Instagram is a free and popular social media photo-sharing platform for sharing photos and videos with friends and family. Like any other popular social media platform, cybercriminals are increasingly interested in hacking Instagram accounts. This article will discuss the five standard methods for preventing cybercriminals from hacking Instagram accounts.
5 Common Methods Hacking Instagram Accounts
1. Use Strong Password
If passwords are easy and commonly used as such as a nickname, phone number, partner name, pet name, to name a few, hacks can easily hack Instagram accounts. The hacker might make a brute force assault to get your password, and once they do, they can do whatever they want with your account.
Users should ensure that a strong password is selected with a combination of numbers, symbols, space bar, and lower and upper case. You should ensure that your Instagram password is unique and does not use the same password for other emails or social media accounts.
This reduces the risk of compromising your account. HaveIBeenPwned is a usual site to verify that your funds are safe. You can see here whether your credentials were leaked to the public.
2. Further Keyloggers
A remote keylogger is a “piece of software that records anything you type on your mobile or computer and transmits it to the person who has installed it” (The Zero Hack). Once a keylogger is installed, anything typed (password, login credentials, bank details, etc.) will be saved and viewed by the hacker. This is a secret way to hack Instagram accounts.
How to prevent remote keyloggers
- Do not use third-party keyboard applications.
- Don’t open attachments or click on email links since the keylogger can be inserted in the branch.
- To help detect, disable and quarantine software-based keyboard loggers, install anti-spyware applications (Norton)
3. Phishing Emails
An attacker sends an email that pretends to be from Instagram and advises you to click a link to reset your password or complete an investigation. Regardless of the email content, the attacker has personal information and successfully controls your Instagram account as soon as you click on the link and enter any credentials.
In 2019, a hacking group stole high-profile identities by sending phishing emails to those accounts indicating they could receive the verified badge on their Instagram profile. The email contains a link to ask the user to check their Instagram account by entering their credentials (see screenshot below).
The attacker has successfully acquired high-profile accounts credentials and has tried users to believe that they are verified. This is another way of hacking Instagram accounts.
How to Prevent Phishing Email Attacks?
- To keep an eye on them, users should be instructed and informed about the characteristics of phishing emails. What you can do here:
- Do not click on or open any links from a suspicious email.
- Do not enter personal information from a popup screen (note that legit businesses never request personal details from a popup screen
- Keep an eye out for errors in the email content.
4. Zero-Day Attacks
A zero-day attack is a “security software flaw known to the software vendor but which has no patch in place to fix the flaw” (Norton). If a hacker finds a zero-day vulnerability on Instagram, Instagram users and their accounts could face some serious security risks. Since the vulnerability is not yet publicly announced, it gives the hackers a benefit.
How to Prevent Zero-Day Attacks
There’s no way to avoid zero-day attacks altogether, but you can take security precautions to prevent attackers from hacking Instagram:
- Use latest Instagram App.
- Enable two-factor authentication.
5. Mobile OS vulnerabilities
If vulnerabilities exist on the mobile operating system, hackers can hack Instagram, as well as hacking the phones themselves. Most vulnerabilities exploited can be caused by zero-day vulnerabilities.
How to protect against Mobile OS vulnerabilites.
Make sure your operating system is upgraded when an update is available
Do not use unknown sources and only trusted sources in an app store to install applications.
These are the five common methods for hacking Instagram and how to protect your Instagram from being hacked against each method. I’m sure that hackers can use many other techniques to hack Instagram accounts. In always finding new techniques where prevention may not be at first, hackers are one step ahead. You should therefore make sure you do all you can to ensure that your account is secure.