Last week it was reported that a large number of celebrities, most notably Selena Gomez, had their Instagram account hacked. Today it appears that the number of hacks is much higher than initially thought, with an estimated 6 million account details being leaked.
In response to the hack Instagram representatives have said:
"…we’re encouraging you to report any unusual activity through our reporting tools. You can access those tools by tapping the “…” menu from your profile, selecting 'Report a Problem' and then 'Spam or Abuse."
But what can you do to make sure that your Instagram is as secure as it can be? Here are some tips to help keep your account safe:
Keep your password strong and unique
- Pick a strong password
There are a few ways that you can make sure that your password is as strong as possible. Make sure your password is a minimum of 10 characters, that it uses both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters on a keyboard eg ! ? @ £ %
- Make it memorable
To make sure you remember your password you can use memorable words, a line of lyrics from a song or a memorable quote from a film. You can make these harder to guess by using numbers instead of some letters eg replace all the vowels with numbers!
- Keep your password unique
Your password should be different from other passwords you use anywhere else on the internet.
- Never tell other people your password
The more people that know your password the less secure it is. Treat your password like your toothbrush, you shouldn't share it with anyone else.
- Change your password when prompted
On Instagram you may get a prompt when your password needs changing, for example if there is a risk that it has been compromised. Changing your password helps to keep your account secure and prevent you from being hacked in the future. However if you get an unrequested email telling you to change your password, do not click on any links it contains; go directly to the website instead and change your password there.
Use a secure email address
- Make sure your email account is secure
If someone can gain access to your email address then they may be able to access any accounts that are linked to it. Always make sure that no two email passwords are the same.
Once you’ve set up your account
- Turn on two-factor authentication in Instagram for additional account security.
Two-factor verification means that anytime that you log into Instagram from a new device you will have to confirm that it is you by using a code sent to your mobile number.
- Log out
It is especially important to log out of your account when you use a computer or phone you share with other people. Don't check the "Remember Me" box when logging in from a public computer, as this will keep you logged in even after you close the browser window, making it easy for other users to access your account.
Think about which apps you give access
- Think before you authorise any third-party apps.
Before you give an app access to your Instagram account think about whether this is a trusted app and what data it will require.
Instagram has also released security guidance to help prevent your account from being hacked.