How to Protect Your Instagram Profile from Hackers, Bots, and Trolls

How to Protect Your Instagram Profile from Hackers, Bots, and Trolls

Social media has become an increasingly important part of modern life. It's hard to go a day without hearing about the latest Instagram, Twitter and Facebook updates. As such, businesses are turning to social media to reach more customers and build their brands. To be precise, Instagram is a trendy choice due to its high user count, photo/video-based platform, and creative ad options. But with the rise in users comes the risk of hacking, bots, and trolls.

The recent statistics prove that users are worried about their privacy and the numbers speak for themselves:

As a business, creator, or influencer, your Instagram account is not just a social media platform to communicate with your friends and family, but it's also a place to make money, so it's important to learn about tips and tricks on how to protect your account in advance.

This guide explains why Instagram accounts get hacked, how to protect your Instagram profile from hackers, bots, and trolls, and what to do if you are a victim of hacking.

Why Do Instagram Accounts Get Hacked

Hackers may try to access your accounts for numerous reasons, as follows.

Steal Your Identity

Perhaps you have created a brand or personal profile on Instagram, with many posts and a large following. Hackers can view and use your information to access other accounts or use your identity for their malicious activities.

For example, maybe your Instagram ads have been booming. Hackers may use your profile information to create fake accounts, promote their products using your platform, or influence others to follow them and buy your services.

Sell Accounts

With the rise of Instagram, accounts have become a commodity. Accounts with large followings can be sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But an account must mostly have many followers or be owned by a celebrity to be sold, meaning hackers are likely to hack your account if it's popular.

Send Spam

Hackers want to maximize their reach and may use compromised accounts to send out spam messages or links. This could infect other users with malicious software, viruses, or malware.

For example, if you've been hacked, they may send links to other websites containing malicious software. If your Instagram followers click on those links, their systems can be infected.

Deal With Competitors

If a business has competitors, they may hack into their accounts to access data or confidential information related to the company and use it for their benefit.

The hacking could include gaining access to customer lists, contact information, upcoming product releases, and more. In some cases, hackers might even delete or modify posts from a competitor's instagram account is hacked page to damage their reputation online.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Protecting Your Instagram Profile

Regardless of the reason for the attack, unauthorized access to your Instagram profile can be detrimental. Besides losing your data, you also risk damaging your brand reputation and disturbing the trust of your customers.

A significant part of social media care is ensuring both you and your followers' accounts are safe from malicious users. Here’s a step-by-step guide to protecting yourself from malicious attempts at accessing your profile.

1. Look Through Instagram's Security Checkup

Most people search online what they should do if an Instagram account is hacked afterwards, but it's better to secure your profile in advance. Luckily, Instagram has set up a security checkup feature to help users protect their accounts. The tool allows you to review your security settings and ensure they are up-to-date.

It also provides insights on creating a strong password, what third-party apps are currently connected with your profile, and any recent suspicious activity that might have occurred. For example, the security checkup can alert you to suspicious login attempts, password changes or other unfamiliar activity. In the same way, you can review and update your email address, phone number, two-factor authentication settings, and more.

2. Learn More About Common Instagram Attacks

Hackers use various techniques daily to gain access to accounts or data. The most common tactics include phishing scams, malware attacks, brute force attempts, social engineering hacks, and AI-driven bots programmed to scrape information from websites and profiles.

To protect yourself from these threats, it's essential to understand how they work and be able to recognize any suspicious activity on your profile. This way, you'll be better equipped to spot the warning signs early on and take necessary action before a hacker can do any real damage.

3. Create a Strong Password

A strong password is one of the most effective tools to protect your profile from hackers. Choose a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters that would be hard to guess, and avoid using pet names, birthdays or dictionary words as passwords.

For many people, it can be hard to come up with a strong password. Use the following image to get a better understanding of a good password for your IG account:

Another critical tip to creating a strong password is never using the same one for multiple accounts. That way, if a hacker manages to access one of your profiles, they won't be able to access all of them quickly.

Additionally, you may want to consider using two-factor authentication on your profile. This way, if someone does try to log in with your username and password, a code sent to your phone or email will be required for them to gain access.

4. Check Out Login Activity

It's also helpful to check out the login activity on your profile. This will allow you to see where, when, and from which device people have accessed your account.

If there are any suspicious logins, such as ones from different countries or devices you don't recognize, it could be a sign that someone is trying to hack into your profile. Be sure to report these activities immediately so Instagram can investigate further and support you in protecting your account.  You can check your login activity by going to your Settings and then Security.

Beware of any suspicious links or messages sent to you via direct message, comment, or post. Hackers often use these tactics to try to phish information from unsuspecting users.

If you are unsure about the origin of a link or message, report it immediately to Instagram so they can investigate further and keep your profile safe.

6. Ignore Third-Party Tools and Apps

Third-party tools and apps can sometimes seem tempting as they promise unique features like gaining followers quickly or automating posts for you. However, these third-party tools may not be secure enough for your account safety, as many require access permissions that could risk getting hacked.

It's best to stay away from using any third-party tools and apps, as Instagram does not recommend them, and instead, focus on creating content that you know is safe and secure.

7. Monitor Comments, DMs, and Mentions

Social media is a great way to engage with your audience, but it can also be dangerous for trolls or hackers looking to exploit your profile. Monitoring comments, direct messages (DMs), and regular mentions is vital to spot anything suspicious quickly.

This could be anything from people trying to share malicious links or asking for personal information. If this happens, immediately report the account or comment and block the user if necessary.

For example, suppose a user has repeatedly commented on your posts with links to malware or phishing websites. In this case, you'd want to quickly report the account and block them from accessing your page to protect yourself and your followers from potential threats.

Here's how to hide inappropriate comments:

8. Be Open with Your Community

Social media is about connecting with people and staying engaged, so be open and honest with your community about what's happening. Let them know if there have been any suspicious incidents or breaches of security on your account, as they may have experienced similar ones themselves.

This will allow your followers to be more aware of any potential threats and may also help you get support from your audience. Plus, they'll know they can come to you with questions or concerns about what's happening if something happens.

An example of this might be if someone has created a fake profile impersonating you. In this case, it's essential to let your followers know so that they don't believe the false information they may come across.

You may also hire a social media manager or use Instagram ads to help boost your presence and protect your account. A good social media manager can monitor accounts for suspicious activity, take preventive measures, and respond quickly if something happens. They also have the experience necessary to create strong passwords and keep up with all other security concerns on your behalf.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Instagram profile safe from hackers, bots, and trolls is essential to protect yourself and your followers. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your account remains secure. This includes using strong passwords, monitoring login activity, avoiding third-party tools, being aware of malicious messages or links, and reporting suspicious accounts or comments. Additionally, remember to be open with your community about security threats so they stay informed.

By following these steps and remaining vigilant, you can rest assured that your Instagram profile is secure from potential threats. With attention and care, you can continue engaging with followers safely without fear of harm.