15.08 2018 16:20h

Russian Hackers Are Locking Users Out Of Their Instagram

Hundreds of accounts have been compromised
Russian Hackers, Instagram, Instagram tips, Hacked, Social Media Tips, Instagram Security, Russia

Think someone has been trying to hack your Instagram account lately?

You're not being paranoid. 

Widespread hacking attacks have recently occurred and many Instagrammers have had their accounts compromised. It still isn't clear how many users have been affected, but the number appears to be growing (and possibly in the hundreds)...

 

According to Mashable "The source of the hacks is still unclear, but the attacks appeared to surge earlier this month. There have been hundreds of reports of hacked accounts on social media since the beginning of August and Mashable has heard directly from more than 100 people whose accounts have been accessed." 

Many users also reported email addresses with .ru domains linked to their accounts after they lost access.

 

Hackers are reportedly changing user's usernames (i.e. their Instagram handles), profile images, passwords, email addresses and connected Facebook accounts.

Some are reporting that compromised accounts have had their images changed to Disney or Pixar cartoon characters.

While Instagram has said it is looking into the issue, many users are frustrated and feel that Instagram hasn't been acting fast enough. 

 

Either way now is a good time to change your Instagram password and be on alert for any emails from the photo- and story-sharing platform that suggests someone else has been trying to log into your account.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Account Is Being Hacked?

Act fast.

Instagram shared the following information, and advises all users to follow the below instructions in the event they think their account may have been hacked or someone is trying to hack their account...

  • If you received an email from Instagram notifying you of a change in your email address, and you did not initiate this change – please click the link marked ‘revert this change’ in the email, and then change your Instagram password immediately.
  • Instagram advises you pick a strong password. Use a combination of at least six numbers, letters, and punctuation marks (like ! and &). It should be different from other passwords you use elsewhere on the internet.
  • You can also use the steps outlined on this page to restore your account. Use a new, secure email address to restore your Instagram account.
  • Revoke access to any suspicious third-party apps and turn on two-factor authentication for additional security. Our current two-factor authentication allows people to secure their account via text, and we’re working on additional two-factor functionality with more to share soon.

How Can Prevent Your Account From Being Hacked?

  • A strong password is key. Make sure you aren't using the same password for multiple accounts (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.) Make your password long, very long. Avoid full words, as many hackers use "dictionary attacks" to guess words within passwords. Include capital letters, numbers and special characters whenever possible. 
  • Be careful about third-party apps and access you grant to your account. Remove any that are unnecessary or no longer in use.
  • Update your contact information within the app and use Instagram's two-factor authentication feature.

Has your account been hacked? Let us know in the comments below.

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