Instagram Threats that You Need to Know About in 2023

Instagram, this image-centric network, has become one of the best places to find creative content. What’s more, it’s also a great tool that allows business owners to connect and interact with potential customers like never before, all while keeping an eye out for any potential Instagram threats.

Even though Instagram is the top choice for brands, like all other platforms that attract a lot of attention, cybercriminals have started orchestrating attacks that target users on Instagram.

Here’s what you need to know.

Instagram Threats for Individual Users

Instagram has more than 2 billion monthly active users, making it the second most popular social media platform behind Facebook. As a result, there are numerous dangers threatening its users.

We’ve created a list with seven common threats and divided them into two groups. It includes dangers for individuals and challenges for businesses.

Let’s take a look at some of the dangers of using Instagram for leisure.

#1 Identity Theft

Identity Theft occurs when criminals utilize your information to create a false account.

Depending on how much information they obtain, they may create fake social media profiles as well as accounts with financial institutions.

In other cases, they can take over your real account and send messages to your contacts in order to trap them as well.

Criminals use a variety of attacks to gain access to your account and ultimately steal your identity, so it’s important to avoid suspicious messages through Instagram, email, or even text messages.

#2 Extortion

Extortion is not a new crime, but social media channels have definitely added a new dimension to it.

In short, extortion occurs when criminals gain access to confidential information about you through your Instagram account and threaten to share it unless you issue a payment or otherwise follow their orders.

#3 Romance Scams

In 2022, there were more than 70,000 cases of romance scams in the US alone, making this one of the most common types of Instagram threats.

Romantic scams can be accompanied by other types of criminal activity, including financial fraud.

Besides requesting funds, this type of fraud can also feed into other types of criminal activity.

For instance, it’s common for cybercriminals to request seductive images that can then be used to extort the person being scammed.

#4 Investment Scams and Other Types of Fraud

If you’ve seen investment opportunities that seem too good to be true appear on your Instagram feed, they may just be.

Criminals also organize fraud campaigns that promote false investment opportunities using both paid and organic posts on Instagram.

This means that you need to keep an eye out for potential scams and evaluate every investment opportunity carefully pursuing it.

Instagram Threats for Businesses

Now, let’s take a look at the Instagram dangers that can impact your business.

#1 Hacking Through Brute Force Attacks

Brute force attacks occur when hackers attempt to break into your account using a combination of different passwords

What’s worse, instead of manually launching these attacks, hackers are now using automated software that increases both the accuracy and efficiency of these attacks.

#2 Phishing

Phishing attacks occur when fraudsters successfully send false messages to users requesting information. This may happen when you’ve just started to build your brand on Instagram.

During this type of attack, you may not even notice you’ve shared information through unsafe channels, which makes it extremely difficult to track after it happens.

The worst part is that criminals can not only gain access to sensitive data but also request false payments and organize other fraudulent transactions.

Consider trying a static IP VPN to safeguard your sensitive information and add an extra layer of cybersecurity.

#3 Fake Influencers

Social media influencers have carved out a place for themselves in the world of digital marketing.

Unfortunately, this has also encouraged cyber criminals to create false influencer accounts and use them to scam companies. This is especially devastating for those who start their small business on Instagram, such as a fashion business, for example.

Rather than generating leads and bringing more attention to the brands they work with, fake influencers simply focus on extracting as much money as possible until they are caught.

Instagram Threats Can Generate Millions in Losses

Instagram has become a legitimate business generation channel over the last decade.

However, this also means that the impact of the dangers can cause huge losses to your business. This was the case for the owners affected by the Bored Ape Instagram account hack.

Long story short, hackers gained access to this account and used it to post fraudulent links offering free cryptocurrency tokens. By the time the fraud was uncovered, users had already suffered more than $3 million in losses.

To Wrap Up

With billions of monthly users, there is no doubt that Instagram is a great place to find entertaining content and generate leads for your business.

That said, cybercriminals orchestrate dozens of different threats. So, it’s important to stay safe regardless if you’re browsing for leisure or business.

As long as you look out for dangers like extortion, identity theft, phishing, and false influencers, you should be able to get the most out of this social platform and use it as a tool to boost your business.

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