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How You Can Help Secure Your Instagram Account & How to Restore a Hacked or Blocked Account

So how can you restore a hacked or blocked Instagram account, and how can you protect it so it doesn’t happen again?

Save this post because I am about to teach you everything you need to know about hacking and blocking.

The recommendations in this post are based on my personal experience and the recommendations of the members of the Instagram Israel Community which I manage.

In this post we will look into following subjects:

  1. Prevention: securing your account from blocks and hacks.
  2. The account being blocked by Instagram
  3. The account being hacked by hackers

First things first, let’s go over the preventative steps you have to take, starting today, in order to protect your account and avoid as much as possible being in a situation in which you are hacked or blocked.

Then we will see what we can do to try and recover an Instagram account that has either been hacked or blocked.

Step 1 - Preventing Blocking  & Hacking

How to help protect your Instagram account from hacking and blocking?

10 actions and recommendations to protect your Instagram account from hacks and blocks

  1. Make sure that the  e-mail associated with your account is up to date, active and that you have access to it.

How do you check and update this if required? Go to ‘edit profile’, make sure there is an active e-mail address from a trusted email provider, not from some single use service or services which delete inactive accounts.
Make sure you have a strong password for both your Instagram account and the e-mail linked to the account. Change the password once every few months.

  1. It is recommended that the ‘contact options’ e-mail isn't the same as your main e-mail account (The one linked to the account). Using the same e-mail address would make it easier to hack the account.
  2. Do not follow any link that scares you into changing your username or password, that the account will be blocked or anything else that tries to scare you into action, no matter how real it seems. Regardless of whether that message arrived via SMS, as an Instagram or Facebook profile tag, WhatsApp or courier pigeon, it is phishing at best or a hack attempt at worse.

Here are a few examples:

Here is an overall recommendation regarding e-mails and links: whether you are certain of the legitimacy of the link or not, it is always a good idea to open your Instagram account independently and perform any kind of change directly through the service/app. This way, you will be certain that you are “at the right place”, performing the changes you want, without having to rely on any referral, whether e-mail-based or anything else.

  1. In case you get an e-mail, click on the e-mail and check its address.

Only e-mails sent from security@mail.instagram.com or a similar one with the ending instagram.com are really from Instagram.

Any address that ends with Gmail or any other unofficial address –is phishing or a hack. Ignore it!

Also worth making sure that no manipulations such as the use of a lower-case L instead of the I in Instagram.com have been attempted in the sender's email address.

When do we need to pay attention to it?

When an e-mail comes from an official Instagram address. Only via e-mail. Notice that an official Instagram e-mail will never ask you to openly write your password or any credit card details, or click any strange links.

  1. Which matters make their way to you via official e-mails?

Checking whether you asked to change your password and a secure option to change it, a message that someone (even you) accessed your account from a different device, a proposal to use funded advertising tools, specific personal messages to your account and things of such nature can in fact come in an official Instagram email.

  1. Very important! Activate 2-factor authentication for your account, further securing your account from hacks.

What does it mean? Anyone who tries to hack your account will have to submit a code that is sent to your phone directly via an SMS message. This adds a layer of protection for your account, above the password itself.

How can you do that? Go to ‘settings >> security >> two-factor authentication’

Choose the SMS option and follow the steps (a process approximately 30 seconds long).

  1. Back up your account.

Currently this can only be directly done using your computer. Log into Instagram via a browser, then go to Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Data Download

  1. Use Instagram properly.

Don’t upload offensive content

Don’t upload pictures of your kids naked (this might cause the account to be blocked for good).

Don’t buy followers or use bots.

Don’t be a bully.

Don’t use problematic hashtags (that have pornographic or other banned or offensive content in them).

Don’t spam or use other people’s content without permission or giving credit.

  1. What should you do? Let’s end on a high note, correct use of Instagram builds your account’s credibility in the eyes of their algorithm.

Use Instagram to build your brand, to provide your community with real value, to express your unique voice and to do good in the world.

As banal as this might seem, these are actually the smartest and most effective things to do to expose your profile to a larger audience and be highly rated by Instagram's algorithms at the same time.

Step 2 - Restoring A Blocked Account

What should you do if your account was blocked or hacked?

Let’s separate the case of being blocked from that of a hack: an account can only be blocked by Instagram themselves when they detect what is according to them prohibited activity.

Short-term blocking for a specific action

A notification will show up on your Instagram account. If Instagram blocked your account from performing a specific action, such as Liking, Following or Commenting from your account it means you have used one of those actions too much and/or too rapidly and it was tagged by Instagram as a form of “bot activity”.

In this case, you will have to wait 24 hours and “cool down” your pace of action. Sometimes, especially if this isn’t your first time being “caught”, you will have to wait 48 hours or even longer. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen.

In general, it is not recommended to follow or unfollow a large number of people in a short time span, nor Like or comment like a robot.

Stay Human.

Being blocked by Instagram – you have no option to log in or your account doesn’t appear online

If your account is blocked by Instagram, you will receive an official e-mail from Instagram to your linked e-mail address with the reason for the block. This may happen if your account broke the rules (see previous sections) or if the account was reported by other people for breaking the rules.

If this happens, take it seriously! Reply to the e-mail according to the instructions, and keep your fingers crossed there’s someone on the other side that will understand you are a normative person who decides to restore your account.

If you have a business account on Facebook, being run by Business Manager, it might help your credibility level.

For the most part, if nothing was done maliciously, such cases are resolved, and Instagram will usually restore your account with a warning attached not to take any unauthorized actions. It is worth following that warning as repeated offenses can end with a permanent block.

Having your account hacked

This is the worst case, and unfortunately can't always be resolved.

That is why I began this post with how to secure your account, in order to avoid cases of phishing, fraud and hacking as much as possible.

An account can be hacked in many ways and might include the following uncomfortable experiences: uploading offensive content in your name, deleting your content, blackmail, ransom demands by the hackers (true story), etc.

If you have been locked out of your own account, the most immediate thing you should do is go into your linked e-mail and change the password, before the hackers do it and hijack your e-mail as well.

At the same time, contact Instagram using one of the following forms, and report the hack:

(I am leaving the links exposed so you can see they are for official Instagram and Facebook pages)

Either this –

https://help.instagram.com/149494825257596

or this –

https://help.instagram.com/contact/552695131608132?helpref=faq_content

Another thing that might help, in case you are managing your paid Facebook account via Business Manager, is approaching Facebook through the Business Manager chat http://business.facebook.com/business/, it is the fastest route to get to a representative and ask for help.

In most cases of restoring a hacked account after approaching Instagram, you will get a request to confirm your identity.

To confirm your identity, you will be asked to take a picture with your ID and a specific code you will receive in the email.

After completing the verification, it will take about a week or two until you’re verified and your account is (hopefully) restored.

All of the above is in best-case scenarios.

Sometimes, as I mentioned earlier, if the hackers delete the account completely for example, it may not be recoverable.

Please make sure you secure your account through all the means I have mentioned, so that it becomes much less likely to happen.

You are welcome to add more tips and recommendations for securing and recovering accounts in the comment section!

Update – October 2020 – Tips to access a blocked account

Download Opera browser,

Pick the VPN option,

Attempt to connect to your Instagram account through your computer and not the app.

Try activating one of the following components:

https://help.instagram.com/368191326593075

https://help.instagram.com/1068717813216421

We thank Amit Galbar for the information and assistance.

* Important Note: the author of this post is Ira Khrakovsky-Dotan (hi), owner of a private Instagram consulting and instruction business focused on building online brands.

I do not work for Instagram and cannot solve blocking or hacking issues!

I cannot personally help you restore your account. If you have been hacked or blocked, please this post's recommendations.

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