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How to Secure Your Instagram Account from Hackers in 2024

Content creators know how hard it is to build a profile, increase visibility, and gain followers. It usually takes them years to achieve recognition on a platform such as Instagram. But all of this can be taken away in just a couple of clicks by hackers.

Cybercriminals don’t shy away from using different tactics and methods to gain access to someone’s Instagram profile. Phishing and social engineering are the most common ways of hacking an Instagram account at the moment. These two methods are usually enough to trick someone into revealing their login information.

However, learning more about cybersecurity and social media marketing can be beneficial for securing your Instagram account and preventing hackers from locking you out. Keep reading to learn more about easy steps you can take to elevate your cybersecurity on Instagram.

Signs That Your Instagram Is Hacked

Sometimes, hackers work covertly without revealing their presence on your profile until it’s too late, and sometimes they change things right away. Here’s how to know that your Instagram is hacked:

#1 Changes You Didn’t Make

If you see major changes on your profile that you didn’t make, someone very likely has access to the account. For instance, an altered username, a different phone number, changes in the bio, or even new devices being connected to your Instagram account are all huge red flags that suggest something is happening behind the scenes.

#2 Unfamiliar Activity

Are there any new posts on your profile that you didn’t create? Or comments on the profiles you most interact with that you definitely didn’t type? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, chances are your account is compromised. 

Don’t forget to check your DMs because cybercriminals have probably sent out messages to your followers, too. Hackers could use your profile for promotion or sharing unsafe links that lead to phishing websites.

Pro Tip: Make Your Social Media Integration Strategies Effective: A Guide

#3 Emails Regarding Unauthorized Access

If you’ve received a message from Instagram warning you about unauthorized access or new devices logging into your account, take it seriously. 

Someone could be trying to get or already has access to your profile, so take the necessary steps. While these can sometimes be phishing messages, always check the email address first.

Most Common Cybersecurity Threats on Instagram

Now that we have covered the signs your Instagram account is hacked, it is crucial to learn more about different methods used by hackers to break into someone’s account. 

Remember that it’s difficult to know what happened to your account specifically, but these cybersecurity threats could help you understand what to avoid in the future.

#1 Phishing

Phishing seems to be the most popular hacking method in the last couple of years, and that’s completely understandable. Cybercriminals could send out thousands of messages with phishing links, and a large number of users will fall for it. 

The main idea behind phishing is to trick users into using their login credentials on a fake website. We’ll cover this topic in more detail later in the text and teach you how to recognize phishing instantly.

#2 Credential Stuffing

Those who have been online for years have probably been victims of at least one or two data leaks. Chances are your login credentials are floating around on the dark web, waiting to be exploited by some cybercriminal. 

Hopefully, we are all on the same page when it comes to reusing old login credentials for multiple online accounts. Nowadays, it is just too risky.

#3 Social Engineering

Chatting with people online could seem harmless and fun, but not everyone has good intentions. Social engineering is a method of manipulation cybercriminals use to encourage their targets to share more information about themselves or take certain actions. 

All of this can lead to revealing your login credentials. Social engineering and phishing often go hand in hand. But occasionally, hackers could pretend to be your new online friend.

#4 Brute Force Attacks

With the help of automated tools, hackers can try out all possible password combinations to break into an account. But to do this, a cybercriminal needs a powerful computer capable of supporting this method. 

Scripts and software used for brute force attacks can generate various passwords and try them out immediately. Keep in mind the most common passwords are always at the top of the list for this software, so spend a bit more time coming up with your login credentials.

Securing the Account

Despite what you might think, making your Instagram account hacker-proof is not difficult. Here’s what you should do:

1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication has become a huge part of protecting social media accounts from cybercriminals. If you haven’t set up this feature on your Instagram account, anyone with your username and password can access the account and lock you out. 

On the other hand, with two-factor authentication, anyone attempting to log in will be asked to provide a verification code to gain access to the account.

You can activate two-factor authentication in the “Settings” tab. Click “Privacy and Security” and follow the steps until you set it up. 

Keep in mind that two-factor authentication can still be bypassed by skilled hackers who might trick their target and get their hands on a verification code. Remember not to share that information with third parties.

2. Switch on a VPN

Most Instagram users love logging into the app while traveling because sharing new photos and experiences with followers is an unwritten rule. Not to forget that it is also crucial to post updates if you are growing your brand

But connecting to unknown Wi-Fi networks, such as at an airport or a hotel, can be dangerous. Since these networks are usually unregulated, your personal information, including Instagram login data, could end up in the wrong hands.

Luckily, a tool like a VPN can provide protection on open Wi-Fi networks by encrypting your connection. It means that everything you send or receive while connected to any Wi-Fi network is unreadable by third parties. 

But before you start using a VPN, perform a DNS leak test. In case you are unfamiliar with this term, a DNS leak test could prevent any DNS problems you might experience and ensure that your VPN encryption is working properly.

Additionally, consider using a VPN with an Indian server to securely access Instagram while abroad and maintain your online presence without restrictions.

3. Make Use of a Password Manager

Simple and easy-to-guess passwords are a thing of the past, but most of us are scared we won’t be able to remember our login information. A password manager can solve that problem because it keeps all your info in one place and is accessible from multiple devices.

Additionally, a password manager can help prevent a phishing attempt. You could receive a link to a webpage that looks just like Instagram. While it is best to check the web address before clicking the link, you might forget to do so in a hurry. 

Your password manager can tell you if that website is real because it registers the web address and gives you the option to autofill if the address is verified. Overall, it is a helpful tool we should use more often.

4. Learn How to Recognize Phishing

We’ve already touched upon the subject of phishing, but let’s talk more about this cybersecurity issue because it is crucial for the safety of your Instagram account.

Phishing works well in the social media environment because hackers could use it to impersonate large brands looking for collaborations. Not to forget that they might send you messages pretending to be Instagram.

All of these ploys are designed to make you reveal your username and password and usually include an urgent action you need to take when you receive a phishing email or DM. Fake emails are easy to spot because of the sender’s email address. 

Despite all their efforts, hackers can’t make an email address look official. Therefore, that should be the first thing to look out for. Simply check the address provided in the email by hovering your mouse over it.

5. Double-Check Emails From Instagram

Hackers sometimes go straight to the point and pretend to offer you profile upgrades such as verification, which can be attractive to many Instagram users. Furthermore, they might try to trick you into believing your content is copyrighted and will be removed from your profile unless you log in right away.

There is a way to confirm that an email is really from Instagram because the message you received will also be visible in your profile settings. All emails from Instagram are accessible through the “Security” tab on their website or app.

6. Manage Third-Party Apps

Similarly to Facebook, Instagram is now used for signing into third-party apps. Many users prefer this method over the old-fashioned email registration, but it is not necessarily the safest option available. 

You could give out your login information to a third-party app and completely forget about it. Even if you don’t use that app, it still has access to your Instagram account information.

Your social media login information will remain stored in the database, and you can’t be sure every developer has the highest level of cybersecurity. 

Hackers could create a security breach, and your Instagram account may be in danger. That’s why you should keep track of third-party apps that have your login information.

You can do so by logging into your Instagram account on a desktop computer (this part is important), clicking on “Settings,” and finding “Apps and Websites.” Here, you’ll see a complete list of apps with your login information. 

You should review them and choose which ones should continue having access to your profile. If there are unfamiliar apps listed here, revoke the access straight away. Remember to manage the third-party apps often!

7. Remove Payment Methods

Meta, the owners of Instagram, allow users and businesses to promote their accounts. Influencers can also receive payment for partnerships with brands through the platform or influencer marketing tools

However, those planning to send or receive money on Instagram have to provide a payment method. If you choose to save your credit card data on an Instagram account, you might be putting your money at risk.

Removing your credit card information is highly recommended unless you use the payment method daily and your account is secured. 

This way, you can be sure that your financial information will stay safe in case of a security breach. Another great idea is to disconnect any Facebook or business pages associated with your Instagram account.

If your Instagram is breached, cybercriminals could access those accounts through the business panel. You can do this in the Meta Accounts Center. 

Surely, you will have an extra step in your account management, but it is beneficial for overall safety. Even though it’s practical, you don’t have to share content across profiles in only one click. It is better to sacrifice convenience for account security.


In this guide, we tried to shed light on the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats on Instagram, with phishing, credential stuffing, social engineering, and brute force attacks being among the most prevalent. The potential consequences of a hacked account, from unauthorized changes to malicious promotions, underscore the need for vigilance in safeguarding your digital assets.

By being proactive and staying informed, users can create a robust defense against the persistent and ever-evolving tactics employed by hackers in 2024. Remember, the responsibility for securing your Instagram account rests in your hands!


Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you gain a better understanding of the subject:

1. How Often Should I Change My Password to Enhance Instagram Security?

Regularly updating your password is a good practice to bolster your Instagram security. Aim to change your password every three to six months or sooner if you suspect any unusual activity. 

Additionally, if you receive notifications of potential unauthorized access or security breaches, changing your password immediately is advisable to thwart potential threats.

2. Is It Safe to Use Third-Party Apps Linked to My Instagram Account?

While using third-party apps can enhance your Instagram experience, it’s crucial to exercise caution. Periodically review and manage the list of apps connected to your Instagram account. 

Remove access for any unfamiliar or unused apps to minimize the risk of security breaches. Always ensure that the apps you authorize have a reputable track record for cybersecurity to safeguard your account information from potential vulnerabilities.