With Instagram being one of the leading online platforms when it comes to businesses, influencers, celebrities and standard social accounts, it also, inevitably, leaves you susceptible to online crime and hackers. With this in mind, we thought it may be helpful for you to learn about the ways in which you can ensure the safety of your Instagram account, whilst still being able to enjoy the many perks of the app.
With over one billion active users, Instagram is one of - if not the biggest - online social media platforms currently on the market. Such a huge enterprise naturally attracts the bad along with the good. The app provides the perfect way to share - albeit filtered - all of life’s highlights, lowlights, and more. The sheer amount of online hackers, scammers and harassers is rife, just like anything else with as much popularity on the internet. However, people shouldn’t be deterred or concerned about this; instead, they should concentrate on taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure they don’t fall victim to such crimes.
There are a number of different measures that can be taken to ensure the safety and security of your Instagram account. Some accounts may be more susceptible than others, depending on your current level of privacy. Accounts that aren’t private - i.e, they can be accessed by anyone - will of course have more chance of being hacked. So let's go through the measures you can take to ensure your IG security:
Nowadays, it’s totally normal to be concerned that somebody may hack your account and post something as if it were you. We’ve all seen it. If this is a particular concern for you and your account, it’s imperative you set up what is called two factor authentication. This essentially means that a second form of authentication is required, even after logging in with your password. After doing this, it ensures that a hacker is physically unable to access your account unless they have possession of your actual device. To install this, go to your profile and click on the hamburger icon, click on the settings menu (to the top on iOS and the bottom right on Android), then click security > two-factor authentication > get started. You’ll then be able to set up your two-factor authentication by way of either an SMS or an independent authentication app. This has proved an extremely popular and reliable way of adding an extra level of security to your Instagram account.
This isn’t exclusive to Instagram. Scammers have been doing it for years, sending emails - sometimes convincingly - claiming to be your bank or Facebook or, in this case, Instagram. Clicking on a link or sometimes even simply opening up the email can leave you at serious risk of a breach to your account security. Luckily, Instagram are well aware of this and subsequently, have rolled out an ‘Emails from Instagram’ tab. Here, you’ll be able to check any and all emails that were officially sent by Instagram, so you’ll be able to determine with certainty whether what you have received is legit or not.
To find this tab, simply go to settings, then to security, then click ‘emails from Instagram’. The security tab will display any emails sent from Instagram over the previous 14 days that were in relation to either your account security or the locations from which you’ve logged into. A second tab named ‘other’ will list any other emails sent from the team over the same time period.
This is probably the quickest and easiest thing you can do to check the security of your account. Click on security and then login activity to access a list of locations that have been used to login to your account. Here, if there are locations and times of accessing your account that you don’t recognise, you can quickly log out from these locations, meaning access from there will no longer be possible.
Leaving your account on public mode leaves it open to danger of being hacked. Anybody can view your profile and content. There is, of course, a simple solution to this: change your Instagram account to private! This way, only people you know or accept can access your profile and interact with you. In order to do this, go to settings, then privacy and then account settings and then click ‘private account’ to activate. After this, you’ll have to approve anybody who wants to follow or interact with you. Bear in mind that as well as nobody you don’t authorise being able to access your Instagram, Google Images will also no longer be able to display your photos either, adding an extra level of privacy to what you post.
If you believe that somebody is acting suspiciously on Instagram and you’re concerned about your - or others - account security, you can remove and/or block them, leaving yourself and others less prone to the possibility of being hacked. Remember that you can also report any suspicious activity or content to Instagram, who will look into the authenticity of said account.