Yesterday my Instagram account was hacked. I could have sworn I had two-factor authentication activated, I do for all my other social media accounts, but didn’t. So I reached out to Instagram via their official channels to ask them to look in to it and try and get my account back and this is a story of how they have decided that they are unable to confirm my identity and denied me access to the account favouring the hacker.
Instagram is one of my favourite social media platforms and my account https://www.instagram.com/muminthemadhouse/ and I have over 4700 images on there dating back to Feb 2011 when I first posted a fruit shoot bottle (I have no idea why either) on my trusty iPhone 4 (I think)! Over the years it has chronicled our lives, heck Mini was only 4 when I first started using Instagram. To say I was devastated when I discovered I had been hacked would be an understatement, however, I had hope that I could get the account back. However, now I am beyond sad and feel like I have nowhere else to turn. So read on for the saga!
So on Wednesday, I received an email letting me know that my phone number had been removed on my Instagram account and to click to revert this, which I tried to do but was taken to a page that wasn’t available.
Immediately after I received a similar email but with a change of email address, again the link didn’t work, so I reported to Instagram that my account had been hacked.
Between the two emails, my profile information and the link to this website which was on the account had been removed. As you can imagine I was frantic but was sure that as the account was full of very personal and unique images that Instagram would come through and give me the account back.
I was asked to supply a photo with handwritten information on showing my face and the hand holding the sheet of paper, which I did and also asked to supply the email address and phone number used to open the account and devise I use. So I did that too.
However, I then received an email stating that they are unable to confirm your identity.
As you can imagine by this point at 11pm last night I was upset, angry, frantic and worried. I asked what I could do to prove this was my account as I had already shown then that it linked to my facebook account for the Mad House https://business.facebook.com/pg/muminthemadhouse and that I had paid for sponsored posts on Facebook to be pushed out to that account on Instagram. That I had supplied all the information they were asking for already.
I offered to call, facetime or send a video – heck I am an avid user of stories, so they could see and hear (thanks to my Nothern accent) that is was really me)! No response. So I took another photo of me with the code and gathered together some unique items from recent Instagram posts and photographed them with the code and sheet of paper. These things could not be replicated as they are handmade, homemade or unique to my family and personalised (such as the football trophy). Still, they would not confirm my identity and the account.
So I sent images that I had not uploaded to Instagram but of a similar image, so photo’s from Mini’s birthday on Sunday and of the dog, but nothing was sufficient. I tried to send a video but the files were not accepted and bounced back via email.
I stayed up till 1am hoping for a reply and then I cried myself to sleep.
So here is my please to Instagram – please can I have my account back. I want to prove to you it is mine. I have uploaded some videos below which I have previously been on storied and no longer are – so you can check and confirm this is me and they have the metadata on them so you can see they have not been downloaded after. I am happy to have a conference call to resolve this issue. In fact, I will do whatever you ask as I want to get my images back and talk to my friends that I have developed over the last seven years.
How can I help?
Please, can you retweet this to Instagram – I hope that if they see the power of social media that they will escalate my case and I will get to speak to an actual person.
— Jen Walshaw (@Mum_TheMadHouse) June 28, 2018
Also if you do nothing else after reading this, then please turn on two factor authentication on your account and that of your children. Do it, do it NOW.