If you've ever experienced a social media hacking, you know what a complete nightmare it is. Speaking from experience, we wouldn't wish it on anyone - especially if you use your Instagram account as a source for sales and leads with clients. Watching someone else control an account that you've put a huge amount of effort and time into is pretty scary. Luckily, we were able to regain control of Media A La Carte's account, and now we're going to share with you the best things to put into place to keep your account from being hacked.
1. Use a Password Manager so Your Passwords Can Be Intricate
We've all been there. You start a new account, and you don't want to forget the password so you do something simple like "businessname1". Don't do that. Use a password manager that auto generates passwords for you. Both Google and Apple offer free password managers that you can access on all of your devices. That way your passwords will be unguessable and you don't have to remember them. Auto generated, saved passwords also keep you from using similar passwords for all your accounts. If you use similar passwords, when a hacker guesses one it's much easier to take down the rest of your accounts. Password managers are life savers for online security.
If you want to create your own passwords, make sure you vet each of them with a website like How Secure is My Password?. The passwords you check on this website are not stored in any way, so you don't have to worry about them being found by hackers.
2. Double Check Your Third Party Apps
Sometimes when we log in to other services for the first time, we'll use our Instagram account to authorize a login instead of creating a new account for the service. Examples are Spotify, dating apps, photo editing apps, and even online games. You want to go through and double check every third part app you've authorized. Your Instagram account is only as secure as those third party apps. If they're targeted and hacked, then your Instagram account is vulnerable.
Go to your Instagram account on a desktop browser. Click on Settings, and then select "Apps and Websites". Then you can go through and clear out third party apps you might not even remember you authorized.
3. Turn on Two - Factor Authentication
Two - factor authentication is a multistep process that has to be completed during logins on unrecognized devices that requires a code to be able to login. This means that even if a hacker has your password, they can't get into your Instagram account because they won't be able to get the verification code. Make sure you go through this super simple set up process ASAP for two - factor authentication.
Go to Settings > Security > Two - Factor Authentication. You'll then be able to choose between receiving a text message for authentication or using an authentication app. If you don't have an authentication app, no worries - Instagram prompts you to download one.
After you set this up, anyone who logs into your account from a new device will need (1) your password and (2) a verification code.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3 for Your Email Account
Think about it for a minute - how many accounts are attached to your email address? You probably couldn't list them all if you tried. Every time you buy something online - you enter your email address. Every social account you create - attached to your email address. Your bank account - attached to your email address. Email addresses are the number one way hackers get into your life. Make sure you strengthen your email password, double check if you've authorized any third party apps, and definitely set up Two - Factor Authentication for your email address.
Also - never respond to suspicious emails or click on links in them. Never send money to someone over email, and never share your passwords or private information over email.
All of this can seem like a hassle at first, but once you get it all done, you'll have the weight of cyber hacking off of your shoulders. Do it now before you regret not doing it.