Hello my loves!!!! It has truly been one HELL of a weekend over here in the world of Healthy Alibi. I woke up Saturday morning to every bloggers worst nightmare… my instagram was hacked. I could not log in to my account, my email was changed, the phone number to my account was changed and my username was gone. In today’s incredibly emotional and completely unedited blog post I am going to share with you how this happened, how my account was eventually recovered and how to prevent this from EVER happening to you.
Let me set the stage for you guys- Friday night I cooked Shabbat dinner for my husband and I just as I do almost every Friday night. We watched Breaking Bad on Netflix and went to bed early, seemingly all was well with the world. I always put my phone on silent when I sleep and tend to wake up 3-4 times in the night to use the bathroom. When I do this I sometimes check my phone so at about 7am Saturday morning on my quick bathroom run I check my phone and find an email from Instagram (or what I thought was Instagram). This email told me they knew I had been applying for a verification badge and I was finally receiving it!!!! I was SOOO excited. I mean literally thrilled. I have been applying for verification for years and there was NOTHING about this email that appeared suspicious to me. It used the Instagram logo, color scheme and actually somehow knew I had been applying for a verification badge so naturally I filled out the questions. USERNAME, PASSWORD, EMAIL, NAME. Filled out, went back to bed…
I woke up to my alarm at 8:45am for my workout class, checked my email and BOOM I saw it. Email CHANGED, phone number CHANGED, username CHANGED. I checked my account- COMPLETELY LOCKED OUT and knew immediately I had been hacked. I had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book and felt like a complete idiot. A state of panic immediately overcame me. My friend Neda of @healthywithnedi had texted me numerous times asking if I was hacked and sending me screenshots of what the hacker was doing with my account. I called her hysterically crying. When we got off the phone I realized I had two choices in that moment- I could allow this hacker to ruin my entire day or I could get dressed, go to my workout (which was barrys bootcamp) and have faith that all will be okay. I hesitantly got dressed and went to the workout. I called my manager Jacqui on the way to let her know what was going on. We emailed Instagram and took the appropriate steps for getting hacked. She assured me all would be fine, Instagram deals with these things regularly and there is really nothing else we can do right now. The WORST feeling is knowing that there is nothing you can do. I personally don’t do well with feeling helpless, especially where my business is concerned!!!
I got to Barrys Bootcamp and had perhaps the BEST most productive work out of my entire life (SO WEIRD)!!! I was filled with so much anger and adrenaline that I sprinted well beyond what I normally sprint at and lifted well above what I normally lift. I was filled with so much hope, rage and frustration that I took it all out on my workout. I was really very impressed with myself! but knew it was because of this dreadful situation. I left class and went immediately home to see if there was any progress made with my Instagram. There was not. In fact it was getting worse. The hacker was deleting my photos one by one, unfollowing every single person I followed and direct messaging various accounts that I interact with on a regular basis. I was beside myself but knew there was nothing I could do. We had filled out Instagrams form of what to do when you get hacked and at this point it was just a waiting game but I was told that because it was a weekend it might take even longer than usual to get someone’s attention over there. Can someone please explain to me how this BILLION dollar company doesn’t have any real customer service or any human interaction WHATSOEVER!??
Many of my friends who are also bloggers reached out to Instagram on my behalf, reporting the account which was now called illegal.sozler2121 and even emailing people they knew who worked at both facebook & Instagram. I went to bed Saturday night a complete mess as you guys can imagine. I woke up to use the bathroom at about 1am and FINALLY had an email from facebook providing me with a code and asking me to write down this code on a blank piece of paper with my username and take a photo of myself holding it with my ID in it as well. I did EXACTLY what they requested and went back to bed incredibly hopeful. I woke up at 7am Sunday to a reply from them telling me my account still was not authenticated (even though I did precisely what they had asked) and they needed the phone number associated with the account, which I gave them. I received a reply Sunday evening telling me that this number does not match the account (I mean DUH the hacker had CLEARLY changed it like c’mon people!). I then took a screenshot of the latest email I received with the hacker’s phone number change and sent that to them. I did not hear back.
I was beginning to lose hope. It had been 2 full days and other accounts that I knew had gotten hacked had taken less than 24 hours to be returned to them and here I was 2 days in and nothing. My sister Lindsey, who has many different business IG accounts was getting incredibly upset and decided to mention @instagram in a few different stories to try to get someone’s attention. FINALLY an actual HUMAN from Instagram (bless her heart) contacted my sister and seemed like she actually CARED about what was happening. I went to bed Sunday night and the account said “user not found” which gave me a tinge of hope.
I woke up Monday morning, went to my workout- fyi this one was nowhere near as productive as Saturdays because by this point I was mentally exhausted and felt completely sad & defeated. I got home and while making my breakfast I FINALLYYYYYYYY got the email I had been waiting for. A link to reset my password and restore my account!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still emailing with this woman at IG to see if they can restore my content (I had over 2,000 posts and now am down to only 300) but nevertheless am just so happy to have my account back.
I hope my story is helpful for you guys in ensuring that this does not happen to you. I also have a few tips in case you ever do get hacked:
Try to keep calm!! This is clearly very hard but if you’re calm you will at least be able to clearly follow the instructions in the help section of the Instagram page faster.
Immediately change your email & password on Instagram but also on facebook, twitter, etc. just in case the hacker gains access.
Enable two factor authentication as soon as possible to your IG account for extra security.
Be as persistent as possible in trying to contact Instagram. Ask friends if they know anyone who works at either facebook or Instagram who can help you. It’s always easier dealing with a human rather than an automated service.
Be patient- this is easier said than done and I certainly did not do a great job of this myself but it definitely helps.
Use your other social media accounts to get the word out that you’ve been hacked and need assistance. Tag @instagram or @facebook consistently so that someone over there had no choice but to actually respond. If my sister didn’t do this for me I truly don’t know where I would be.
Have you guys ever been HACKED on any social media platforms?? I would love to hear your from you. Please share any & all tips you might have! Knowledge is power.