I AM constantly on Instagram – it’s my version of thumb twiddling. Nothing to do? Check Instagram for what’s new. Long queue? Instagram. See something interesting? Share it on Instagram, of course. So I was about to unwind via Instagram after a hectic Sunday when I saw that I was logged out of my account.
I tried numerous times, even doubting myself and switching passwords to no avail. After about six hours of intermittently trying to log on, I could no longer locate my account – @indra72 no longer existed. After frantically searching, I found it and it now had a different user name and the profile photo wasn’t of me but a blonde bombshell! All my photos were still intact though.
I clicked on the link of the “new user” and was directed to a porn site. Call me slow, but I finally realised that my account had been hacked. Why would anyone want to hack into my account? I only had about 200 followers and most of the photos I posted were of my 16-year-old dog, Mojo.
I went online to find out what I should do and promptly filed a report with Instagram. I got a reply about eight hours later. The “Instagram team” acknowledged receipt of my report but required me to send a photo of myself holding a reference number they provided.
I sent the photo and waited eagerly for news. When 24 hours passed without an update, I decided to send a polite e-mail asking if any progress had been made on my case but I didn’t get a reply. Even though it was only a day, it was horrible being in limbo like that – not knowing if I’d get my account back or have access to the hundreds of photos I’d posted till then.
Finally, five days after I lodged my report, I received an e-mail from the Instagram team telling me that they had successfully retrieved my account. It took me two days to delete the 600-odd extra followers I’d accumulated (all men). I changed my privacy settings immediately and I no longer accepted unfamiliar friend requests.
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