Instagram hackers defeated by kindness, businesswoman says | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

  • By Charlie Jones
  • BBC News, Suffolk

Image source, Emily Tyler

Image caption,

Nikki Golding says her business was nearly destroyed by hackers

A woman who lost her Instagram account after being hacked said she was “so grateful” to thousands of strangers who have saved her small business.

Nikki Golding found orders for her children’s clothing firm dropped to zero after her Instagram account with nearly 50,000 followers was hacked.

“I can’t believe so many strangers have supported me,” said Mrs Golding.

“It has changed my life. It has kept my business going. It just goes to show that kindness can conquer all.”

Video caption,

Tearful video prompts kindness of strangers to help save Nikki’s business

She launched her business Rose and Guy eight years ago and gradually built up followers, with 95% of her business coming through the social media site.

When hackers took over her account, she refused to give in to their demands for money and managed to kick them out but her page was disabled.

Image source, Nikki Golding

Image caption,

The hackers demanded £300 but Mrs Golding was concerned it would motivate them to hack other accounts if she paid them

“I couldn’t bear the thought of paying them because I was so worried it would encourage them to do this to other people,” said the mother-of-two.

After a day of zero sales on Friday, she realised she would have to start from scratch if her business was to survive.

“I was in tears, I was desperately trying to get through to Instagram but I didn’t get any answers or support,” she said.

She recorded a heartfelt video on her new page which was shared by TikTok star Luke Hamnett and actresses Jacqueline Jossa and Jessica Fox. It has since been viewed 2.2 million times.

Mrs Golding’s new account now has almost 70,000 followers and traffic to her website has gone up by 200%.

Image source, Nikki Golding

Image caption,

Nikki Golding, pictured with husband Luke, named the business after the middle names of her daughter Summer and son Isaac

“I had my best weekend of sales ever and it is all thanks to the people who have shared my video – from other small business owners to celebrities and complete strangers. I can’t thank them enough.

“These horrible hackers could have destroyed my business but this has been overcome by all of the love and kindness, I’m just so grateful,” she added.

Instagram said it takes the safety and security of its community seriously.

“We encourage everyone to create a strong password, enable two factor authentication and to be suspicious of emails or messages asking for personal details. Anyone who is concerned they may have been hacked can visit our help centre to secure their account.”

Image source, Nikki Golding

Image caption,

Nikki Golding set the business up eight years ago


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