In early August, Instagram suffered an influx of hacking activity that is beginning to concern its users. Over 100 users have reported being hacked, which results in an account's owner being locked out of the app and the hacker changing all of the account owner's personal information. Fortunately, Instagram has released several tips detailing how to deal with the hacking situation.
Instagram told Elite Daily:
We are investigating claims of some hacked Instagram accounts and will take the necessary steps to help those impacted. We work hard to provide the Instagram community with a safe and secure experience. When we become aware of an account that has been compromised, we shut off access to the account and the people who've been affected are put through a remediation process so they can reset their password and take other necessary steps to secure their accounts.
Though Instagram was slow to explicitly use the term hacking to describe what's been happening to IG accounts, the company released a blog post on August 14 entitled "Issue affecting access to Instagram accounts," which detailed some best practices to avoid being hacked.
Most simply, if you get an email saying you changed your email and you didn't, that's a warning sign:
If you received an email from us notifying you of a change in your email address, and you did not initiate this change – please click the link marked 'revert this change' in the email, and then change your password.
As always, Instagram also suggests you pick a long, difficult password, that's different from every other password you use. I'm sure we're all going to do this:
We advise you pick a strong password. Use a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks (like ! and &). It should be different from other passwords you use elsewhere on the internet.
If your account has been shut down, Instagram provided a remedy:
You can also use the steps outlined on this page to restore your account. Please use a new, secure email address to restore your account.
Finally, you can make your account hacker-proof by setting up some additional security measures like two-factor authentication:
Finally, revoke access to any suspicious third-party apps and turn on two-factor authentication for additional security. Our current two-factor authentication allows people to secure their account via text, and we're working on additional two-factor functionality with more to share soon.
All these little chores may seem like a drag, but they're definitely less of a hassle than dealing with a hacked account. As long as you use a strong password and keep an eye on your account to make sure changes aren't being made without your say-so, everything will be fine!