Unfortunately, spam and hacking are on the rise, and this is frustrating and concerning for businesses on social media. There are a few things we’d like to remind you of in order to help avoid your account being hacked. Plus, we’ll share the steps to take if you believe you have been hacked.
Two Factor Authentication
First and foremost, Instagram heavily encourages users to set up two-factor authentication for an extra layer of safety while logging in. This means instead of only using a password to login, in addition, there will be a second step including one of the following options: You’ll be sent a text for a log in code, or you can use a 3rd party app to verify your login attempt.
How to set up two-factor authentication on Instagram:
Go to Settings –> Account –> Two-factor authentication. From here, it will prompt you to set up a two-step process to log into your accounts, either through a phone number or a security app.
While you’re at it, make sure you have a strong password on your social media apps and that it’s only shared with team members you trust and those you want to contribute to your social media channels.
Suspicious DMs and Emails
Next word of advice, DO NOT click on any links or images in emails or DMs if a) you’re unsure of the sender, or b) there are any spelling or grammar errors in emails. Many retailers have experienced a huge headache from getting tricked by a hacker pretending to be Meta, Facebook, Instagram or a customer. Some of the common spam emails and DMs include messages saying your account will be deactivated soon, that your account has violated community guidelines, or that they are a customer who is dissatisfied with a certain product.
Please do NOT click on any links in DM’s or emails unless you are absolutely sure the sender is a verified customer or the email is actually from Meta.
The list below contains the only emails affiliated with Meta. If it’s not on this list, it’s probably not legitimate:
For Your Community’s Sake…
With hacking and spam on the rise, you also want to keep your community as safe and as spam-free as possible. Many account impersonators are out there pretending to be businesses or personal accounts. This is where we recommend leaning into your own branding and voice as much as possible, so that if your account gets impersonated, hopefully a customer won’t be tricked as they’ll notice something isn’t quite right.
To do this, be sure your profile images on social media match the images on your website and are consistent across all platforms. Be sure to also double check your spelling and grammar on your posts, as hackers are known to have poor grammar (many times English isn’t a first language for a lot of them). Lastly, making posts with your brand colors, logo, and fonts on graphic posts is important because it’s highly unlikely a hacker would be able to replicate your branding in a post.
You can also avoid spam comments on your posts by using Hidden Words on Instagram.
If You Have Been Hacked…
Lastly, if you believe your account has been hacked, IG has created a new form that can accelerate the process of getting your account back. You can go to Instagram.com/hacked and follow the instructions from there.
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- Set up two-factor authentication
- Create a strong password for social media channels
- Never click on links or images in emails and DMs you’re unsure of
- Only trust the short list of verified emails from Meta
Okay, over to you…
We understand that hacking and spamming is very scary and frustrating as a business owner, but it’s much better to be proactive than reactive in these situations! Stay safe out there!