Your Instagram Account Hacked and Email Changed? How to Recover It
Instagram account hacked and email changed by the hacker?
You’re not alone.
There are few things worse than trying to log onto your Insta for a scrolling session just to discover that your email and password don’t work anymore. Even worse – when you try to send a “Change my Password” link to your email account, you end up with #Nada.
Whether you have 10 followers or 10,000, a lost Instagram account can be a huge punch to the gut – particularly if you just started to find your vibe online.
What’s more, a particularly nefarious hacker could trick your followers into believing it’s you that’s posting – that puts your reputation on the line too!
So, what can you do?
Well, there are two options: A) You can panic and throw your phone out of the window in frustration. Or B) You can follow the tips we have here at Upleap.
Even Instagram Isn’t Immune to Hackers
You might be thinking “Hey, I’m a super careful person – this will never happen to me.”
However, the truth is that anyone can end up getting their Instagram account hacked.
In fact, on August 13th 2018, it showed how hundreds of accounts had been breached that month. The cybersecurity breach seemed to stem from Russia, and it affected hundreds of Instagram users – leaving people everywhere locked out of their accounts.
The #MegaHack shared Instagram names, passwords, and email addresses online, and left many affected users with their profile pictures replaced from films like Despicable Me, or Pirates of the Caribbean.
The good news? Even if something like this happens to you, you’re not out of luck.
Here’s what you can do.
When Your Account is Hacked But You Can Still Log In
Maybe you’ve noticed that strange content has been appearing on your profile, even though you didn’t post it. Or you’ve seen your username leaving comments on other accounts.
If you can still log-in, but you’ve got a ghost creeping around on your profile, then you’re facing one of the most straightforward situations for victims of hackers. All you need to do is change your password. Pronto.
Log into Instagram and visit the Settings section on your profile. Go into Privacy and Security and change your password. Then go back out into the Settings menu and click on Authorized Apps.
Removing access from third-party apps will make sure that black-hat hackers can’t post to your profile from apps outside of Instagram.
Simply chose Revoke Access on any app you don’t use or recognize. Alternatively, you can revoke access for all apps and just set your permissions up again on the apps you do use.
When Your Account is Hacked But You Can’t Log In
If you’re not one of the lucky few victims of Instagram hacking that happens to be targeted by a pretty sub-standard criminal, then you might find that your account password has been changed, so you can’t simply log in as normal.
Fortunately, there’s still a way to regain your account at this point too. Just click on the Get Help Signing In option on your log-in page to go to the page for resetting your password.
The process will differ a little depending on your device. iOS users will see a link that says Need More Help underneath the option to have your password recovery link sent to your email address or username. You can click here to get support throughout the process of changing your password.
On an Android device, there’ll be an arrow icon in the top right of the app that you’ll need to tap when you’ve entered your email or username. Either way, it’s pretty simple.
When Your Account is Hacked and Email Changed
So, what happens if someone hacks into your Instagram account, changes your password, and alters your email address to their own?
You can’t just send a password change link to the email, as it will go straight to the hacker instead of you!
Fortunately, gaining access to an account that’s been “completely” hacked isn’t impossible.
The easiest option is to go to your email inbox and see whether you’ve received an email from the person who logged into your account and changed your password.
When your hacker submitted a request to change your email, you should have received an email from Instagram.
This is the message that lets you know what you can do if you didn’t request for your details to be changed.
Make sure that you double-check your Junk and recently deleted emails if you can’t find this message, as it’s the best way to get back into your account.
What If You Don’t Have an Email from Instagram?
If for some reason, you don’t have an email from Instagram, then there are two additional options on the login help page.
If you’ve linked your account to Facebook recently, you can use Facebook to change your Instagram email back and alter your password too.
On an Android device, tap the Get Help Signing In option on the login page, and click on the login with Facebook option.
On an iOS phone, click the Facebook icon link that says Continue as and enter your Facebook details. Once you’re in your account, you can go into your Settings and change your details.
If you included a mobile number when you created your brand’s Instagram account, you could also have the details to change your password and email sent to that number.
When on the login page, tap on Get Help Signing In and choose the phone option.
If none of these options work for you – the only option left is to get in touch with Instagram and see what they can suggest.
What to Do When You Finally Recover Your Instagram Account
When you’re finally able to get back online, there will be a few housekeeping tasks to deal with. For instance, if you’re re-using the password you have on Instagram on any other sites, change them immediately!
Hackers frequently reuse the same password on multiple accounts to see if they can gain access to anything else online. Other steps to take include:
- Always use a secure password on all of your accounts.
- Go through your Instagram feed and make sure that you remove anything that might breach Instagram’s terms of service.
- Let your followers know that your account was hacked and that they should remain vigilant against suspicious behavior.
How to Make Sure You Don’t Get Your Instagram Account Hacked Again
Remember, regaining access to an Instagram account can be difficult – particularly when a hacker changes your data.
Once you’ve gotten back into your account, it’s important to take steps that will defend you against further attacks. Start by checking whether any of your email addresses have been hacked or breached in the past by going to Have I Been Pwned? This will let you know if you have bigger security issues to deal with than you realize.
After that, go back to Instagram, and turn on two-factor authentication. 2FA works by prompting you to enter an SMS code whenever you try to log into your Instagram account. This can stop hackers from gaining access to your details. Even if they get their hands on your password, they’re unlikely to have your phone too!
To activate two-factor authentication, go to your Instagram profile and tap on the Settings button, then toggle Authentication App on.
Be Cautious on Instagram!
There are lots of other ways to secure your Instagram account. For instance:
- Always make sure that you don’t check the Remember Me box when logging into Instagram on a public computer.
- Avoid using your personal details to log in to accounts on Public Wi-Fi.
- Never give your password to someone that you don’t know or trust.
- Avoid phishing attacks by making sure that you never click on links sent to you by unknown accounts.
- Be wary of the accounts you follow on Instagram by checking them out with the “About This Account” feature. This will show you how authentic an account is before you interact with it. Just tap the “…” button on the account and select About This Account.”
There you have it! Everything you need to know when you get your Instagram account hacked.
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