Iphone with two factor authentication icons

How to Keep Your Instagram Safe, Secure and Protected

October 16, 2023
Kyra Goodman

Take a proactive approach when it comes to the safety of your Instagram account.

With the convenience of online connectivity comes the ever-present risk of ill-intentioned actors seeking to exploit your online presence. Lately, we've been bombarded with an excessive amount of spam direct messages, often disguising themselves as threats of account bans. In reality, these are nothing more than phishing scams, designed to trick you into clicking malicious links or divulging personal information.

Instagram is notoriously unhelpful with account recovery so it's best to take a proactive approach when in comes to your account security.

Here are some of the top ways that you can keep your Instagram account safe, secure and protected.

Turn on two-factor authentication

App-based two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your Instagram account by requiring additional verification to login.

Using app-based 2FA is recommended over other methods of authentication because it’s more secure and you can add multiple devices connected to an account so they can all get login codes. This is important especially if you work with a team.

Plus your app-based 2FA works with Sked Social, so you can keep your security while still scheduling and auto-posting your content.

See our step-by-step guide to setting up two-factor authentication for your Instagram account and how to link it to Sked.

Verify emails actually came from Instagram

Instagram will NEVER reach out to you about account security through DMs. Official Instagram messages will only be sent to your email address and will come from @support.facebook.com, @support.instagram.com, @mail.instagram.com or @facebookmail.com.

You can also double check that any email communications you get are actually from Instagram.

Open Instagram and go to your profile. Click the three lines in the top right corner and click Settings and privacy. Click Accounts Center > Password and Security and Recent emails. Select your account and Instagram will show you any security emails or other emails that have been sent to you in the last 14 days. This will help you determine if an email you received was real or fake.

Don't trust messages demanding money, offering gifts or threatening to delete or ban your account

Always exercise caution and skepticism when you receive messages on Instagram demanding money, offering gifts or threatening to delete or ban your account.

Instagram will never ask for payments or request your bank information to maintain your account. This is a huge red flag. If you get a DM like this, immediately block and report it.

For extra peace of mind, check your account status to ensure you’re not at risk of being banned. Go to Settings and privacy > Account status. Here you'll be able to see any actions that Instagram has taken when your account or content doesn’t follow their guidelines. If you’ve got all green checks, you’re good to go!

Don't click suspicious links or attachments

Links and attachments may come in the form of email or direct message. Even if an email looks like it could be real, don’t click on any links or attachments until you verify the email was from Instagram using the above method. Clicking compromised links or attachments can sometimes set off malware to be downloaded to your device.

Some red flags to look out for via DMs are:

  • The sender has no profile photo
  • The sender has no posts
  • The sender asking for your account info or personal information
  • The sender is promising you money or followers

When you see anything suspicious, block and report it to Instagram.

Pick a strong password

Instagram recommends that you use a combination of at least six numbers, letters and special characters (like !$@%), and try to avoid repetition.

As well as choosing  a strong password, be sure to change your password regularly and never give it out to anyone you don’t trust.

If you have a hard time remembering passwords, don’t just write it down on a sticky note. Use a password manager to keep all of your passwords safe and organized like 1password or LastPass.

Log out of Instagram

Remember to log out of Instagram when you use a computer or phone you share and don't check the "Remember me" box when logging in from a public computer.

You can see devices that you're currently logged in on by clicking the three lines in the top right corner of your profile. Click Setting and privacy > Accounts Center > Password and security > Where you're logged in.

To log out of any of the devices, scroll to the bottom and click the red Select devices to log out. Select the device you want to log out of and click Log Out. If you see a device you don't recognize, Instagram will prompt you to secure your account by changing the password.

Run an Instagram security checkup

Instagram also gives you helpful tips in keeping your account secure. From your profile, click the three lines in the top right corner. Click Setting and privacy, then Accounts Center. Go to Password and security and click Security checkup. Select your account and Instagram will recommend certain actions to improve the security of your account like adding a recovery phone and email address, updating your password and enabling two-factor authentication.

In conclusion

While no security measure can guarantee 100% safety, these steps significantly enhance your defenses against online threats. Always err on the side of caution and remain vigilant. Protecting your Instagram account is an ongoing process, but by implementing these strategies, you can enjoy a more secure and worry-free online experience. Remember, the key to online security is in your hands, so stay proactive and stay safe.

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