036: Protect your Instagram account: 2FA & Backup (Bonus Midweek Episode)

If you’re running a business on Instagram or Facebook do this now!
Hackers are targeting online influencers, holding accounts to ransom and deleting everything. To learn how to protect yourself watch this bonus midweek episode now.

Hey there YouTube! Someone I know had their Instagram hacked and held to ransom this week. This is an account she uses daily to build her business and communicate with her team. She never dealt with the hacker themselves, but they wiped her account of all of her posts and over 14,000 followers before she managed to regain control of her account. It’s been harrowing five days for her and a real scare for a bunch of people around her, so I wanted to share a couple of very quick and simple things you can do to protect your accounts online.

First though, a word of warning. Instagram and Facebook (and Twitter and
YouTube etc.) are all free platforms that allow you to share your info with the world on their platform. For free. You’re only paying if you choose to run ads (or sponsored posts or whatever they’re called) on that platform. Free. That’s their business model and it also means they have to keep their support costs relatively low, which means they automate everything they can and everything else goes into a queue and takes time to be dealt with. This sucks but it’s the price you pay for playing in their sandbox.

Enough said.

What can we do to best protect ourselves? Two things: Two-Factor Authentication and Backup. What is Two-Factor Authentication? The first factor in authentication that everyone is used to, is your password. This is something you KNOW. Adding a second factor adds something you HAVE. In this case your phone. The system will either send you a text or pop up in a dedicated app with an authentication code that you need to type in as part of your login. So even if someone were able to guess your password, they would still need access to your text messages to be able to log into your account.

Here let me show you.

It’s a little off topic but I have to say that this post that appeared in my Insta feed as I was recording this was timely. Gary Vee discussing what would happen if Instagram just disappeared like MySpace did? But I digress…

In your Instagram, click on the head and shoulders icon to go to the profile page, then click on the settings cog. From the menu select Privacy and Security. Scroll down to two-factor authentication and click Edit two-factor authentication settings. Assuming the phone number is correct, tick the box to turn on text messages, and turn it on, then click Next. You will get a message on your phone that looks like this.

Enter the code and click done. You’ll be given a series of backup codes, take a screenshot and store them somewhere safe. Now you’re safe. Anytime you log into Instagram it will take a few extra moments to receive that text message and enter in the code but you’ll be safe and that’s worth it.

The second part is Backup. Further down the Privacy and Security screen is the option to request a data download. Inside is a link to create a download package of your account. This can take some time, especially if you have a lot of posts, but, eventually they will email you a link to download your backup file. This file contains all of your photos, videos & profile information.

Now, there’s no clear way to upload that back to Instagram but at least you have the information, you know what you posted and you have a record of it.

I hope that helps. Please spread the word. Share this to your network, people need to know before someone else ends up like my friend.

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I’m here to help. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great day!

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