I never really paid attention to the security of my social media accounts because I used to think that no one would dare hack my accounts because for one, I'm not famous and I seriously can't think of a reason why someone would want to gain access in my account.
But last night, I learned not to be complacent. I learned that I should have always kept my accounts secure. Yes, I'm no popular person but that should not keep me from protecting my online accounts. It's just the same as protecting your home or yourself; but in a virtual set-up.
Here's what happened...
Every night, before I go to sleep, I usually just spend a few minutes browsing through my Instagram feed and stalking my all-time crush. I was surprised I couldn't gain access. The warning "We couldn't connect to Instagram. Make sure that you\re connected to the Internet and try again." kept appearing whenever I try to login. I thought it was just my internet connection so I got up to reset our wifi router. I tried again after a few minutes but it was still showing the same error message.
I was not panicking yet. I was convinced it was just the internet connection because it has been playing up for weeks now. However, I had a thought of trying to open my online shop's account and that's when I went hysterical. I was able to open my online shop's account but not @louisechelle! I quickly turned on the light, opened my netbook and tried logging in using a browser. And again, it failed. This time, it says that the username and password did not match. I went crazy!
I checked Twitter for tweets, hoping they'd say that Instagram is down. Though there were a few tweets that had a similar case as mine, it still doesn't change the fact that other usernames work in both my phone and netbook except mine. Then I remembered, I authorized and linked my account to a third party site to know my unfollowers and it could be a reason why I suddenly lost access. So I immediately went to Instagram's site to ask for support.
Can't access your Instagram account? Are you also receiving the same warning as mentioned above? Do you believe that your account was hacked?
Report it to Instagram team asap. Here's how:
1. Go to https://help.instagram.com
2. Click Privacy and Safety Center
3. Click Report Something
4. Click Hacked Accounts
5. Choose what issue you have. I chose the second option which was "I think my account has been hacked."
6. When you click on that option, you should see a paragraph which has a premalink "report to us."
7. Click on that (report to us.)
8. You will be directed to another webpage which has the Report a Hacked Account form. The photo below are the options I chose for my concern.
NOTE: The options will change depending on your answers so make sure you answer the questions correctly.
9. Do not forget to explain your concern in the text box. Make it detailed and straight-to-the-point.
10. Submit your report and check the email address you used for their follow up email.
If you forgot the email address you used in your account, don't worry! I used email@example.com just to let them know I have forgotten it. You have to use an email format because the form will not accept it.
If you have recently shared a photo of in your Twitter, Facebook or other linked account, include that in your statement. This will really help the Instagram Team know what you're the owner of the account.
Check your email. In my case, I was asked to write a code they provided, the username I am reporting and my full name in a clean piece of paper and was required to take a photo of myself holding and showing the paper. This will help them identify that I am really the owner of the account. I really love this part of the process because it shows how Instagram is really doing everything to make sure our accounts don't land in other people's access.
I was very satisfied and extremely happy with the support given to me. Their response was fast and my problem was well taken care of. I did not have a hard time repeating myself to them about my concern.
Now that I have it back, I'm not very careful with the apps or sites that I authorize for my social media accounts. I now listed every detail so when I'm asked by the support team, I can give the right information so its easier for them to identify me as the owner. You should do the same because you'll never know when you'll need those info.
I hope I helped somehow or have given you an idea what to do if you encounter this.
Thanks for reading!:)