Instagram phishing: how to fix
Social networks have undoubtedly been great news for all of us. The opportunities they offer are many (you can keep in touch with distant people, allow you to inform yourself in a timely manner, even for many they have become a full-fledged job) and it is now impossible for anyone to imagine an “offline” life. However, this should not make us let our guard down: it is important to always keep in mind that these tools also have negative and, in some cases, even dangerous aspects. An example of this is phishing , a fraud attempt that can be easily stumbled upon on social media, especially Instagram.
If you are here, it is because you fear you have been victim of phishing on Instagram or simply because you heard about it and got alarmed. Either way, you’re in the right place: I’ll tell you what you need to know about this topic and tell you how to protect yourself.
In general, the word phishing indicates a web scam through which an attacker pretends to be a trustworthy and authorized entity and, in doing so, tries to steal the sensitive data of the victim (for example personal information, financial data and access codes). Not surprisingly, the term phishing derives from “fishing”: through this practice, in fact, you try to “fish” for data.
Specifically, on Instagram we talk about phishing when someone tries to obtain login data to enter your account.
How it works
Phishing on Instagram takes place by sending a suspicious message or link, through which the scammer requests the inclusion of some personal information (or sensitive data). Normally, no one would be inclined to do so; indeed, I believe that we would all be tempted, instinctively, not to pay attention to such a strange request. However, in these messages it is often and willingly indicated that, if the request is not taken into consideration, the Instagram profile will be blocked or – even – deleted.
Furthermore, remember that phishing is becoming more and more good at not getting caught and, in some cases, recognizing the fraud can be very difficult indeed. In short, there is no shame if you let yourself be “fooled”! The important thing is run for cover immediately .
What to do if you are a victim
If, reading these lines, your suspicion of being a victim of phishing has been confirmed, so it is good to act now to stem the damage. Here are some things you can do in cases like this:
How to defend yourself
Even if you have never been a victim of phishing, it is still very important to know this problem , just to avoid falling into the “trap”.
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from phishing on Instagram:
- Pay attention to the messages you be suspicious , especially those where you are offered gifts and prizes, or those who threaten to block or delete your account. In cases like these, my advice is to block and report the profile to Instagram;
- Remember that, if ever there were any official communications relating to your Instagram account, they would arrive by email from addresses with domain
@ mail.instagram.com. All other emails are almost certainly a scam, so just ignore them. In any case, it should be noted that it is never recommended to follow links or open attachments contained in emails , unless you are 100% sure of the authenticity of the sender;
- Change periodically your password . It might seem like a hassle, but changing your password often is a great way to protect your account (and this rule not only applies to Instagram, but also to other social networks, as well as to your email address and all other virtual accounts you own). Of course, the more complex the password, the more secure it is, so use a combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks that are hard to guess. And, again speaking of passwords, do not reveal it to someone you do not totally trust;
- Do not leave your profile connected to devices that are not yours or that you share with others people. Have you logged into Instagram from the school or office computer? Have you used your friend’s smartphone to check your feed and DMs? No problem, but remember to do not check the “Stay logged in” box when you log in and disconnect your account when you are done;
- Enable authentication two-factor of Instagram . If you do, you will be prompted to enter a code or to confirm the login attempt each time someone tries to log into Instagram with your account from an unrecognized device (even if they know the password).