Thursday, December 10, 2020

Be Aware of this Instagram Violation Hoax Alert

I don't usually post things like this, but someone that I know, who has a very successful Instagram account was targeted recently and it definitely caused her a very worrying few hours thinking that she might lose her account... and it could have been a lot worse if she had followed their instructions! 

We all should be very cautious when using hashtags on our Instagram accounts. As we have come to find out, using a few 'wrong' words we can cause our Instagram accounts to be permanently deleted, so if we received what looks to be a genuine message from Instagram, then we will naturally be very concerned. 

Here is what you need to look out for:

You will receive a message pretending to be from Instagram’s help centre which threatens to close your account if you don’t hand over personal information, using language like the following:

‘We’ve detected contents in your account that will violate copyright laws. Your account will be deactivated within 48 hours unless you provide feedback. As Instagram, we respect copyright and take care to protect copyrights.' This message is followed by a button that says Appeal.

It threatens that as a result, your account will be closed within 24 hours if you don’t dispute the violation by following a link.

Once you click the link, the next web page asks to you to provide your username, birth date and password to make sure it’s you. In reality, these boxes will give hackers information as you feed it Once you feed the information, the page shows a ‘bogus’ web page showing the loading animation followed by a green tick with a message:

‘Your copyright objection notice has been submitted. You will be contacted by email after 24 hours.’ 

After this, the users will be navigated to the real Instagram login page.

As soon as your data goes to the scammers, they can take over your Instagram profile and modify the information you need to recover it. From there, they can start demanding ransom to give the account back to you, or start spreading spam and all kinds of malicious content using your hijacked account….

It is easy to understand why people might believe that the message is genuine. First, the fraudulent account uses the official Instagram company logo.The tone and layout of the message make it sound formal and serious.

To defend yourself against this type of attack sequence, Instagram users should protect their accounts with a strong password and enable two-factor authentication. They should also take the extra precaution of familiarising themselves with some of the most common types of scams that plagues users on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

This is what Instagram recommends:

Security Tips

Here are some things you can do to help keep your account safe:

Pick a strong password. Use a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks (like ! and &). It should be different from other passwords you use elsewhere on the internet.

Change your password regularly, especially if you see a message from Instagram asking you to do so. During automated security checks, Instagram sometimes recovers login information that was stolen from other sites. If Instagram detects that your password may have been stolen, changing your password on Instagram and other sites helps to keep your account secure and prevent you from being hacked in the future.

Never give your password to someone you don't know and trust.

Turn on two-factor authentication for additional account security.

Make sure your email account is secure. Anyone who can read your email can probably also access your Instagram account. Change the passwords for all of your email accounts and make sure that no two are the same.

Log out of Instagram when you use a computer or phone you share with other people. Don't check the "Remember Me" box when logging in from a public computer, as this will keep you logged in even after you close the browser window.

Think before you authorize any third-party app.

My recommendation is if you receive any sort of violation notice on your social media accounts is firstly not to panic and definitely do not click on anything. Do a little research to see if what you have received could be a hoax, there is plenty of great information on the internet. To my knowledge, if you have breached or violated a rule, Instagram will tell you what you have done wrong and give you the opportunity to appeal through their help centre and not through a link button.

Keep those social media accounts safe and happy ballooning! 


Follow me @suebowler

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