Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms nowadays. No wonder it has attracted cyber criminals as it has a huge user base. With so many users being on the platform, it is easy for criminals to conduct phishing attacks. This creates a risk that you can get hacked through Instagram DMs (direct messages).
Phishing occurs when someone attempts to access your Instagram account by sending you a strange message or link that requests personal information. These messages may also suggest that your account will be blocked or terminated if you do not follow their instructions. By opening a link that was sent to you, you are risking losing your data or the whole account.
Table of Contents
Can you be hacked through Instagram DM?
One of the famous recent Instagram DM scams is based on a phishing message. User receives a DM in Instagram, that is faked to be from the Instagram itself. User gets a Copyright Notice that asks to take immediate action.
After clicking on the provided link, user gets redirected to a fake website. And if the user enters any information, it is sent to the attacker.
If you generate any online material, even if you’re just a casual blogger or social media user, you’re surely aware of how simple it is for people to steal your work and pass it off as their own. We’re not talking about legitimate means for others to promote your work, such as links, shares, and retweets. We’re talking about someone else openly scraping, duplicating, or republishing your original work as if they developed it themselves, without asking for permission.
Simultaneously, you’ll realize how simple it is to be accused of copyright infringement, even though you constantly utilize third-party material in compliance with the original creator’s licensing terms. Several social media platforms have formalized mechanisms for registering complaints and challenging takedowns.
This type of phishing utilizes very well known social engineering principles. If a user does not “give input” and clicks on the link at the bottom of the message, the account will be terminated. The link does not take you to a Facebook-affiliated website and may be exploited to steal your personal information.
How to Protect your Instagram Account
Today, several Instagram Security Checkup features are available. The new features will assist users in keeping their Instagram accounts protected. Security Examination will walk users through the procedures for securing account.
This approach includes checking login activity, evaluating profile information, confirming accounts that share username and password, and upgrading account recovery contact details such as phone number, or email address are all part of the process. Security Checkup is a great tool to make Instagram accounts as safe as possible.
However, even though basic cyber hygiene is a must, we recommend taking additional steps to keep their account even more secure. Enterprises may take various actions to combat both phishing and spear phishing assaults, but how secure is the account depends on how the end user protects himself.
Tip no. #1 – Configure Two-factor Authentication
2FA (one-time codes used in conjunction with a password) makes things more difficult for hackers because your password alone is no longer adequate to gain access to your account. Because it offers an extra verification layer when entering sensitive apps, two-factor authentication (2FA) is the most effective strategy to combating phishing operations. Even though if your password somehow become compromised, two-factor authentication gives additional layer of security.
When logging in to your account, different concepts are utilized to identify yourself if the 2FA is on:
Something you know, such as a password or user name, and something you own, such as a smartphone with a code generation application
Even if your credentials have been compromised, 2FA stops hacker from accessing the system since they are inadequate on their own.
Even though 2FA is a great security improvement, you must use strong password, that is created to best practices.
It is also crucial to change your passwords regularly and should not use the same password for several apps.
When you enable two-factor authentication on Instagram, you will be informed if anybody attempts to enter a password using an unrecognized device or internet browser. These notifications will inform you of the device that managed to log in and its location. You may accept or decline the request from any of your previously logged-in devices. At any moment, you may examine a list of devices that have recently logged into your Instagram account by going to “Settings,” “Security,” and “Login Activity.” If you don’t recognize a recent login, log out of that location or device and email us to let us know it wasn’t you.
Tip no. #2 – Remain Critical About Messages You Receive
Recently there was an increase in fraudulent accounts DMing users in an attempt to get sensitive information such as account passwords. They may tell you, that
- Your account has been terminated
- You have broken Instagram intellectual property standards
- Photographs of yours have been shared illegally
These emails are usually hoaxes that aims at compromising your account. Instagram will never send you a direct message. The Instagram takes action when one or another situation occurs.
If Instagram wants to contact you regarding your account, it will do so via the Email that your account is using. This is the only way how you can get contacted by the Instagram administration.
In a case of a phishing message you should report int and block the account.
Phishing is the most common way for criminals to steal your identity and personal accounts. It takes only one message and one negligent action. For your account to be stolen. As we’ve explained in the article, you can get hacked through Instagram DM.
To protect yourself from criminals you must remain cautious what links do you click. You must also remain suspicious on any message that requires you taking “immediate action”. This is especially important when getting a DM on Instagram.
Instagram never sends you DMs.
You must also take other actions for increasing security of your IG account. Passwords should be changed periodically. It is also advisable to use multi-factor authentication for your accounts.
Technology enthusiast and blogger in my free time