. Using an authenticator app like Google Authenticator or Authy to generate a one-time code on the fly is more secure.
Once you have chosen your method, tap on the toggle next to it. For the Authenticator option, Instagram will ask you to set it up using an app like Google Authenticator, or any other authenticator app you might have installed.
Don’t Let the Instagram Hackers Win
If you have had your Instagram hacked we hope this article has helped you regain control over your account. And by following the simple advice above you should help prevent further incursions into your Instagram account.
Sadly, a lack of security isn’t the only problem with Instagram. But luckily for you, we’ve dedicated a whole article to annoying Instagram issues and how to fix them.