Instagram has reached new heights with more than 2 billion active users on the application per month. In this population, a few of these users are getting hacked with 0.1% or 2 million accounts being replaced with a new, more dangerous owner. As a result, Instagram has created a resolution to this ongoing problem using the power of technology.
It began with a simple message from a friend I have on Instagram,
“Hey Ney, I see on Instagram you invested in Bitcoin and made a lot of money. Should I get involved?”.
This was an example of the dozens of calls and texts I had been sent from friends. What I was to find was that my Instagram account which was only ever used to showcase my adventure photography ended up being hacked from a crackerjack under the pseudonym ‘Gomez the hacker’. This individual was hiding under my online presence in order to invest in a Bitcoin scheme, putting in $1,000 and ended up with 10x the same amount all in the span of four hours.
Days before this, I had accepted a direct message from a friend on Instagram who was trying to create a clothing line, asking me if I’d like to be a part of their mailing list. Not thinking, I responded by clicking the link and ended up in a tailspin as I later found out that the account was hacked by the one and only, Gomez.
Shortly after realizing what had happened, I logged out of my account and turned off my phone after discovering I was getting emails for codes I didn’t request aiming to log me back into my account. I then lept to my computer and found myself without an Instagram account – is reported to no longer exist.
Little did I know, Instagram gives you the option to delete your account and restore it within 30 days. Within the next few days, my account had resurfaced, wiped clean, and taken over by Gomez.
Instagram was not responsive taking over a month to get a word back. I intended to send a report successfully, submitting multiple different reports. Instagram’s approach to most reports just like mine is by saying we can’t take down the account, sending an email that simply reads, “Yeah, sorry not going to happen.” Was I going to take the flack for it and let Gomez invade the privacy of my 7.5 k followers?
I thought because I was a loyal advertiser, frequently providing them with money that I would have special treatment. Wrong! At my advertising budget level, it wasn’t enough for them to help. As Instagram is owned by Facebook, I was able to get in contact with one of their support agents to look over the situation. To my disappointment, they could not help saying it would take a month if not more to process.
After trying, again and again, to get to the bottom of this once and for all, I began to lose hope.
With the copious amount of Instagram users across the globe, to them, it doesn’t matter the small percentage of those users getting hacked from computer trotters like Gomez. As noted by Google, it is predicted that 20% of social media accounts will experience some form of hacking and at 16% for even those supported by Norton Security. Because there are only, 0.1% – 0.5% (or 2-5 million) accounts being hacked while it might seem like a lot it is in fact not enough for Instagram to care. As a result, I had found myself lost surrendering to Gomez’ control over my account.
I began to create a technology company alongside a tech support team realizing how hard it is to provide the best assistance possible. At least getting an email from Instagram is a positive thing because, on the flip side, you’re getting a response.
What’s new with me on Instagram? Online-me seems to have a new clothing line but don’t sign up unless you want to end up like the real me.