Social media, specifically Instagram, is a common way for people to share what goes on in their life with their followers. Unfortunately, my Instagram got disabled last month after I was hacked by people from Iceland. This August, I went on an amazing vacation with my mom to Iceland where I saw the neverending beauties of the country. Because the country has such a low population, there is hardly any service outside of the city. One day on the trip, I was trying to post some of my photos and videos on social media, but there was no signal. I finally thought I had found out a way to get wifi while in the middle of nowhere, but this was a big mistake. While getting wifi on my phone, I must have shared my Instagram username and password without realizing it. About two hours after getting service, I checked my phone and saw that I received a bunch of texts from all different people asking if my Instagram got hacked because something was wrong. Over a hundred of my followers received a direct message from my account that was telling them to click a link to get free clothes, shoes, televisions, etc. The hackers were trying to scam my followers into giving their credit card numbers. Luckily, those who received the message understood that it was not me sending those things and I was evidently hacked. I was extremely scared and feared the hackers would begin to do worse things, such as upload inappropriate pictures or delete my posts. I knew I had to change my Instagram password. Luckily when I did, the direct message scams were terminated. I thought this issue was resolved once I changed my password, but unfortunately, I was far from right. About a month ago, I went on my phone to look at Instagram and found that I had been logged out. I proceeded to log back into my account and a message that read, “Your account has been temporarily locked for suspicious activity” appeared on my screen. The second I read the message I knew it was the Iceland hackers. Instagram noticed the scams in my direct messages and assumed I was a suspicious person. Instagram gave me the option to verify myself by sending a code to my email attached to my account. The cherry on top of all of this is that my email is fake because when I originally made my account I was in fourth grade and did not have an email. I had no way to verify myself and that I was not a suspicious person nor a robot. I waited and waited, hoping that since the ban was temporary and I could get a chance to change my email, but nothing changed. Finally, I decided to make a new Instagram. I was so upset that I no longer have all of my photos for all my friends and family to see. Though I am thankful that nothing bad or dangerous happened, it is unfortunate to have to start a new account. This could very easily happen to anybody, so everyone should make sure that their email is authentic and can be used for verification, if necessary.
By Ellie DePhillips ‘21