Instagram, one of the more famous social networking websites today, has reported to have been infiltrated by hackers. Last Thursday, several hundred Instagram users tweeted that they cannot have access to their accounts. As per Mashable, the number is increasing day-by-day and this is alarming. Instagram hasn’t sent a statement out yet about the issue. However, Instagram should attend to this issue immediately as hundreds of individuals had their accounts hacked and their privacy breached.
For the past week, many people had the experience of their passwords, email addresses, and Instagram handles changed without their permission or knowledge. In addition to that, the bios of their profiles were completely removed and their profile pictures were replaced.
A couple of the victims took the scene to social media to make people aware of the situation. According to them, the email address their accounts were changed to had the domain .ru which is a Russian domain. Since this is the case, they have no way of resetting their password because whatever temporary password Instagram will send would just go straight to that domain.
Interestingly, most of the victims who took part of this did not have two-factor authentication. Meaning, the security of their account was not in any way good because TFA serves as the best and the second line of defense of social media. However, some accounts had two-factor authentication and this did not even flinch the Russian hackers.
TheSun.Co.UK is a blog dedicated to bringing news, fashion, tech trends, and many more. They also wrote about the situation and they were able to get a hold of Rob Shapland, the Principal Cyber Security Consultant at the Falanx Group.
Although most of the accounts that have been taken over do not use 2FA, there have been anecdotal reports that some of the accounts were using this security option,” Rob said to The Sun.
Even if the account was secured, the hackers still didn’t budge; they still got through.
It’s also possible the users’ computers have already been hacked, which would then allow the hackers easy control over any accounts they are using,” Rob added.
It is very important to always see and check whether or not your accounts are secure. Why? Not only because of the privacy, also because of the fact that you might have personal financial transactions on your account and for other people to see them? That’s going to be a lot of headache for you.
So what should I do to ensure that all of my social media accounts are safe from being hacked?
Before this Instagram scandal, there have been a lot of privacy breach reports on different social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, all that you can think of. This just proves that we are not in any way secured 100 percent of the time. That simply means that we need to take more cautious in dealing with our identities online.
Password-protect your device
There are hackers who can access whatever account you have once they get inside your phone. To make sure you’re secured and that you don’t get hacked, set-up a password for your device that is strong and that no one knows. This is one of the few best ways to make sure that your information is kept private and confidential.
Use strong passwords on your social networking accounts
Another thing is that you should always make it to a point that your passwords across all accounts are strong and safe. Mix it all up; use a combination of uppercase letters, symbols, numbers, and lower case letters for your passwords.
Do not use the same password for your accounts
The first thing that hackers will try for your accounts is to check whether or not the passwords are the same. Same goes for your phone. Make sure that you write down a list of your passwords, all different to maintain the level of security of your personal information online.
Be careful on who adds you as a friend or who you follow
Hackers phish and they use this to creep around the information they need from you. I know a person who got hacked just by accepting a friend request from a person he thought he knew. Be selective in allowing people to see whatever you want to show.
Be cautious about what you share
Another thing that could ultimately make you avoid being hacked is about what you share. Sometimes, hackers use websites, cookies, and phishing websites to drain information from you. They would use this with a permission to grant access to your personal information without you knowing.
Think first before you click!
This goes to everything especially on what you share. Ever heard of the Cambridge Analytica scandal of Facebook? Where it asks for your permission to have access to your personal information? Before you click on anything that says Accept or Allow or Grant Access, read what you’re allowing because this can be the reason why people will gain access to your personal and confidential information.
The internet is a vast plane of information, people, and all the things you can dream about. You can be anyone online without blowing it off. This is one more reason that you remain cautious and safe so that you can be sure that whatever you’re accessing will not be used against you. The Instagram scandal that has happened and that is continually happening is just part of the problem netizens are facing now. What you need to do is to just do your part, be cautious, and do not let anyone have information on how to have access to your account.