OMG, My Instagram account was Hacked!
My heart was beating very fast and I couldn’t breathe, sweat drops covered my face and I felt like my world has turned upside down- a Nightmare that I just wanted to wake up from, this is what I had to deal with when my Instagram account was hacked.
It was 11pm, London time, I was having a glass of wine in the garden and then the “attack” happened. I got 3 emails on my Iphone on my yahoo email saying that my password has been changed, but wait, “I didn’t change it”, less than 10 seconds after I got the error saying I can’t log in to my email. I don’t know why, but I understood right away that I was hacked. My heartbeat ranked, so many unclear thoughts, like a mess in my head, some kind of chaos, within few seconds I rushed back to the house for my laptop, but then I realized that what I really needed to check is my Instagram account (with my 118K followers) more than the email. Oh well, my worries were verified. “My Instagram account was hacked too”. I couldn’t log in, couldn’t retrieve my password, the hacker got it all and more than that, he started posting random pictures on my account. Oh God. I felt like someone violated my privacy, my body, in 1 second 1 person has ruined what I’ve built with my own hands for more than 3 years.
It didn’t take long till I started getting text messages from people all around the world, asking what’s going on, trying to see if they can help, but actually they couldn’t. No one could beside Instagram and later on to be me.
So here’s the thing, if you are being hacked on Instagram you need to contact Instagram’s support and wait till they get back to you, if ever. And I say if ever, because during the past four years I’m on Instagram, they never replied some emails I wrote them or my other Instagram friends wrote them. Too many “fans” mail for very few employees?!
I was panic, but still trying to think creative, so I started looking for other ways to get to Instagram people, tried contacting Kevin Systrom and other Instagram employees directly through twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, without any luck.
Next thing was, going to the police but “will they care about personal Instagram and email accounts? Not sure”, but you can’t blame me for trying. I was told to call to “fraud department” on working hours. Gee, thanks, I need to wait 8 hours till they open. No thanks.
So I decided to try the last option which is to talk directly with the hacker, well, through Instagram. Using my dog’s profile (@theizotimes), I wrote to my own profile (how weird was that) trying to get his attention, and I did. He replied. At first it was very hostile.
I was an “aggressive dog”, he was an aggressive hacker, but then I decided to speak to his heart and explain him how important Instagram to me, how hard it was to build such a big community, having so many followers supporting me on the way that I did, well guess what?! It worked. So besides 30 people that he blocked and un-friend on my list, I got back my passwords for everything and was able to breath normally again (well, took me few hours to calm down, but still).
My biggest hope after writing these words is that Facebook (AKA “Instagram’s owner”) will find the way to prevent easy hacks when you got someone email’s details and also work more on instagram’s costumers’ service because one very important thing about social media and networking is engagement and if they would keep ignoring their community and keep being out of reach, it will affect them in the future (#SomeoneWhoKnows).
I also hope that you will never have to deal with hackers taking over your accounts.