Instagram, a popular social platform, unfortunately, attracts the attention of malicious hackers. Cybercriminals often target Instagram accounts to distribute spam, engage in phishing attacks against your followers, and even steal your valuable data. Shockingly, in 2022 alone, there were over 1 million social media account takeovers, with Instagram being a prime target.
But don't fret; you can safeguard your Instagram account by following some essential cybersecurity practices. In this guide, we'll explore how to prevent your Instagram from being hacked and outline steps to protect your account. Among these steps, start by opting for Hide Expert VPN.
1. Use a Strong and Unique Password
One of the most crucial steps in securing your Instagram account is crafting a robust password. Weak passwords are a hacker's favourite entry point. A strong password should comprise at least 16 characters, including a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid reusing passwords or variations of them, as this practice leaves you vulnerable to credential-stuffing attacks. More tips: How to create a password that can’t be quickly cracked by an AI “password guesser”.
Struggling to remember complex passwords? Consider using a password manager. These tools securely store your passwords in a digital vault and can generate strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts, making it effortless to log in securely.
2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of security beyond your password. It acts as a shield, especially if your password is compromised. Cybersecurity experts recommend enabling MFA for all your accounts, and Instagram is no exception.
Instagram offers various MFA options:
Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP): Utilising an authenticator app like Google Authenticator, this method provides a constantly changing 6-digit code that you enter alongside your credentials during login. It's secure and quick.
SMS Text: You receive a code via text message on your registered phone number during login.
WhatsApp: In some regions, you can receive the code through WhatsApp.
TOTP is considered the most secure MFA option due to its resistance to interception by cybercriminals especially if your network is guided by a VPN service. However, using any MFA method is better than none at all. Read more: Improving the effectiveness of multi-factor authentication.
3. Set Up Login Alerts
Instagram's login alerts are your early warning system. They notify you when someone accesses your account from an unfamiliar device. You can receive these alerts via in-app notifications or email. Make sure to select the method that ensures you'll see the alerts promptly, allowing you to take action if suspicious activity occurs.
4. Maintain Updated Contact Information
Your phone number and email are crucial for account recovery and security notifications. Keep them up-to-date in your Instagram account settings. If they change, update them promptly.
5. Review Third-Party Apps Permissions
Be cautious when granting permissions to third-party apps that connect to your Instagram account. Only allow permissions when absolutely necessary, and revoke permissions for apps you no longer use.
6. Learn to Spot Phishing Attempts
Phishing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Instagram users are frequently targeted by phishing scams. Be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from Instagram, especially those with urgent messages. Check the sender's email address (Instagram only uses "@mail.instagram.com") and verify the legitimacy of any links before clicking them. Read more: What is phishing? Everything you need to know to protect yourself from scammers.
7. Block Suspicious Accounts
Keep your Instagram account private and accept follow requests only from people you know. If you receive messages from unknown accounts with suspicious links, block them. This limits their access to your account and helps protect it.
8. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks
Avoid public Wi-Fi networks, as they can be vulnerable to interception by cybercriminals. But if you must, use Hide Expert VPN. Stick to known, secure Wi-Fi networks to protect your private data, including your Instagram account.
By following these steps, you can significantly enhance the security of your Instagram account, shielding it from the prying eyes of hackers. Remember, strong passwords and MFA are the foundation of your account's security. To make it easier, consider using a password manager and Hide VPN, which simplifies the process of creating and managing secure credentials while keeping your accounts safe.