Social networking sites like Instagram have become important parts of our lives in the current cyberspace. From sharing photos and videos to connecting with friends and family, Instagram is a powerful tool that allows us to express ourselves and stay connected with the world.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and the rise of Instagram’s popularity has made it a prime target for cybercriminals. Hackers can gain access to your account, steal personal information, and cause untold damage to your reputation.
In this article, we’ll explore ten essential tips for protecting your Instagram account from hackers. These tips range from creating strong passwords and enabling two-factor authentication to be wary of phishing scams and backing up your content regularly.
By implementing these tips, you can safeguard your Instagram account and continue to enjoy all that the platform has to offer, without the fear of being hacked.
Create a Strong Password
The first and most crucial step in protecting your Instagram account from hackers is to create a strong password. A strong password is one that is difficult for others to guess, and it should be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Avoid using predictable passwords, such as your name, birth date, or any other easily guessable information. Also, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, as this makes it easier for hackers to access all your accounts if they manage to crack one password.
Another way to strengthen your password is to use a password manager tool that generates complex passwords for you and stores them securely.
These tools can also help you remember your passwords, so you don’t have to keep them written down or stored in easily accessible places.
Creating a strong password is the first and most important step in securing your Instagram account. It may seem like a small effort, but it can make a huge difference in protecting your account from hackers.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your Instagram account. It requires you to enter a second piece of information, such as a code sent to your smartphone, in addition to your password, to access your account.
By enabling 2FA, even if a hacker manages to guess your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the second authentication factor.
To enable 2FA on your Instagram account, go to your profile, click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, and select “Settings and privacy.” From there, select “Accounts Centre” and then “Password and security” and finally you would see “Two-factor authentication” Follow the prompts to set up 2FA, which usually involves adding your phone number and verifying it with a code sent to you via text.
It’s essential to note that 2FA is not foolproof, and there are still ways that hackers can bypass this security measure. However, enabling 2FA adds an extra layer of protection to your account and makes it much harder for hackers to gain access.
Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing is a common tactic used by hackers to gain access to your Instagram account. Phishing scams involve the hacker posing as a legitimate entity, such as Instagram, and tricking you into providing your login credentials or other personal information.
These scams often come in the form of emails, messages, or pop-up ads that look like they’re from Instagram but are actually from hackers.
To protect yourself from phishing scams, be wary of any unsolicited messages, emails, or pop-up ads that ask you to provide personal information or login credentials. Always double-check the sender’s email address or social media handle to make sure it’s legitimate before providing any information.
Additionally, never click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources, as they may contain malware that can compromise your account.
If you suspect that you’ve fallen victim to a phishing scam, change your password immediately and report the incident to Instagram’s help center.
Keep Your Instagram App Updated
Keeping your Instagram app updated is another essential step in protecting your account from hackers. App updates often include security patches and bug fixes that address vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to your account.
To ensure that your Instagram app is up to date, go to your phone’s app store and check for app updates. If there’s an update available, download and install it immediately.
You can also enable automatic app updates in your phone’s settings to ensure that you always have the latest version of the app.
Monitor Authorized Apps
Instagram allows you to connect your account with other apps and services, such as Facebook, Twitter, or third-party apps.
While these integrations can be convenient, they can also be a security risk if not monitored properly. Some third-party apps may have access to your Instagram account and personal information, which can be exploited by hackers.
To protect your account, regularly review the list of authorized apps connected to your Instagram account and revoke access to any apps that you no longer use or trust.
Use a Private Account
If you’re concerned about your privacy on Instagram, consider using a private account. Private accounts allow you to control who can see your content and who can follow you.
Only people you approve can see your photos and videos, and your profile won’t appear in search results or on the Explore page.
To switch to a private account, go to your Instagram profile, click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, and select “Settings and privacy.” From there, select “Account Privacy” and then toggle on the “Private Account” option.
Using a private account can limit the amount of personal information that hackers can access, making it harder for them to target you.
Protect Your Account on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks, such as those found in cafes, airports, and hotels, are often unsecured and can be easily compromised by hackers. If you’re using public Wi-Fi to access Instagram, you’re putting yourself at risk of having your account hacked.
To protect your account on public Wi-Fi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a secure server, making it much harder for hackers to intercept your data.
There are many VPN services available, both free and paid, that you can use to protect your account while using public Wi-Fi.
Avoid Third-Party Instagram Apps
Third-party Instagram apps, such as those that promise to increase your follower count or provide analytics on your account, can be a security risk.
These apps often require you to provide your Instagram login credentials, which can be used to access your account and personal information.
To protect your account, avoid using third-party Instagram apps, especially those that require you to provide your login credentials. Stick to using the official Instagram app or reputable third-party apps that have been vetted and approved by Instagram.
Oversharing on social media can put your personal information at risk, and cybercriminals can use this information to target you with phishing scams or other attacks. To protect your privacy, it’s crucial to be cautious about what you share on Instagram.
One strategy for protecting your privacy is to limit the amount of personal information you post on your profile. For example, avoid sharing your full name, birthdate, or other sensitive information that could be used to steal your identity.
Additionally, be careful about the types of photos and videos you post on Instagram. For example, if you’re traveling, avoid posting photos that reveal your exact location or travel plans, as this information can be used to track your movements.
By being mindful of what you share on Instagram and taking steps to protect your privacy, you can reduce the risk of being targeted by cybercriminals and keep your Instagram account safe and secure.
Report Suspicious Activity
If you notice any suspicious activity on your Instagram account, such as unauthorized logins or changes to your profile information, report it immediately to Instagram’s help center. Reporting suspicious activity can help Instagram investigate and take action to protect your account from further compromise.
To report suspicious activity, go to your Instagram profile, click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, and select “Settings and privacy.” From there, select “Help” and then “Report a Problem.” Follow the prompts to report the suspicious activity and provide as much detail as possible.
Protecting your Instagram account from hackers requires a combination of common sense, best practices, and staying vigilant.
By following the ten essential tips outlined in this article, you can safeguard your Instagram account and continue to enjoy all that the platform has to offer, without the fear of being hacked.