How To Tell if Someone Else is Logging in to your Instagram Account

Instagram doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to helping people that have issues with their accounts. The no-help center is pointless, email replies are all from bots and if your account gets hacked you’re on your own. Today I’m going to cover how to tell if someone else is logging in to your Instagram account and how to prevent it happening to you.

If you have read this piece on Medium, or one of the many like it, you will likely share my low opinion on Instagram’s customer support. It’s a shame really as the platform itself is pretty good and worth using. As long as you protect your account properly that is.

This interview with a self-confessed Instagram hacker is definitely worth a read. If you know why your account might be hacked you should be more alert to it. You should also recognize the signs to look out for if it has happened.

How to tell if your Instagram account has been hacked

You will usually find out your Instagram account has been hacked when one of several things happen. By this time it’s already too late and if my, and other people’s experience is anything to go by, Instagram aren’t going to help much.

Signs someone else is logging in to your Instagram account include:

  1. You can no longer log in because your password no longer works.
  2. Someone comments that you uploaded something silly/outrageous/nude/contentious/out of character or worse.
  3. Your account begins following people you didn’t select yourself.
  4. You received the email address change email from Instagram.

Being locked out of your Instagram account isn’t new but the inability to change the password or contact anyone at Instagram to help might be. You could use the forgotten password link to reset the password but any hacker worthy of the name will have immediately changed the email address to one they control. Any password reset link will be sent there instead of to you.

You can try the help link at Instagram if you like, http://help.instagram.com/. From what I have heard and read, it isn’t much use but you should at least alert the company that your account has been hacked. If you want to call them you can at +1-650–543–4800.

Help protect your Instagram account

If you search for ‘how to hack Instagram’ or something similar, you will see lots of websites with instructions on how to do it. Hackers already know these techniques and more sophisticated ones so it’s no wonder so many accounts are hacked. While we cannot have 100% security of anything online, we can do what we can to protect what’s ours. Here’s how.

The methods for protecting your Instagram account are the same for any other online account.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication makes life much more difficult for hackers. Enabling it will require you to enter a code sent to you separately via SMS every time you log in. As long as you keep your phone safe and follow these other precautions, it should be enough to prevent all but the most skilled hacker from accessing your Instagram account.

  1. Log into your Instagram profile.
  2. Select Two-Factor Authentication.
  3. Toggle Require Security Code to on.
  4. Add your phone number and select Next.
  5. Enter the code you are sent via SMS and select Next.

From now on, every time you try to log into Instagram, you will have to enter a code like this. It takes an extra few seconds for you to get access but it goes a long way to preventing your Instagram account from being hacked.

Use a strong password

Another useful protection is to use a strong password. All passwords are vulnerable to a degree but the more difficult your password is, the longer it will take for a hacker to discover it. A hacker will either use social engineering or brute force attacks to force passwords. The longer the password the longer it will take to hack.

I always suggest using a passphrase instead of a password. It could be the name of your favorite movie or book, a line from a song, quote from someone you respect or anything else you can think of. The longer and more complicated the better, as long as you can remember it!

Be aware of social engineering

Social engineering is the method by which hackers charm, convince or fool you into giving away information. They can do it via email, telephone, watching your social media feeds or engaging you on one of these networks. Being aware that anyone you don’t know in real life could be trying to access your data should help you remember to not volunteer it. Knowing the methods the enemy uses helps you protect yourself from them!

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