Six years since its conception, Instagram has emerged as the most popular mobile application. 200 million people across the world, capture and upload pictures on Instagram.
The craze has also affected the celebrities. Instagram is popular among film stars, television actors, pop stars, and musicians. The most followed celebrity on Instagram, Selena Gomez, has around 70 million followers.
An application that is so popular among the celebrities is bound to be a prime target of the hackers. Incidents of celebrity Instagram accounts being hacked are reported frequently, all over the world. Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian are among the victims.
Instagram is a medium which people use to express their emotions, daily happenings, and even their dream destinations. It represents a pictorial version of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media site.
Today a regular person’s daily day begins with an Instagram post about his/her breakfast and ends with a goodnight pout. One of the features of Instagram is the ability to share pictures privately. This seemingly secure feature prompts users to use their Instagram account as a vault for private pictures and videos.
However, this is what proves to be fatal when an Instagram account gets hacked. Hacking into someone’s account would mean viewing their personal data, reading their private comments and getting a peek into whatever they have been hiding from the rest of the world but have kept it open to a selected group of friends or relatives.
Another such evil propaganda of hacking into one’s Instagram account could be defaming the victim by posting obscene photographs or socially insensitive images which can land the victim in legal trouble.
It is not just the thrill of gaining access to images and videos that one wishes to keep private. When it comes to Instagram hacks, it has taken the shape of a lucrative business. Hackers target those accounts with a large number of followers and demand a lump sum amount in exchange for the new password. In some cases, it has been reported that the ransom demanded went as high as thousands of dollars.
Hack Instagram with ease nowadays using a process known as SQL injection. Instagram stores the user ID and corresponding password in a database. Through SQL injection, a hacker gains an entry to the database and retrieves the password associated with the account, in an encrypted format. With a successful decryption, one gains access to the victim’s account.
The hackers did not stop there. They went on to build apps and software that will enable any layman, with no coding skills, to hack Instagram. Numerous such hack Instagram tools are available online. The only pre-requisite is the Instagram user ID.
The many hacking incidents prompted the web developers to introduce new security features. Recently, they have introduced a two-step verification process. In order to activate this, one first needs to link a phone number to their Instagram account. This bars logins to the Instagram account from unrecognized devices. In order to gain access, one would need a one-time authentication code forwarded to the associated mobile, along with the login ID and password.
However, hackers are no less diligent. Every day they continue to find new ways to breach the security.
Here are some guidelines for the victim to follow, if he/she notices any suspicious activity on their Instagram account:
- Report the incident to Instagram. If the victim, still has access to his/her email account after the hacking, they can use it to change their password. On the Instagram login page, enter your username and click on forgot a password. Instagram sends you a link reset your password if you can enter the email associated with your account currently.
However, in most cases, the Instagram hack is preceded by the hack of your mailing account. In that case, you can report the hack at Instagram Help
- Most Instagram or any social media hacks take place through the hack of the associated email account. This makes it very important to keep your email account associated with social media safe. Using long passwords reduces the risk.
Another useful application which proves to be very helpful in this regard is logDog. It notifies you of any suspicious activity associated with your account.
However, once your Instagram account is hacked, you must consider that your email account is vulnerable and take every measure to omit private data, such as bank account number, credit card details, passwords to other accounts. Numerous free tools are available online that may help in this regard, by pointing out such emails. You should also notify your friends so that they can delete the thread that might contain valuable information.
- Third Party Apps: Humiliating posts, which one would presume to be the result of hacking often turns out to be nothing more than the work of a third party application. In such cases, revoking access to third-party applications is one of the first things that you should try. In order to do this, log into your account, go to your account page, click on Manage applications on the left-hand side of the page. Revoke access to all the apps by clicking on the “Revoke Access” button to the right of the app listing.
- Next task to do is checking your recent activity and deleting everything that you may find suspicious.
- Any other social media account that is linked to Instagram should also be safeguarded.
- To stay safe, always log out of Instagram accounts when you are not accessing it through your own devices.
- Now that two-step verification is here, it should always be used for added security.
If you think you can hack Instagram and get away with it easily, you are mistaken. Not only does it violate state laws in many parts of the world, hacking Instagram could very well land you in trouble if your hacking machine is traced by the victim.
It is high time that the web-developers and the minds behind Instagram, realize the sensitivity of the information that they are handling and see to it that wannabe scammers don’t get to hack Instagram using the numerous tools available on the internet. At the same time, it is the duty of the account user to secure his/her Instagram account, using all the security features provided by the application itself.