What to Do When Your Instagram Gets Hacked

Worried that your Instagram account has been hacked? Learn how to regain access to your account with this complete guide.

You’re sipping your morning coffee, scrolling through your Instagram feed, when suddenly, you can’t log in. Panic sets in.

Has your Instagram account been hacked?

It’s a stressful experience for anyone, whether you’re a business owner, a content creator, or an average user. You’ve invested hours into growing the account, which holds your memories, messages, and access to your community.

But a hacked Instagram account is, unfortunately, a common experience.

According to research, an Instagram creator account is hacked every 10 minutes.


That’s why taking the proper precautions and knowing what to do when hackers steal your login information is important.



The Early Signs of a Hacked Instagram Account

First things first, let’s decode the signals that scream “hacker alert!”

If you see any of these early signs, it can save you a ton of stress by helping you secure your account before you lose access to your hacked Instagram account.

Sign 1. You Receive an Unexpected Password Reset Email

Did you receive a password reset email from Instagram and not request it? Sound the alarm!

This is an Instagram hacker’s first move in gaining access to your account. It’s a clear indication someone is trying to breach your account security and change your login information.

If this happens, change your password and follow the steps below to secure your account.

Hot tip: Don’t click on any email links unless you’re 100% sure it comes from Instagram. Always double-check the domain and review recent emails sent to you in the “Password and Security” section in the Accounts Centre.

Sign 2. Instagram Sends You Suspicious Login Alerts

Instagram sends alerts for logins from unfamiliar devices or locations. Take these seriously.

These notifications are designed to alert you of potential unauthorized access attempts.

Paying close attention to these alerts can help you act swiftly, securing your account before any damage is done.

If you receive one and don’t recognize it, change your password immediately and review your account’s security settings.

Sign 3. Your Friends Are Receiving Weird Messages

If friends and followers begin reporting strange messages or posts from your account that you don’t recall sending or publishing, it’s a strong indication that your account has been compromised.

Instagram hackers often use an account to send spam or trick your contacts into clicking on malicious links to continue their hacking spree.

Once this happens, take steps to secure your account, delete the posts, and tell your friends to avoid clicking on any suspicious links you’ve sent.

What to Do If Your Instagram Account Gets Hacked (And You Still Have Access)

If you’ve noticed suspicious activity but still have account access, you’re in luck. You still have the upper hand to stop the hackers in their tracks.

Here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Check Your Phone Number and Email Account

Once hackers log into your Instagram account, the next step is to change your email or phone number to prevent you from resetting the password and regaining control.

Follow these steps to check your account details for any unauthorized changes:

1. Open the Instagram app and tap on the three hamburger lines at the top right-hand side of the page.

2. Tap “Settings and Privacy” and “Accounts Center“.

3. Tap “Personal Details” underneath Account Settings and select “Contact Details“.

You’ll see a list of phone numbers and email accounts associated with your other accounts. If any of these are not yours, delete it immediately.

account details

settings and privacy
accounts center

Step 2: Check Where You’re Logged In

Instagram has a handy feature that gives you a list of all the devices with access to your accounts.

If you’ve received a suspicious login attempt or password reset email, it’s a good idea to check where you logged in and remove any unknown devices.

Here’s how:

1. Navigate to “Accounts Center” in Settings and Privacy.

2. Tap on “Password and Security“.

3. Tap on “Where you’re logged in” under Security Checks.

4. Tap on each Facebook and Instagram account to review the devices.

By doing this, you will log out any hacker who is currently accessing your account.

password and security

where you're logged in

Step 3: Change Your Instagram Password

After ensuring your contact information is correct and logging out of all sessions, change your password.

It’s your first line of defence against unauthorized login attempts.

A strong password includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, making it difficult for hackers to guess.

Use a secure password management app like LastPass to generate a strong, unique, completely unrelated Instagram password and save it in a secure vault. The tool lets you customize the password with a mix of upper case and lower case symbols and numbers, as well as the password length.

How to Regain Access to Your Instagram Account

Lost access to your Instagram profile? Don’t lose hope.

Regaining access to your Instagram account after a hacking incident requires patience, but it’s possible.

Here’s how you can get your account back:

Request a Login Link

The “request a login link” is a feature that helps Instagram confirm you own an account.

To request it:

1. Go to the login screen on your mobile or desktop and tap “Get help with logging in”.

2. Enter your username, phone number or email address and tap “Send login link”.

3. Complete the captcha to confirm that you are a real person.

4. Click on the login link in your email or text message and follow the on-screen instructions.

It’s the best solution if the hacker has changed your login information but hasn’t altered the contact information associated with your hacked account.

Request Support or Ask Instagram to Send a Security Code

If you cannot recover your account with the login link, request a security code from Instagram.

You’ll need to provide a secure email address only you can access. Once you submit your support request, Instagram will email you with the next steps.

In some support cases, Instagram may ask you to verify your identity to regain access to your Instagram account.

If you request support for an account with photos of you, you’ll need to take a video selfie to confirm your identity and that you’re a real person.

If you submitted a support request for an account without photos of you (like a meme or business account), you’ll be asked to certify your identity by providing the email or phone number you signed up with and the type of device you used.

Once you’ve submitted the video selfie or provided the necessary account information, you’ll receive an email from Instagram support verifying your identity and helping you get into your account.

How to Protect Your Instagram Account From Hackers

Prevention is better than cure. Here are the security measures you can take to safeguard your account and prevent hackers in the first place.

Tip 1. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication is another security measure that makes it harder for someone to get into your account.

Once you set it up, Instagram will require a code from an authenticator app for any login attempts it doesn’t recognize.

This means even if a hacker gets hold of your password, they can’t access your account without also having access to your phone or authentication app.

Tip 2. Strengthen Your Password and Update It Often

One of the biggest mistakes people make with online security is reusing the same password for multiple websites.

While this seems like a good idea, it makes your account vulnerable if any of your passwords are leaked in data breaches.

To avoid this, always use a unique, strong password and a password vault to help you keep track.

Finally, update your password every few months to keep your Instagram account safe and secure.

Tip 3. Remove Any Third-Party Apps You Don’t Recognize

While third-party apps can make your account vulnerable, not all are bad.

You’re in the clear as long as you trust the integration and know it comes from a reputable site.

However, if you review the apps connected to your Instagram account and don’t recognize them or no longer use the integrations – revoke access.

It minimizes the risk of hackers using these apps as a backdoor to your account.

Wrapping Up

There’s no doubt about it. A hacked Instagram is a stressful experience.

Whether it’s receiving that initial “we noticed a suspicious login activity email” or being unable to log in and losing access to the valuable community you’ve spent hours building.

Luckily, more tools are available to help you contact Instagram and stop Instagram hacks before they become a problem.

Protect your social media account by following these tips.

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