Instagrammers with large fan-following enjoy the fame and monetization this massive popularity brings with it. However, on the downside, this fame also lures scammers, hackers, and other unscrupulous elements who can blow the lid on all the hard work it took to create that recognition.

Whether to sell an account in the black market or use it for monetary gains, a business account is appealing to hackers. It’s essential to protect yourself and your Instagram page from the ill intentions of scammers. Nik Mulani, Chief Business Officer at digital brand-building agency Digital Nod, shares that “going by the current trends, scammers use various means to dupe account owners into sharing their passwords, only to take over the accounts and compromise your brand image or identity.”

Nik elaborates, “A lot of hackers are taking over Instagram accounts by creating Instagram forms that look authentic. However, it should ring an alarm when such forms ask for your password, or OTPs, or your email account access, because Instagram never does.”

Usually, prime targets are large accounts of businesses, brands, influencers, or celebrities. “Scammers can deploy various methods as clickbait to capture your Instagram password or other sensitive information. The most popular trap are messages stating that Instagram has selected your account for the blue-tick or verification,” explains Nik. “The scammers try to guide you to fill out a form or visit an unverified website, making you enter your password somewhere in the process,” he adds.

“At Digital Nod, we’ve consulted hundreds of Instagram account owners to help them get verified, and never once has the account owner needed to enter their password anywhere. If you are deemed eligible to be verified on Instagram, there is no additional process required at your end.”

Nik asserts that your account should be secured using two-factor authentication, preferably by a third-party authentication app like Google Authenticator, rather than just securing it with a phone number, as even phone numbers tend to get prone to hacking in such cases, where a scammer has tried to lay a well-disguised trap.

“The two-factor authentication ensures your account’s security even if someone else has stolen or has access to your account password,” states Nik. “On the other side, you should also keep a tab on third-party apps that have access to your Instagram. You must remove access for those that aren’t necessary or look suspiciously added to the list. ​Unfortunately, as social media usage continues to rise incrementally, we are seeing a lot of hackers and scammers out there relying on accounts not being careful with their security,” says Nik.

Nik recommends the following three practically to step-up the security of your Instagram account:

1​. Choose third-party apps carefully

I​t’s common practice to use third-party apps to improve your account but ensure that you have researched them and understand their privacy policies and terms of use. Nik explains further, “know exactly what you are linking to your account, and when in doubt, don’t.”

2​. Never ignore security warnings

“​Should you receive an email concerning your Instagram account’s security, check the sender email ID and take immediate action accordingly,” says Nik. “Address these notifications as they come in as they are often time-sensitive. It is advisable to protect yourself from potential scams by acting swiftly.”

3​. Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is almost necessary, Mulani insists. Especially if you’ve connected to a third-party app or perhaps work with a team to manage your account, Nik maintains that the extra layer of security can help keep unauthorized people from getting into your account.

“No one wants to be hacked! You’ve worked hard to build your online presence, and it’s easy to add a few more layers to your security than regretting later,” concludes Nik.

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