It is no secret that Instagram had a poor track record when it came to account security. If you ever had the opportunity to purchase such an account, you were probably left worried that it might be pulled back after a while. Well those concerns were quite justified, as malicious sellers had plenty of ways to regain control of their accounts, even after weeks have passed. One of the most popular methods of recovering an old account was by having a Facebook profile linked to the account. Instagram’s poor settings design allowed pranksters to leave their Facebook accounts connected, even after a new owner linked their own account. Buyers were unaware that linking a Facebook profile did not overwrite the previous one, thus leaving the account open and vulnerable. This issue has been somewhat addressed by Instagram, however, the settings interface has not been improved, so it is easy to omit a linked account.
The second popular method was using the disavow link that Instagram sends out during an email change. Whenever a new owner confirmed a new email address, the old email on file would get a message containing a disavow link. That link allowed the previous owner to disapprove the email change in two simple clicks. Sellers would wait a few days / weeks, and when ready they simply followed the disavow link, basically robbing the new owner out of their property. Instagram still sends out that email, so ask the seller to provide you with the link he/she will receive. You will be able to confirm with Instagram that the change was approved. Once you go through this process the disavow link will no longer be valid, so any attempts of regaining an account via this method will not be possible.
There were a few other less known methods that required the inner knowledge on how Instagram actually works. While most of them have been patched, we’re sure that some crafty hackers out there still know how to bypass Instagram’s security.
For good measure always follow these steps when you’re securing a newly purchased Instagram account:
- Login to your new account.
- Change the account e-mail.
- Change the account password.
- Add phone number, verify pin.
- Login to your Facebook account, and remove the Instagram app from your applications list.
- Link your Facebook account to your new Instagram account.
- Unlink your Facebook account right away, log out.
- Login again, and link your Facebook again. (While this may sound strange, it is needed. As mentioned above, this was a popular way or regaining control of the accounts. While Instagram mostly secured this method, is better to be safe than sorry.)
- Ask the seller for the link Instagram sends out to the previous e-mail, click it and confirm that the change is approved. Keep in mind that for reasons unknown sometimes Instagram fails to send this email. If this happens, repeat all the steps above, but change the email to a different one. If everything goes correctly, you will receive the reversal link in your first inbox. Once you approve the change, it will nullify any previous reversal links associated with the account.
Most of the popular recovery exploits from 2015 have been patched, and we’re seeing fewer reports about stolen accounts. However, buyers aren’t out of the woods just yet. Other recovery methods include e-mailing Instagram support, however, no one has any control over that. Use your gut feeling if you’re planning to purchase an account. Try to verify the seller in any way possible (phone / Facebook), because people who are about to con someone aren’t too keen on showing their faces. If you’re still worried about purchasing an account on your own, give us a shot :) We also provide an escrow service, so if you aren’t sure about a potential seller make sure to use our service.
Wondering how ViralAccounts.com secures their properties? You can read more about it here: http://viralaccounts.com/warnings-and-risks-associated-with-purchasing-instagram-accounts/
Update 24.10.2016: We’re happy to say the Instagram made significant changes, and it is currently a very secure platform. The only problem left is that Instagram accounts can still be recovered by contacting support. Our company devised proprietary methods to keep this from happening, so if you are ready to purchase an Instagram account give us a shot.