All hell breaks loose! Yes, this is exactly what happens when your Instagram account gets hacked since not only does an Instagram account hold images or videos of you, but your public profile of Facebook and other accounts you've linked it with.
The first logical step is to inform Instagram about any suspicious activity on your account. For instance, if you see that your account is posting comments or sharing things without your prior knowledge, then your password might have been compromised. It's likely that this happened because someone got access to your email account without you knowing about it.
If you think your Instagram account has been compromised you must:
Reclaim Your Account
Secure your account, if you can still log into it. Go to Instagram's website and login with your credentials. If you are able to login, move to the next step by changing your password. Or report it if you're unable to login.
Change Your Password
Once you regain your account, you have to change your password or send yourself a password reset email. This can be done by going to Instagram’s website. Now that you've gone through this tiresome process, make sure you use a long and strong password which is hard for others to guess or crack.
Secure the Associated Email
You must make sure that the email account associated with Instagram is secure. It is highly advisable that you change the password of the email account as well. Just make sure you don't use the same passwords for your email and Instagram accounts. Turning on two-factor authentication makes it highly unlikely for your account to be hacked again.
Revoke Access to Third-Party Apps
Revoke access to any third party apps (note that third-party apps which claim they can increase your following base and cause maximum likes on your posts should be avoided as they may use your account in an improper way). In order to revoke access of third-party apps, you will need to:
- Login to Instagram.com
- Click your username and select "Edit Profile" in the drop-down menu
- Click "Manage Applications" in the side menu
- Find the application you want to revoke access for in the list (you may have more than one)
Scan Your Computer
A precautionary measure is to scan your computer or laptop for any malicious programs. Go for the best antivirus, and it's best to opt for the premium version. If you do come across any potential threat to your device, you must uninstall it immediately. Note that after removing the malware, you must change your passwords again to be completely malware-free!
Analyze the Damage
Once you've gained control over your account and freed your computer or laptop from any malware, you'll obviously want to scan the damage done to your Instagram account.
Review any posts made on your profile and by your profile to other users such as likes and comments.
Be sure to check your email account as well through which the hacker gained access to your Instagram account. The hacker may have sent spam through your email address and or deleted emails.
Let People Know About It
It is your responsibility to inform others about your encounter so they know that the activities during that specific period were not yours.
Inform them not to click any links they have received from your account as it maybe a potential malware.
Now that you've gotten your account back, take the following steps to remain protected in the future:
- Use tough and unique passwords
- Establish two-factor authentication
- Do not connect your Instagram account to third-party apps
- Avoid visiting suspicious links
- Continually use PureVPN when you're connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot
These tips will definitely add an added layer of security to your online assets. However, it's important that you remain vigilant to avoid going through the soma trouble again. We hope you don't fall victim again!