You may have recently received an alert from Instagram saying “Your Account Was Compromised”.
The alert looks something like this:
So, what does this mean? Should you be concerned? Did you do something wrong?
What is the Cause?
Business Insider released a gated article on Wednesday explaining the cause of the Instagram warning.
Mainstream social media management apps, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Planoly, were recently flagged by Instagram as not following the guidelines. If you use any of these tools, you may have seen the warning.
This is following a recent crackdown by Instagram prompted by a Business Insider investigation that exposed 3rd-party tools that were abusing the Instagram API, despite being “Facebook Marketing Partners”. Among that list are Social Report, brand24, and many other apps.
A Facebook spokesperson did not validate whether or not the messages were a mistake, but they did state:
“Automated activities, like creating or accessing accounts, go against our policies. We’re doing a detailed review of third party apps to combat these behaviors. As a precaution, we’ve also asked people who may have given their Instagram credentials to apps to change their passwords.”
Should I be Worried?
Spokespeople at Buffer and Hootsuite claim the warning is a mistake and that it was the result of a bug in Instagram’s scraping detection system. Instagram has yet to respond to this claim.
Both companies are still listed in Facebook’s Marketing Partner (FMP) directory suggesting that it most likely was a mistake and, as a user, your account should be safe. For companies that were previously in violation, such as Social Report, their listings in the FMP directory were promptly removed.
What Precautions Should I Take?
If you’re like us, you want to ensure your accounts and more importantly, your clients’ accounts are not at risk of losing access to Instagram. Follow these simple steps to ensure your accounts are safe:
- Never type your Instagram password into a website
- Platforms and apps that follow the rules will never ask for a password and instead use OAuth2.
- Use an FMP trusted partner, such as Cloud Campaign
- Never engage in inauthentic behavior
- Following and unfollowing accounts, automated comments, or automated likes
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