Papaya Agency’s Social Media Manager, Tash Chapman, who manages multiple social media accounts shares her recent experiences in dealing with social media scamming attacks on Instagram accounts. Tash has valuable advice on how to prevent scammers from accessing your social media accounts, plus has shared the steps you’ll need to take if a scammer somehow gets through the security measures you have in place.
Instagram account hacking is scary and stressful. One moment everything seems normal, but suddenly you notice strange activity or unauthorised posts appear on your live social media account. Or you can’t log in to your account, despite being 100% sure the username and password is current.
Even with seemingly solid security protocols in place, over the last few months I have witnessed multiple Instagram accounts of clients become the victim of hacking operations.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that it is much easier to protect and prevent, rather than retrieving a stolen account. You’ve worked hard to grow your Instagram following and it’s your main point of engagement with your customers outside the venue, so protecting this valuable asset should be a priority.
Here are my top tips to protect your Instagram account plus simple steps on what to do if your account falls victim to a hacking attack.
While the contact details associated with the account are the first thing hackers change when breaking into the account it is still essential to make sure the phone number and email address on your social media accounts are always correct and up-to-date. Your most recent details will be how Instagram will contact you and send you information to get your account back if something does go wrong.
The email address should be one that is checked regularly. When somebody attempts to hack your account and change the Instagram password or contact details, Instagram will send an email to notify you of the changes made in the account and ask if this was you.
You can revert this change and prevent the attacker from taking over your account if you respond quickly enough. If you don’t claim the changes weren’t ‘you’ quickly enough, the hacker will be able to change all of the details and your access to the account will be no more. And the process of trying to get your account back through Instagram is quite challenging to say the least. The help system, run by Instagram’s owner Facebook, is unresponsive and difficult to get through to.
Watch out for suspicious Instagram direct messages. Never share your account details even if the message looks legitimate and the messages you are getting claim that your account will be banned or deleted if you don’t follow their directions.
This is how most people get hacked on Instagram. A common scam I have seen is a fake direct message from an Instagram account that pretends to be a real Instagram team.
They might say: ‘We can help you get your account verified’ or ‘You have violated Instagram’s rules and policies. Your account will be disabled in 24 hours if you do not reply. Click this link now if you think this is a mistake’.
Once you click this link, the hacker gains access to your account and will lock you out. Never click on a link that’s been sent in this way. Instagram will never send you a direct message. If Instagram wants to contact you, they will send an email, you can check authentic communication from Instagram on the app under ‘Emails from Instagram’ settings.
If you suspect your Instagram account has been hacked, it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
For venues reliant on engaging with their customers through social media, keeping your account safe is crucial. While these steps will not be able to 100% stop hackers – unfortunately their techniques to access accounts simply continue to grow more sophisticated by the minute – however they will make it harder and protect your account from the majority of hacking attempts.
Get in touch with us today to to find out how we can elevate your social media and PR.