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What Should I Do If My Instagram Account Was Hacked?

by: Omri Toppol
What to do if your Instagram account is hacked

Update: Sep. 14th 2016

If you’ve never heard of Instagram, you’ve been living somewhere other than Earth the past few years.

As of June 2016, More than 500 million people are using Instagram to visually capture and share moments like this:

Instagram Post

 

With so many people using Instagram to share such personal data, it’s no wonder hackers are interested in gaining control of Instagram user accounts.

You may have noticed random photos that appeared on your account, or a lot of new, unknown people, that you’re following all of a sudden. Maybe you are unable to log in to your account.

If you suspect your Instagram account has been hacked, here’s what you should do:

1. If your Instagram was hacked, there’s a good chance your email was too.

Start by using this free tool to find exposed passwords, credit card, bank and social security numbers in your email account.

The tool will keep you safe by removing any and all private data putting you at risk for credit card and identity theft. So if hackers hack your inbox, they won’t find what they’re looking for, and you’ll be protected.

it also allows you to notify friends who sent or received the risky email, and ask them to delete the thread. Once you’ve managed your email, you can now deal with your Instagram hack.

2. Report the incident to Instagram

If you can’t get into your Instagram account but you still have access to the email account associated with it, reset your Instagram password.

a. Click on “Forgot” at the home page.

Instagram Login Window
b. Then enter your email address to reset the password.

Instagram Reset Password

b. If you don’t have access to your email account, report the incident to Instagram as soon as possible through this link.

Instagram Report a Hacked Account
 

c. Fill out the form.

Instagram Report a Hacked Account Form

Indicate on the form that you no longer have access to your email account and provide an alternate email account that you do have access to.

If you do have access to the email account associated with your Instagram, that’s great news.

See the following suggestions for steps you should take to regain control over your account.

3. Change your password

Change your Instagram password using the Edit Profile option in Instagram.

To get there, log in and click your username at the top right corner of the page.

Instagram Edit Profile

Then, click “Edit Profile.” On the page that appears, look for the Change Password option on the left-side menu.

Instagram Edit Profile Form

Make sure you choose a strong password that meets these guidelines:

  • Is at least 6 characters long (but the longer the better!)
  • Contains lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and a digit. For more security, add a special character like an exclamation mark or question mark
  • Is not a dictionary word
  • Is not based on personal information like your date of birth, spouse’s name, etc.

4. Change your password on other accounts if you’ve used the same one

If you are reusing your Instagram password on other sites such as Gmail or iCloud, change your password on those services too. You don’t want your Facebook account hacked as well as your other accounts.

Attackers often use password reuse (an ill-advised but common practice) to gain access to their victims’ other accounts!

5. Secure the email account associated with your Instagram account

Hackers often gain access to social media accounts after first hacking into victims’ email accounts.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Logo
Because of this, you should make sure you’re using all protective measures available to you to keep your email account safe.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Make sure you’re using a strong password with your email account (see suggested guidelines for creating a strong password above)
  • Use LogDog — it’s a free app that monitors your account for any suspicious activities, and alerts you if it detects anything iffy so you can quickly thwart any hacking attempts.
    The service can be used across all devices and OS’s, so you’re always being protected. Here’s the Android and iOS  links for you to check out

 

6. Revoke access to suspicious third-party apps

Check out which third-party apps have access to your Instagram account, and revoke access from any app that looks suspicious.
To do this, go to your Account page and click on “Manage Applications” from the left-side menu.

Instagram Manage Applications
 

To revoke access from any app, simply click the “Revoke Access” button to the right of the app listing.

Instagram Authorized Applications

Want to go the extra mile?

Revoke all apps from accessing your account and re-enable access later, after you believe the hacking incident has been resolved.

This way, if an attacker is accessing your Instagram account via one of these other apps, he’ll immediately get shut out when you revoke access of these apps to Instagram.  

Note: Giving access to apps again in the future may again grant the hacker access to your Instagram account.

Therefore, it’s recommended to grant access to apps slowly (one at a time), to help you identify the specific app the hacker is using.

7. Review your recent activity

Go over your Instagram feed and make sure there haven’t been any pictures or comments posted that you’re unaware of.

Any activity you don’t recognize as your own — especially posts containing links to other websites — should be considered extremely suspicious.

If you see anything suspicious, remove it right away, especially since it may endanger your followers.

Here’s what you do:

a. To remove a post, tap on the post and click “Delete”

Delete Instagram Picture
b. Let your followers know that your account has been hacked and that they should be vigilant of any suspicious activities

Hackers often use one compromised social media account as a stepping stone to hijack friends’ accounts.

8. Log out of Instagram when you use a computer or phone you share with other people

This is a general security tip:

You should always log out of Instagram (and any other personal account) when you use a device shared with other people (like a computer at an internet café or library, or a phone that you’re borrowing).

Instagram Log Out
If you don’t log out, you’re basically giving any third-party the keys to your account — not a good idea!

For more tips, check out Instagram’s official guide here.

 

Written by  Omri Toppol

Omri is LogDog's marketing guy. He is passionate about technology, digital marketing and helping online users to stay safe and secure

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77 thoughts on “What Should I Do If My Instagram Account Was Hacked?

  1. My Instagram was hacked 2 days ago. I’ve reported to IG, sent photos with codes to them, and still haven’t heard anything how long does it typically take to recover an account? The hacker blocked me. I can’t even go in and screen shot my photos. I am absolutely SICK about this!

    Reply
    1. Hi Debbi,

      It’s hard for me to say how long it should take, it really depends on Instagram, and unfortunately we don’t have control over it. Sorry I could not help.

      Reply
        1. Hi Debbi, my account was hacked three days ago. I filled out one of those forms on the Instagram help site and sent them a photo with my code and everything but haven’t heard back. It’s been three or so days. How long did it take you to hear back/get your account back!? Thank you so much!!

          Reply
          1. HI, did you have any luck? Mine was hacked yesterday and I don’t know what to do besides the report on their site.

      1. All they’ve done is repeatedly tell me they need the email address I used to sign up with. I’ve given them that, along with an email from Statigram that shows the email, username, first image posted, and other images. They are protecting a thief.

        Reply
        1. Same with me, they don’t get the fact that hacker changed username & email to theirs. Now the about me bit is full of dirty words with a link to ‘adult’ stuff and my pictures of my kids is still there. I’m furious.

          Reply
          1. I’m so sorry, Charly. I used to say I loved Instagram. Sure can’t say that any more. I left a one-star review in the Google Play store. But I don’t think anyone from Instagram even cares.

          2. Christina Seifeddine

            omg same! my insta account @tobeinspired___ has been hacked and I’m on 37k followers. the person that hacked it changed my recovery email and unlinked my account from my Facebook. insta sent me a code and i had to take a pic with it and other info and send it to instagram which i did , then they asked for the email i used to sign up with, but i couldn’t remember it, but i gave them a rough guess. my picture with the code should of been enough. they make it so complicated

          3. Noorizlea Izham

            guys, it happened to me as well while trying to log in thru VPN when i was in China for business trip. reported to the team, sent picture with code but no respond yet.

            do you guys know any other way. insta keep on saying user not found when i try to log in. and my facebook account that linked to IG also been removed, thats why i cant log in thru FB.

          4. Hey guys! Any luck with your accounts? I got my entire life flipped outside down my Gmail was hacked….The changed my IG password and I cannot access either accounts. I immidiately contacted instagram. They asked for a picture with me holding a paper with a code they provided…so I did, they asked for another one (same procedure) so I sent it once more, now they want a picture with me holding my drivers license. I feel that’s excessive and a violation to my privacy since I’ve already been hacked. Did any of you have this happen?

          5. I was never asked for a photo of myself with my driver’s license. That seems like asking for way too much.

            I’ve given up. I’m never going to get my account back. I created a new one and I block anyone from following me who I don’t know, and there have been dozens since I opened the new account.

            What I regret is not remembering all the great photographers I was following. The Instagram experience is now just disappointing. The only reason I started a new account is because I’m doing a photo-a-day challenge this year.

          6. Hi Debbi,
            I know what you mean. I mean I’ve had the worst week of my life. From getting my Gmail hacked and they not wanting to return my account until I remember the exact day I opened it (I have no idea it was about 7yrs ago) to having instagram not wanting to return my account. Having them ask so much of me and feeling violated when they’re asking me to put out my information to a stranger. I had photographers, networking for jobs and friends there who I don’t keep much in contact but like to touch base a couple times a year. I’m so sorry that has happened to you. what is the photo-a-day challenge?BTW this is the email they sent me:

            Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to verify your identity with the image you sent us. Please reply to this email with a photo of you holding your personal ID that clearly shows your face, both in the photo and the ID. Instagram accepts any ID that shows your name and recent photo, such as a driver’s license.We’re sorry for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding as
            we take these steps to keep this account secure. Please note that we won’t be able to assist you further until we receive acceptable ID.

          7. Has anyone been able to be successful at this?
            Mine was hacked today and I have taken all the necessary measures that instagram has asked me to take but reading your replies really makes me lose hope :(

          8. hey, i was also hacked today. i did what you did. is there any hope? did they respond and or help you ?

          9. I was hacked last night but got mine back today because my cellphone number was linked to it. Is your cellphone linked? If so you can recover you password that way through an SMS text recovery through Instagram

          10. Kristin Thames

            Hi Gia,

            I got that same message yesterday I resent the picture
            of me holding the code with my username on it did you have any luck?

          11. Kristin Thames

            Hi Charly, I’m going through the same issue, were you able to retrieve your account?

    2. Kristin Thames

      Hi Debbi are there any updates regarding your instagram account? I’m having the same issue and I’m so upset, I have pictures of my children up there and I’m so devastated
      .

      Reply
      1. Take a deep breath, accept there are worse things in life and delete the account. I appreciate it may sound smart after the fact but I would always be very cautious about broadcasting images of my children on such a platform. I was hacked 2 days ago and i have now deleted my account, life is too short and frankly there are more important things to worry about.

        Reply
    3. Hei, is there a way to undelete all the photos that were deleted from the hacker ?..
      Because i’ve turned back my account, and i want to have everything as it was.
      Help me..

      Reply
    4. Hi Debbie, I’ve had exactly the same thing happen to me, they have also changed the email address so I can’t do a forgot password change, I’m gutted had over 2000 photos on mine! I did the code thing with instagram and got nothing back from them and that was 2 weeks ago!! I’m disgusted in them really why bother having a report a hacked account option if your not going help people get there accounts back! Let me know if you here anything from them.

      Reply
    5. , I’ve had exactly the same thing happen to me, they have also changed the email address so I can’t do a forgot password change, I’m gutted had over 2000 photos on mine! I did the code thing with instagram and got nothing back from them and that was 2 weeks ago!! I’m disgusted in them really why bother having a report a hacked account option if your not going help people get there accounts back! Let me know if you here anything from them. Has anyone successful with getting there account back??

      Reply
    6. I noticed my password didnt work yesterday around 9am… never happened before. I logged in using facebook by 12pm… by 9 pm when i returned home my account was gone completely. I’ve contacted instagram they made me do the picture account identification and I’ve yet to hear back. My wife is seeing that my account and covereasations are with a Gray blank page. Dont know if hacker was disabled by instagram or if they just logged on and deleted my account? The tech support is a joke… it seems pretty cut and dry. Instagram takes more time to build than facebook. I was not like most avid users but my account was over 6 years and had a history of pets and loved ones that had passed. Stupid to think its all gone?> Facebook is fine and so is my email. Well I’ll keep checking on here but it looks scary from what I’ve been reading. I guess thats it.

      Reply
  2. Is it normal if you get an email from the Instagram help centre to send a photo of yourself holding a handwritten code that they have provided? please reply asap cause I feel like this is a dodgy email. thank you

    Reply
    1. Hi Iqra,

      Me and the company I work with, LogDog, are not connected to Instagram so it will be hard for me to give you a hard yes or no. From what I read online it seems that this is something that Instagram dose in order to confirm your identity.

      Reply
    2. Kristin Thames

      Yes that is normal, I was asked to do the same thing this weekend. Once I sent the picture I got a response back from instagram saying the picture would not be valid proof. My entire instagram page is of me, my husband and children. I’m so discouraged I’ve had that account for years a some of my coworkers are on my page and the hacker has already posted a link on my account, changed my name and email. I’m so stressed!

      Reply
      1. This happened to me also!!!! I’m so stressed!!! The hacker changed my username, email and password and removed link from facebook!!

        Reply
  3. My account was just hacked couple days ago…person hacked my email in order to change IG password..then proceeded to change the email associated with it. Changed the username and name. The profile picture was still me..my about me was the same, and a my pictures are still there. Now I’ve looked and she has changed the profile picture and the about me with a link to a sight… IG sent me an email asking for the picture with the code and I did it… I want my account back… all my memories…

    Reply
    1. My experience was almost identical so I feel your pain. Have you not backed up your photos onto a separate hardrive? All my images and movies get backed up weekly, so I actually havn’t lost anything, except all the links to followers etc. A real shame but, heh you know what, there are worse things in life, like having you bank accounts hacked.

      Reply
    2. this is it you are sad that you been hacked which you should be.As a hacker I can’t just get paid for a job and not comply to it that’s why I must do it but on the other hand if I get to know you and you tell me that you need your account back I will get it back for you cause I get paid for my job that’s it so simple so if you willing to get your account back just message cooperatehack at gmail dot com and you can really get to see that it’s just a matter of minutes before you get your account back.

      Reply
  4. My account was also being hacked yesterday. The person hecked into my IG and changed my password and email. I then found the Instagram Support Team and report to them. They sent me a code, instructions and I did it. But they haven’t respond me. Actually how long may they respond it normally?

    Reply
    1. It’s been almost a week for me and I’ve gotten one email from Instagram asking for me to hold a code up and picture of myself, that didn’t work so they asked me to send a picture of me and my ID (drivers license) and that was three days ago and I’m still waiting to hear back from them!

      Reply
      1. Hi have you heard anything back yet? Mine got hacked 3 days ago. Haven’t heard anything since I sent them a photo of me with the code?

        Reply
          1. hello guys! pleaseee heeelp! i really need some help from you, is for 1 month that my account instagram is loosing constantly followers and i can not find one way to stop this, i tryed changing password, putting a locker app, changing my account name, i didnt arrive to any result, please someone cans save to me?

  5. My instagram was hacked over a few months ago, but now im only following random people. I guess some hackers are really nice. Either that, or i was really tired and i cant remember now.

    Reply
    1. My instagram id was hacked i cannot recover with mobile phone or email address what should i do my id ‏nail_katayoun_desig

      Reply
  6. My instagram accoubt was also hacked 3 days from now. I have done everythibg that they have asked me to but until now isntagram isnt still responding. How long will i hve to wait? 😢😢😢

    Reply
  7. I was hacked 2 weeks ago, I changed my password via my email, but was hacked again yesterday. Instagram’s help site doesn’t help, so I have deleted my account as i am more concerned about hackers using it as a gateway to my other accounts. Instagram has been fun but frankly I can’t bothered with the hassle of having my identity compromised by people whose sole purpose in life is to upset and steal.

    Reply
  8. DO NOT USE VLAD BOGDAN OR OSTROVSKY BELKIN. They are the same person. They will promise to help you, after you have paid them part of the fee they charge. They will stalk you for a day or two, then you will receive a email stating that the page is hacked but can’t relapse the information until you pay the balance. Once balance is paid, THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE HACKED ACCOUNT, but they request more money to purchase a TOOL, to get pass a wall in the account. TOTAL BULLSHIT AND TOTAL SCAMMERS. Don’t fall for it with these two Internet cafe scammers in the Bein Republic.

    Reply
  9. My company’s instagram account was hacked a few days ago. I followed all these steps and instagram won’t collaborate because I have no legal proof that my two week old entrepreneurship is actually mine. I try emailing them saying I have other ways to proof the account is mine, but I think Im being read by a robot. The email address I used to create the account isn’t even recognized “That e-mail address or username doesn’t have an associated user account. Are you sure you’ve registered?” is what comes up. Without access to this account, I can’t sell my products, and can’t make money. PLEASE HELP

    Reply
  10. To get the assistance at your doorstep, just make a call at Yahoo Technical Support Number 1-877-776- 6261 . Our technicians will resolve all kinds of technical problems (be it knotty or easy in nature)remotely.

    Reply
  11. Please help me, i cant accesss to my email because the hacked changed the email. Please help me i want i instgram account back. Please help !

    Reply
  12. hi
    i’ve an insta acc include my private pics that i dont log into it for a long time ‘couse of change my phone…!
    but after about 10 mounts i just want to log into it! but someone was changed my all information from it…like my personal pictures,email,phone no. and ext.
    but i can just access the email that i used for sing up my account!

    NOW #PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME WHAT I ACTUALLY TO DO FOR GET MY HACKED INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT…?!
    thx!

    .
    .
    .
    my fb & gmail address : jaaaaberr

    Reply
  13. my Instagram account was hacked and the hacker changed my password and email ,
    i contact Instagram team they send me a code to show it with my face in pic i sent the pic and they replayed me u almost done , i follow the site they sent to change the password i changed the password but after i changed it Instagram ask me for security code to verify the account but i didn’t receive any code till now may be they sent the verify code to the previous email that the hacker change it not to my new email i contact them from . plz help me to solve this issue to fully recover the account and what should i do

    Reply
  14. hey guys, my instagram account was hacked a few days ago and i have done everything i can to get it back and it isn’t working. i need some help for little to no cost! i just really want my instagram account back because it had some of my best pictures on it and all of my friends that i haven’t been in contact with for a while. it means a lot so please please help!

    Reply
  15. I got a similar email after reporting my account was hacked. It seemed such a strange request I assumed it was spam. I was afraid to send the picture for fear of looking like a fool and falling for a stupid trick. Is it definitely from Instagram? I don’t have a lot on my account so it doesn’t really matter if I don’t get it back – just didn’t want someone putting stuff up under my name!!

    Reply
  16. Actually, it is impossible to reset your password once you account was hacked. That is because the hacker now owns the account, and has changed the email address associated with the account. And any attempt to change or reset the password, instagram now sends those passwords directly to the hacker.

    Reply
  17. Someone hacked my account, and somehow managed to link loads of russian and other accounts which I haven’t heard of. I can’t see where I can remove any linked accounts? Can anyone help me?

    Reply
  18. I was hacked a few hours ago, all photos/videos gone and they getting rid of a lot of my followers. I was also verified. I sent it the photo and code with full name. We’ll see if IG will help.

    Reply
  19. Hi, i want to ask. If you hack someone instagram, would that someone cant log in into their instagram anymore so they should reset their password?

    Reply
  20. My Instagram was hacked and Instagram was NOT helpful. They will not do anything substantial to help even after multiple friends have reported the account verifying they are my photos and followers. Instagram should be ashamed

    Reply
  21. Just to add to the conversation, I have had the same problem and I’m unable to log in to my account. I’ve followed Instagram’s instructions regarding the picture and code and sent them details of my account. They came back a short while ago saying there is nothing they can do. It’s shocking that this happens regularly and nothing can be done about it.
    Does anyone know what these hackers do with the account? I have changed all my passwords in the mean time but I’m curios to know how they will use my account.

    Reply
  22. i’m wondering if ANYONE had any luck retrieving their Instagram account back? mine got hacked today. i can’t changed the password because they changed the email. i sent the photo as requested but haven’t heard back (it’s only been 65 hours though). why is it so easy to change the email address? stupidd!!

    Reply
  23. I was hacked today. My username is changed, phone number and email is set to Russia. All my pictures I had are gone. My followers are co-workers, friends and family. Everybody thinks I went crazy after uploading all that adult stuff. There is literally no way I can gain back my access. I made a report, and sent picture of me holding code to Instagram. I have no idea how hackers manage to take over the account. Only device I use for Instagram is my non-jailbroken up to date iPhone, and e-mail was not compromised at first place. It seems like this is a really big problem for Instagram. Replacing e-mail is just plain too easy and stupid. Guess I won’t use this social network anytime soon. Real shame Instagram, shame.

    Reply
  24. It has happened to me several times in last 3 months. During my sleep at night. In the morning when i woke up i coulnd log in my insta account, there was written that your password has been changed . then i look into my email account and there were 2 emails –
    1) Sorry to hear youre having trouble loggining into instagram We can help you get straight back into your account.
    and after minute:
    2) Your instagram password has been changed.
    Im Asking HOW??? my email has not been hacked, i changed password.
    Before the hacker changed just password, but today he changed even a username and email address too. i was lucky that google chrome let me log in via his account (dont know how is possible) !!

    Reply

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