Tuesday, September 05, 2017

INSTAGRAM HACK - EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW //

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, I publicly let my followers know that on Saturday evening (2nd September) my Instagram account had been hacked and deleted. This was a global hack, with several million accounts being disabled for 'violating terms'. These hacked accounts are said to have been sold on the dark web, with the users details up for sale. Reassuring huh?

I thought it was important to discuss my experience and everything that has happened in the last 48 hours. 

Photo: Pinterest

On the afternoon prior to the hack, I posted an image on my Instagram account, as normal. I noticed that my interactions were slow and I was getting only a fraction of the likes I usually get. I also noticed that my average interactions on my Instagram story had plummeted. I couldn't quite work out why this was happening?

I also had the terms and conditions agreement pop up on my screen, notifying me that the small print had changed and that I needed to review it and confirm the changes. I proceeded to confirm this action, as it did not let me have access to my main feed otherwise. It also requested that I ensure my two-factor authentication was activated so I had to accept that my email address and phone number was correct. I confirmed these were both correct and proceeded to use Instagram normally until I went to bed.

I woke up on the Sunday (3rd September) to find my Instagram had been locked out. I tried to log back in and received this message (See screenshot below).




Customer Service
What frustrates me further about Instagram, is its sheer lack of customer service. There is no way you can speak to a real human being, with real feelings and expressions. Instead you have the limitation of preset questions and having to explain yourself to a computer, typing out what has happened, along with evidence that you are a business who is trading and making money. Now here's the catch. Firstly, the 'attach file' option doesn't work. You have to report your account using a process that is actually corrupted. See Dani Amsalem's article for more on the shambles that are the Instagram "Help" Center. I have had more support from a training bra.

What's more, when I followed the awful process of being emailed a code (which took a couple of hours to arrive in my inbox), I had to write the code, my username and my full name on a piece of paper and hold it up in a picture. I had to also make sure my hands were both clearly shown and that my whole face was lit.

For your entertainment I attach said picture. I look like a criminal featuring in my first mugshot. It wasn't my finest hour and granted I could have got dressed before I took this photo, but I was so upset by the situation that I didn't care. I wanted them to see just how distraught I was.

You've got to laugh at yourself right


It's funny and somewhat educational when I look back at this picture now. This photo demonstrates just how much of a slave I am to social media, in particular, Instagram. Kevin Systrom (Instagram's CEO) really does have a hold on us all. What's more, whilst I was posing for my not-so-Insta-worthy mugshot, Systrom was on business in Tokyo, turning a BLIND-EYE to the madness taking place on his social media site. No statement, no apology, no updates. Systrom has and still is being quiet about the scale of this hacking. I am not sure he really cares about the impact this hack has had on brands, bloggers and business globally.

I kept reporting the account as hacked every hour or so, in a bid to bring it back up to the top of the pile of other hacked account reports. It worked! I received a message saying my account had been salvaged. All I had to do was wait for my password to be accepted so I could change it to a new one. I now have full access to my Instagram account. Thank Goodness!

Trust Issues
So after this whole ordeal, I have spent the last 48 hours contemplating everything I have worked for. It is so scary how a company like Instagram hold the power over my success, my intellectual property and my brand. I put my full trust in them every single day, sharing exclusive content to my followers and using their app as a platform for my brand.

I feel let down knowing that whilst users (businesses, brands, bloggers, artists among a few) panicked, commenting on forums and on Instagram's insensitive posts, which were not addressing any issue of a hack, that still nothing was said by the company itself.

I know I am not over the Instagram hype, but a stubborn part of me wants to cut ties completely with the social media site and take my business elsewhere. We will have to see if Systrom and his team can salvage the other accounts affected. I was so close to losing four years of photography, blog content and contacts for good. Some people have unfortunately not been so lucky.

But there are many positives to this situation
I got so many lovely messages and comments, almost as soon as my account was deleted from Instagram. I am so thankful for every message of concern and encouragement. The social media community has really come together to support those who have had their accounts taken from them. I would like to thank @Primalguise for sharing my Instagram handle to his followers and getting my name out there again. I would love it if you gave him a follow. Also check out his blog here.






◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈◈

I have collated some relevant articles for you to take a look at, which I think will benefit keeping your social media safe.

Related Articles:

I have taken this entire experience on board as a major learning curve and I am more determined than ever to post cool content for you guys. This girl is going nowhere!

If you have been affected by the recent hack or know someone who has, please share their handle with the hashtag #BloggersHelpingBloggers and lets get this community of Instagrammer's back on its feet again.

Stay Safe & Stay Sweet,

Alice xx



SHARE:

3 comments

  1. Excellent post, Alice - definitely hits the spot as far as this Instagram fiasco is concerned.

    It is becoming more and more apparent that social media companies are getting far too big for their boots, and everyone else's good. Their innate and growing arrogance is actively working against the interests of their millions of users, with customer service and common sense disappearing almost on a daily basis.

    We are being told that the mess was caused by an outside hack (sic) but Instagram's reaction to it was completely blase, unmeasured and inappropriate. They turned the drama into a crisis and, consequently, a PR disaster for them.

    Looking at the broader picture, my feeling is that the relationship between the user and the various social media platforms has seen a subtle role reversal; the user now has an almost total dependency on the supplier and not the other way round, as it should be. The master has become the slave and the slave is now in command of an increasingly large part of the other's daily life.

    This symbiosis, in my view, is a very unhealthy one and has given the social media platforms something akin to the power of supra-national governmental bodies. This is exemplified by the SMPs' growing use of the wide-ranging small-print of their "T&Cs" if they deem that you have dared to trespass outside the ideology of the regressive left which, strangely, all their CEOs seem to support. If you do transgress in this way when using SMPs then you can expect almost instantaneous censorship, de-monetisation, account deletions and domain name seizures (even moderate conservatives and liberals are now feeling the wrath of these enraged anti-free speech leftists). So much for a "free" interweb,eh!

    We must fight back against this oppression and excessive control of our daily lives; find alternative platforms; get back to actually speaking with each other again. Cast off the shackles of the 'phone and the tablet and LIVE! You have nothing to lose but your feed!

    Mr Syn

    ReplyDelete
  2. It wasn't long ago that if you wanted to stay in touch with someone you wrote a letter or picked up the phone and called them.BluePortal.org

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great article. So sorry you were hacked. I have to agree with the comment above, though we do need to be living and not held to ransom. So So glad you are back.-xx

    ReplyDelete

Print My Post

Print Friendly and PDF

Translate

Blogger Template Created by pipdig