Rebuilding Our Travel Beautifully Community After An Instagram Hack
As some of you may have noticed, our SteamLine Luggage Instagram profile looks a little different. Recently, our branded account was hacked and all of our content – years and years of photos on our profile – was erased. We began anew at the end of August, only after we worked tirelessly with Instagram support staff to recover the account. Unfortunately, we could not retrieve the deleted content, but we are relieved we did not lose our community of friends and followers that has grown over the years.
As far as best practices go, we did everything right. We have always used 2-factor authentication and maintain strong protection on our brand’s intellectual property. However, a hacker was still able to get into our account and demand payment for its return. When we did not pay, the hacker went further, asking followers for money (something we would NEVER do), and ultimately deleting all the posts on our page.
How To Recover Your Hacked Instagram Account
This has been a learning experience for us all here at SteamLine Luggage. In a world so interconnected by social media, we wanted to share some tips on how to recover a hacked Instagram account.
Having any account hacked is a stressful, upsetting event and a complete invasion of privacy. For a small business like ours, along with other such brands and the community of content creators and influencers we love to work with, such a hack can be disruptive and disastrous for ones’ work. We hope our trial by fire in this situation can serve to help you if you find yourself asking “What do I do if I’ve been hacked on Instagram?”
First Things First – Check Your Email
Before turning to Meta’s support infrastructure, check your email to see if you’ve received a message from email@example.com. Don’t forget to check your junk or spam folders, as well.
Look to see if you have received an email from the above account notifying you that changes were made on the Instagram account. If you have received such an email, there may be a link to revert the changes made. Ideally, this would correct the issue and return control of the hacked Instagram account to you, the rightful owner.
Request a Login Link
From your Instagram app login screen, try to request a login link be sent to your email. On the login screen, you can do so by clicking the “Forgot Password?” (iPhone) or “Get Help Logging In” (Android) link.
From there, you will need to enter the username, email address, and phone number associated with the Instagram account. If you do not have access to any of this information, or it has been changed by the hacker, then try tapping the “Can’t Reset Your Password?” link and follow the prompts on the next screen. However, if you do have the required information, the system will prompt you to select either your email or phone number, to which a login link will be sent. From there, follow the on-screen instructions to recover access to the account.
If That Doesn’t Work, Check With the Meta Business Help Center
If you have a business Instagram account, the Meta Business Help Center should be your first stop. They have tips for keeping your Instagram account secure here, which we all can benefit from.
If you know your account is compromised, Meta has a hacked Instagram recovery tool page you’ll want to visit here. From there, you can get tips based on your specific situation. For example, there are tabs for what to do if your login email was changed, or next steps for if unauthorized content is being posted to your account.
Contacting Support for a Hacked Business Instagram Account
If you are unable to recover your Instagram account based on the Hacked Accounts page described above, you will need to reach out to Meta Support.
Business Instagram accounts sometimes have a dedicated Meta Marketing Pro. If you have a dedicated Pro, reach out to them first. Provide them with some key information to get the recovery process started. Important information includes:
- A description of what’s going on (whether you’re locked out of the account, whether the hacker is posting unauthorized content, when it started, etc.),
- Your full Instagram handle, and
- An email address that has never been assigned to a Facebook or Instagram page (that is, one that is completely unknown to the hackers).
From there, ask that Meta secure the account. Be sure to point out if you have had to turn off Facebook and Instagram Ads based on the hacking, because it means that Meta will be losing out on ad money your account otherwise generates. This can give your hacking issue higher priority internally at Meta.
File a Meta Support Ticket
Even if you provide your Meta Marketing Pro with all the information described above, it is also important to file a Meta Support Ticket if your Instagram was hacked. You can find the Support Ticket form here.
The Meta Support Ticket will have you select an issue from a menu. Click “My ad account was hacked” and answer questions that the Support Ticket prompts. When prompted, provide them with the information described in the previous section – your handle, an entirely separate email, and a description of what is going on.
When the Meta Support Ticket is created, communications will take place via Facebook Messenger, so be sure to have your phone or computer available so you can respond quickly. Support Tickets are automatically closed if you have not responded to a message from them within 48 hours.
Now That We’re Back on Instagram, Join Our Community!
Now that we’ve covered the heavy, stressful aspects of recovering a hacked Instagram account, we want to invite you to join our Travel Beautifully community on the app as we rebuild our photo library! Full of travel and style inspiration, our Instagram account highlights our friends and community who Travel Beautifully each and every day.