Secret That Stopped My Hacker In Their Tracks
Nowadays it's almost more uncommon to come across someone who has never been hacked EVER. It's unfortunately not too challenging to just hack into someone's computer or social media.
I recently was a victim of hacking and this one feature on Instagram stopped the hacker dead in their tracks.
Things were off to a rocky start when I got a message from an old friend from college. I haven't talked to this girl too much over the past two years. At one point we were very close, messaging each other on social media and over text every single day. While we always remember to send a birthday message or just shoot a text to check in sometimes, it still seemed a bit odd.
"Hey Kerri! Can you do me a favor?"
I see this message, and without thinking just shoot back,
"Lol I gotta be honest...this sounds kind of like a scam or something."
This was the dumbest thing I've ever done. Not only did I engage with someone who I suspected to be a hacker, but I set the table for my inevitable downfall. My college friend/hacker responded with,
"Lol no way girl! I just got locked out of my account and need your help. I'll send you a link and you'll send it back to me. You don't even have to click on it. So no worries!"
NO worries! NO WORRIES! Not a single worry was to be had. I told her that she could send me the link. For those of you who are like me and frequently have to reset your social media credentials; there is a link that Instagram can send you via text so you can reset your password.
This was the link that was sent to me and of course I clicked on it. I didn't think anything of it. It initially opened to a loading page with my information on it, and then just went back to my general Instagram feed.
Again, I didn't think anything was that out of the ordinary. Then I checked ONE feature when I was scrolling through Instagram. Not only did it save me from anyone getting access to my account, but I was able to spot the hacker just as they were about to strike.
A new notification popped up moments after this exchange. This is where I realized that I had completely been played. A red exclamation mark with a circle around it had a message next to it that read,
"An unrecognized Apple iPhone just logged in near Omaha, Nebraska, US."
Uh oh. I pressed on this pop up and saw that another user was logged into my account that I didn't know.
I clicked on this tab again and it showed me all of the devices that are logged into the account. Right now, if you look at the recent login activity picture below, you'll see two devices logged in. When the other account was logged in you could see three.
I started to freak out just minutes after the initial message was sent. How was I going to get back access to my account? Just how long was it going to take for me to get kicked off of it?
Luckily, I didn't have to worry about this for too long. I figured out that you can log out other accounts that you may suspect of hacking in, and it's pretty simple. While you are on the page with all of the logged in devices, just tap the unrecognized device.
Then you'll be taken to a screen similar to the one below.
Just tap "log out" and change your password and you should be protected from scammers. This worked out so well that the person using my friend's account actually tried to reach out to me again because she got locked out.
If you believe you might have been hacked, make sure to check out Instagram's help center.