Internet security is important and that goes double for your personal social media accounts. Over the last several years, we’ve seen platforms like Facebook, Google Plus and Yahoo see major breaches in their security, often with the loss of user information. Instagram themselves had a breach in 2017 with 6 million affected accounts, and more recently in 2019. If you’re worried someone has access to your Instagram account, you want to look for the telltale signs, while also making some changes to your account security.
There’s a few key ways to tell if your Instagram account has been compromised. First is the most obvious, unusual activity as you use your device. From new posts not shared or created by you, to direct messages sent to your friends that you didn’t write, there are plenty of telltale signs that your account may have been breached. Likewise, if someone is trying to change the email or password tied to your Instagram account, you should receive an email from Instagram that changes to your account have been attempted. If you still have access to your account, the good news is that it’s easy to secure your account quickly. Grab your phone or log onto the Instagram site on your laptop and head to the account preferences. There’s a few ways you can secure your account to make sure that your profile isn’t being attacked or taken over by outside sources.
Start by changing the password to your account, which should prompt any device your account is logged into to automatically log you out. This should shut down any intrusions on your account. When changing your password, make sure it’s something completely different than before. For the most security, choose to use a password manager like LastPass, which can automatically generate a new password for you. This should lock your account down, and from there you can delete any posts that may have been shared from your account without your knowledge. That said, we aren’t done yet. There’s two more steps necessary to ensure your account is locked down and safe. First, check your authorized apps. Instagram has support for third party logins with your account, but sometimes those apps can go rogue. Disable and delete any authorized apps you aren’t currently using, or any apps that seem suspicious. Second, turn on two-factor authentication, which helps to ensure that only you can sign into your account.
To do it, simply turn on the required security code tool within your settings. Now, every time you log into Instagram on a new device, you’ll also be required to enter a passcode sent to your phone number of choice. This also means you’ll be alerted any time someone tries to hack into your account without your permission.