Instagram is an image sharing service that displays your own memories or those of your friends and family. Either way, losing access to it due to your account being hacked can be very frustrating.
Many people now use Instagram as their main social network. Thus, in addition to your shared images, you can also lose all your contacts. If you use Instagram for professional purposes, such as promoting your own brand or business, the loss can be even more noticeable.
Here’s what you can do to recover your hacked Instagram account, and some steps you can take to prevent this from happening in the future.
How can someone hack your Instagram account?
Usually, hacking an Instagram account is not that easy. This is only possible if the hacker obtains your contact information such as email address, phone number and password. There are several ways to get them.
A weak password is obvious. If you use an obvious or weak password, a hacker might just guess it. If you use the same credentials for more than one service, a hacker can get your data through a different platform. Since password cracking is quite common, it’s helpful to check from time to time to see if you’ve been compromised, even if you don’t see any signs of it.
Another popular way for scammers to get your information is to try phishing. You follow the link sent to you by e-mail or anywhere else, enter your username and password, and this data is sent to the hacker. Always check that you are on the correct domain before entering your details. For Instagram, this is www.instagram.com
How do you know you’ve been hacked?
Once the scammers get your Instagram details, they will usually change your email address and phone number, as well as your username. The next step is to demand a ransom to get your Instagram account back to you.
Unfortunately, even if you agree to pay this amount, there is a high chance that they will delete your Instagram account anyway.
How to recover a hacked Instagram account
The most important thing here is to act quickly. According to Instagram, it becomes nearly impossible to restore your account after 14 weeks from the moment you lose access to it.
If you notice that you are logged out of your Instagram account and cannot log in again, follow these steps to recover your hacked Instagram account.
Recover hacked Instagram account via email
Check your email for a message from Instagram. If your account has been hacked, you will receive a new email about suspicious activity in it or about changes in your account information.
If you act quickly, you may be able to undo this change using the link provided in this email. Then log into your Instagram with your Instagram account and change your password. If that doesn’t work, go to the next step.
Request Instagram login link
If you are still unable to log into your Instagram account, you can force Instagram to send you a login link to your email address or phone number.
- Go to the Instagram login page.
- Click Forgot your password? (iOS) or get help signing in (Android).
- Then you go to the “Problems Signing In” section? (iOS) or the login help page (Android).
- Enter your email or phone number to receive a link and click Submit Login Link (iOS) or Next (Android).
- When you receive an email or SMS from Instagram, you can use the link to log in to your account. Remember to change your password after logging in again.
Recover your Instagram account with a security code
If the login link method does not work, you can try to recover your hacked Instagram account using a security code.
- On the Instagram login page, click Forgot your password? (iOS) or get help signing in (Android).
- At the bottom of the next screen, click Need more help?
- Select the email address or phone number to which you want to receive the security code from Instagram. Then click “Send Security Code”.
- On the next screen, enter the code from the message and click “Confirm”.
Report Hacked Instagram Account
If all of the above didn’t work, your last option is to report your account and request Instagram support to get back access to your account.
To do this, go to the “Help us recover your account” screen. However, this time, instead of asking for a security code, select I can’t access this email or phone number.
On the next page, fill out the form with your account details, select My account has been hacked and click Request support.
Verify your identity
When you receive a response from Instagram, you will be prompted to verify your identity. One way to do this is by taking a selfie for Instagram.
The platform will send you a code, and you will need to take a picture of you holding a piece of paper with the code. They will then check the picture against the photos you shared and determine if you are the rightful owner of the account.
How to secure your Instagram account
The best way to protect your Instagram account from hackers is to take the following security measures.
Use a strong password and change it often.
Using a unique, strong password for your Instagram account can go a long way and make it difficult for fraudsters to obtain your account details. Use a password manager if you find it difficult to remember login credentials for different networks.
Turn on two-factor authentication on Instagram.
Setting up two-factor authentication will also increase the security of your account. Once enabled, upon login, you will be prompted to enter the security code sent to your phone number over your Instagram password.
Deny access to third-party applications.
If you’ve ever used Instagram to sign in to third-party apps and websites that you no longer use, make sure they no longer have access to your account information.
To view these applications, go to Menu> Settings> Security> Applications & Websites.
Make it difficult to hack your Instagram
Recovering your accounts after scammers get their hands on them can be very difficult and annoying. A more effective way to protect yourself from hackers is to take proactive steps ahead of time to protect your important accounts.
Have you ever hacked your Instagram account? How did you manage to regain access? Share your Instagram knowledge with us in the comments below.