How To Tell If Your Instagram Account Has Been Hacked

Most Instagram users are not conscious about protecting their information until they fall victim to cybercrime themselves — and by then it is too late. If you are the owner of one or more Instagram accounts, you probably need to be wary as there has been a recent increase in hacking incidents on the platform. It doesn't matter whether you have lots of followers if your account is public or private, any account that is opened can be targeted by hackers.

Out of all the social media apps, Instagram is reported to be the one that is most susceptible to phishing and other online scams (via CodeCondo). Like other apps of its kind, it integrates with other apps and uses cloud storage to save photos and profile information. While this means easy access for users, the company's security measures are no match for sophisticated hackers looking for ways to break into them. Once they are able to hack their way through, the hackers may be able to nab your banking details and other sensitive information.

What are the tell-tale signs?

The most surefire way to know if you've been hacked is if you are unable to login into your account. In that case, you should take the following steps immediately:

1. Check to see if you received an e-mail from

2. When you find the e-mail, look for the "revert this change" button in the message, and select it. Once you click on it you may be able to undo the change (via Instagram).

You can also request a login link, security code, or support from Instagram to resolve your issue. Instagram may ask you to verify your information with a photo, so they know it's actually you.

Another sign that the account is comprised is that your e-mail or registered phone number has been changed. This is often the first thing that will be changed so that you'll stop getting notifications. You can also check the settings page to see if there are unfamiliar devices logging into your account. If you see strange activity such as unknown messages to other people being sent from your account, subscribing to new accounts, or your account is blocked due to spam complaints, odds are strong that a hacker is controlling your account (via RTE and Consumer Reports).

Sometimes, alerts can come from your connections who've picked up that something is wrong and will let you know that they think you've been hacked.

How to protect yourself

So, how can you prevent your account from being stolen from right under your nose?

Ortal Levitan, a social media expert, says that hackers will usually send DMs to you from accounts that look exactly like official Instagram accounts. "These messages state that their account has been violating Instagram guidelines, or they have done something that goes against what Instagram is OK with. But, the main point of these messages is that the sender wants you to click on a (malicious) link," she says in a recent YouTube video. "A lot of people will click on the link without even thinking. And once you click on that link, they can steal all your login info, and can access your account."

Her top advice boils down to two rules: Instagram never DMs anyone and if you get a message in your inbox from someone claiming that they are from Instagram, it's a fraud.

Another way you can protect yourself is to use a more difficult password to enter your account. Also, you can set up Two Factor Authentication which requires you to enter an additional log-in code or confirm your login account through a third-party app like Google Authenticator when logging in to any of your accounts (via Instagram).