Instagram Virus: What You Need To Know and Do
Social networking sites (SNS) users must know that their accounts are always at constant risk of getting hijacked by malicious individuals or groups. Lately, the “Instagram virus” took center stage in hacking people’s accounts. So, if you are an ardent user of social networking platforms, there could be a nasty virus waiting to be released in some of the posts and messages that you are seeing.
As a user, what should you know about the Instagram virus? How should you deal with it if ever you encounter one?
The Instagram Virus
The term “Instagram virus” is used to describe the extensive and ever-evolving array of malware viruses and phishing scams on the social networking platform. Malicious individuals created the virus to lead people to spoof web pages through links that appear in their feed posts or fake profile bio sections. The Instagram virus is a phishing attack that tries to trick you into giving up your login information.
Much like its traditional and scientific equivalent, the Instagram virus takes in many forms and sizes. Among its common variations include the following:
The Ugly List
Using a hacked account, malicious individuals tag followers in a post with a comment stating how they are in some list of ugly people. Tagged comments such as these may look like “OMG, ur included in this list of ugly people” or “wow, your account is ranked #15 in this ugly list.”
As a tagged user, you will receive a notification with a link that supposedly leads you to the said list. Once you tap on it, it will ask you to log in using your Instagram account information. As such, after successfully logging in, the people behind the Ugly List will have your account details. Then, much like a domino effect, they will use your account next to continue posting the Ugly List and tag your followers this time.
The Nasty List
The Nasty List Instagram virus is a slight variation of the Ugly List. It works the same way. However, it uses direct messaging instead of tagging people in posts or comments to target their victims.
As a tagged user, you will typically receive a direct message from a hacked account telling you how you are on a list of unattractive Instagram users. Usually, the message includes a user’s clickable account handle. So, once you tap on it, it will take you to their profile. On that profile, you will see a link in the website section. A corresponding bio description will also instruct you to click on the said website link to see how you’ve ranked. Much like the Ugly List, it will lead you to a fake login page where it will ask you to log in using your Instagram account details.
The Hot List
The Hot List virus is very similar to The Nasty List Instagram virus. However, the Hot List virus tricks people into thinking that they are part of a list of hot and attractive users. Its goal to collect users’ account details and information are similar to the Ugly List and Nasty List viruses.
Who Viewed Your Instagram Profile
Some apps claim to let you see a list of Instagram users who have viewed your profile. These applications are also rampant on other social networking sites and platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. However, for privacy reasons, they do not publicize these types of information. Thus, any websites, platforms, or applications that claim to do so are lying. Similar to the previous viruses, these apps will ask you to log in using your Instagram account details so they can take over your account.
FAQs on the Instagram Virus
How Can I Tell if I Have It?
These malicious individuals behind the Instagram virus aim to take over your account to get valuable information. As soon as they have access to your account, they will immediately try to change your password. When you start seeing new posts or notice that some details on your account have changed, then there’s a chance that you have the virus. When you try to log into your account and the login details do not work, that’s a more evident sign that you have become a victim of the virus.
How Did I Get It?
As mentioned above, there are several ways that you can get the Instagram virus. You could have clicked on a link which led you to what looked like a legitimate Instagram login page. Moreover, if you entered your Instagram login details into that site, the hackers will have already used that information to hack into your account.
How Do I Get Rid of It?
Get rid of the Instagram virus by changing your password immediately (if you still have access to your account). You can do this by heading to your profile and clicking the Menu tab. Tap on Settings and then click Security. On the Password tab, change or update your password. Always remember to create strong passwords to ensure your account’s security. An IT company will highly suggest that you enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for added measures, which you can activate at the Security tab.
Now, if you cannot access your Instagram account, you can proceed to the Instagram Help Center to take the needed steps to regain access to your account. Another security measure that an IT company will advise you is to revoke all kinds of access to suspicious third-party apps or sites. Do this by heading to the Security tab and clicking on Apps and Websites. Also, regularly scan your devices for malware using antivirus software. Consult with an IT company based in the Philippines to get the best security measures for your accounts and websites.
How Do I Avoid It?
Malicious individuals designed the Instagram virus to trick people into giving their account login information in the sneakiest ways possible. Thus, you should take note of the following tips that any IT company will provide you with:
- Do not click on a link too quickly, and check through any search engine to see if the link’s main address is trustworthy.
- Steer clear of third-party applications that claim to tell you who recently checked your profile.
- Never trust profiles with no posts but with bio descriptions that invite you to visit their website.
- Avoid clicking post/comment tags or messages saying that you are included in some “list.”
Do Not Take Lightly the Instagram Virus!
Early on, you must ensure that malicious individuals can never get access to your personal information. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication for your online networking accounts. However, if you have already fallen victim to phishing scams, do not wait until more damage is done. Seek help from an IT company to immediately get rid of phishing viruses and other Instagram scams.
Safeguard your online reputation and protect your and your followers’ safety with an IT Company from the Philippines. Deal with the Instagram Virus today!