The birth of social media platforms, such as; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, among other—have birthed ‘Influencers’. Influencing today has become a full-time paid job and influencers are earning pretty well.
According to Joe Gagliese, Co-Founder of Viral Nation, an influencer agency—in interview with Vox, said influencers with smaller followings (nanoinfluencers) can make between USD$30,000 to USD$60,000 a year. The micro-influencers can make anywhere from USD$40,000 to USD$100,000. Celeb influencers make way, way more.
So, the better the following the more your earn. So those with a high fan/follow base, have taken advantage. Therefore minding your account is a huge deal. Anything is possible, from having your account deactivated because of spam, hacked, losing followers, among others.
In this article, we are looking at the possibility of your account being hacked. Recovering it is pain, and can nearly take months to restore it or never. Its worthy knowing that once your account is hacked, your ID, email address, phone number, password are changed to the hackers preference. Recovering your account will require you to go through a verification process to ensure the user is actually the account owner. To which at this time you don’t have.
Facebook-owned photo and video app, Instagram has been and is the biggest target to hackers. Hundreds of Instagram accounts are being hacked into, with Twitter becoming an arena for public outcry for Instagram users. Hackers then hold them for ransom—asking its owners ransom of bitcoin currency.
So how does this come about? For what is sure is that some passwords are guessed ending up getting the rightful one. The other way is through third party applications, to mention a few. This much affects influencers. Once your account is hacked, recovering it, isn’t easy at all.
According to reports by Vice’s Motherboard, Instagram influencers who fall victim of this, rely on White-Hat Hackers to get their accounts back. This comes after they reach out to Instagram who might fail to recover the account.
Motherboard reports that these hackers gain access to influencer’s accounts by posing as brands interested in sponsoring or advertising. Using emails containing phishing links, hackers access their accounts and change their emails and passwords, which then locks out the account’s rightful owner.
Instagram’s policies say that without an account’s email and password, users need to go through a verification process to ensure the user is actually the account owner. The process includes taking a selfie with a code Instagram sends directly to them written on a piece of paper. But, despite following the appropriate steps from the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing platform, influencers told Motherboard their efforts were “to no avail.”
Four victims of Instagram account hijacking told Motherboard, that Instagram was either very slow to respond or only provided computer-generated replies, and ultimately did not help them get back into the accounts.
Thus, they turn to third-party social media experts for help re-gaining access to their own accounts.
One expert Motherboard reached out to Juan Diego J Pelaez—said that he has engaged in hacking in order to help people regain their accounts back.
Juan says he asks the victim’s access to their email in order to effectively get back into their Instagram account. He then identifies the person behind the hack, and then hacks them as well in order to get the victim’s account back. They then (hackers) reply to the victim’s email address with the password to their account after days of silence.
Asked why the hackers would do this, Juan implied that he hacks the hackers themselves. “Some of them give the passwords cause I do attacks to their devices,” he told Motherboard in an email, without providing more clear details.
Juan has since said, many victims of these attack have approached him for help. However, not of them recover their accounts.