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Can You Check Someone Else’s Instagram DMs?

Can You Check Someone Else's Instagram DMs?

It’s reader question time here at TechJunkie once again, and today, the topic is privacy on Instagram. This week’s questions were, ‘Can you check someone else’s Instagram DMs? Can you get into someone’s account without them knowing? Someone knows what I DM’ed someone else and they shouldn’t be able to know that as we didn’t tell them.’

While this is quite a specific set of questions, it relates to lots of questions we see around privacy and security on social media. This is a pet hobby of mine so I was tasked with this answer. As most of us use Instagram, the thought that our activities on the network may be exposed or be seen by someone who don’t want to see is not a nice one.

Can Others Look At My Instagram DMs?

Instagram accounts are relatively secure as long as you use a good password and maintain good security habits. There are lots of apps and websites that claim to be able to hack someone’s Instagram account, but rarely will they actually work – and when they do, it’s both illegal and costly. I would strongly advise against anyone installing apps from shady websites offering to hack Instagram accounts as you don’t know what you’re installing on your phone!

Instagram has no mechanism for checking someone else’s DMs. As the name Direct Message may indicate, the whole system is designed to be private, direct, and person to person. In rare cases, Instagram’s administrators may look at DMs and turn them over to authorities, but that will rarely if ever happen unless you’re knowingly and willingly conspiring to break federal laws through the platform.

If someone became aware of DMs between you and someone else, there are only really two ways that could have happened: either the recipient of that DM willingly told them or your account has been compromised. While there’s not much you can do about the first one, besides picking better people to DM, the second one is easily resolvable.

How Do I Tell Who Looked At My DMs?

If someone has definitely been through your DMs, your Instagram account has probably been compromised. The person who read the DMs obtained your login email and password somehow and has access to your account. To verify that someone’s been logging into your account, you can check who has accessed it from the website.

  1. Log into Instagram using a web browser.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right corner to navigate to your profile.
  3. Click the gear beside your username and the Edit Profile button to access settings.
  4. Click the “Login Activity” option in the list that appears.
  5. A list of recent logins will come up, indicating the time, location, and platform that your account was logged in on.

Look over the recent logins and verify that you recognize every single one of them. If you don’t recognize one or more, someone may have been using your account without your knowledge, and it’s time to take steps to secure your account against their malicious access. Begin by clicking on the unauthorized logins, and clicking the “Log Out” button.

Secure Your Instagram Account

It’s easy to secure your Instagram account. All you need to do is change your password and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If someone has access to your password, you probably don’t have 2FA enabled – otherwise you would be notified immediately if someone tried to log in.

  1. Log into Instagram and navigate to the password change page.
  2. Enter your current password into the top box, as well as a new stronger password twice in the boxes underneath.
  3. Click Change Password to save, making sure to note your new password down somewhere secure.
  4. Log out of Instagram and back in again using your new password.

Choose a strong password or passphrase. Make it as complicated as you can while still keeping it memorable. If you can never think of good passwords, use a password manager – an extension or app that takes care of your passwords, generates secure ones, automatically adds them to logins and lets you know if they’ve been compromised.

Changing your password should stop anyone with malicious intent from logging into your account for now, but enabling 2FA can seriously increase your account security. It isn’t a magic bullet that will stop every possible hack, but it will keep people from getting into your account without intercepting your text messages.

Enable Text-Based Two-Factor Authentication

Text based two-factor authentication is a very straightforward system. You log into Instagram as you normally would, and then receive a code via SMS to verify that it’s actually you. It’s an extra step that can take up some extra time, but it means that any attacker will need access to your text messages as well as your password to successfully log in.

  1. Log into Instagram using a web browser.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top right corner to navigate to your profile.
  3. Click the gear beside your username and the Edit Profile button to access settings.
  4. Click the “Login Activity” option in the list that appears.
  5. Select Privacy and Security.
  6. Scroll down and select ‘Edit Two-Factor Authentication Setting’.
  7. Select “Use Text Message”, then select “Turn On”.
  8. Enter your phone number and confirm it with the security code texted to you to enable 2FA.

From now on, you will need your phone with you at all times when logging into Instagram in order to provide the security code. As the vast majority of us use our phones to access Instagram anyways, this shouldn’t be an issue.

It’s not a comfortable feeling knowing someone else is accessing our social media accounts or looking at our private conversations. You have control over the apps you use and can take steps to secure your accounts, but managing the people you choose to associate with is a whole different story!

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6 thoughts on “Can You Check Someone Else’s Instagram DMs?”

Malaika says:
I want to know about deleted sms. If i have deleted some messages on Insta. Can my husband read them if he has my Instagram password
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I want to know the password of my ex’s instagram account please help me
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I want to know the password of my ex’s instagram account
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Brayton Biggs says:
I need help on figuring out a password for one of my accounts. How do i do that?

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May 27, 2020

963 Articles Published