People always like to use the phrase, “God works in mysterious ways.” This phrase always seemed funny to me, even if it is accurate some of the time. I think the opposite is true for the Devil. He works in very obvious ways if you just take a moment to step back and think about what is happening. And this ladies and gentleman is exactly what I did when my Instagram Account for Mended Mama was hacked.
To begin this story we need to go back to about two months ago. This is when I first decided I was going to start a blog. I picked a name, created a Facebook page to ensure it was ready to go when the time came, and also created a separate Instagram account just for Mended Mama to secure the name. I did not touch either the Facebook page or the Instagram account for another month. It was still summer and I decided to wait until the kids were in school to start my blog, so the accounts just sat there patiently waiting for my return.
Now, fast forward a month. We are sitting on my living room couch. Both kids were finally in school and I had several free hours to create the blog. After I had fidgeted with the site and got it basically up and running I added some info to my Facebook page and on the Instagram account. I did a few more small things throughout the day until dinner time. I made dinner, we ate, and then we went upstairs to put the kids to bed. I had my phone on me and felt it vibrate. I saw an email from Instagram that said something about the email being changed, but assumed it was from where I had been messing with the account. I was busy trying to get the kids in bed, so I ignored it and went back to pajamas and brushing teeth.
After the kids were in bed I remembered the email and casually pulled the app up. I had several emails from Instagram saying that the email, phone number, and password for my Mended Mama account had all been changed and it was all things I did not recognize. My heart dropped and panic set in. I told my husband that my account had been hacked. I was trying so hard to stay calm, but it had been a ROUGH day with the kids where nothing was going right and this pushed me over the edge. I was so upset for a number of reasons. I had just created the account, which in a way was good because there was only one post that I would potentially lose and no followers yet. I was mainly upset because if I wasn’t able to get the account back I would have to figure out another name and I had been able to get exactly “mendedmama” which fit perfectly with my blog. I didn’t want another name darn it.
I tried to focus and realized the emails contained a link for “if this wasn’t an action taken by you”, but when I clicked it it was invalid. So, as a normal person would, I tried to find a email address, online chat, phone number, something that I could use to contact Instagram with. Nada folks. They make it so difficult to get help and report these problems. For my next idea, as we do nowadays, I went straight to Google for a rescue attempt. I read several articles and the only thing I found helpful is that somewhere after you click “Need Help Logging In” there is supposed to be a report button. I had some trouble finding it because my app did not look like what the articles were describing (and I am sure if I wasn’t hysterical it would’ve been a lot faster), but I eventually found the “report” button and was able to fill out a form with details about the problem I was having. I was happy I was able to report it, but terrified that the hackers were going to change my name or any of a million other things that kept popping into my head. Now the waiting game began.
Instagram support got back to me in about an hour and a half. I was relieved and very surprised they got back to me so quickly. They wanted me to take a photo of myself holding a white piece of paper that had a special code, my full name, and my username. The photo had to show my face and my hands. I quickly filled out the info and had my husband take the photo. That may have been the worst photo ever. I was wearing PJs, I had been crying so my face was all splotchy, and it was around 9:30 at night so the lighting was terrible. I had to just joke about it at that point. I sent the photo in and waited again. By mid-morning the next day my hero support person had emailed me a link to reclaim my account. Everything was basically exactly as I had left it. A few things on my bio were deleted, but that is it.
The Devil works in very obvious ways y’all! He was trying to stop me. Trying to sew seeds of self-doubt and frustration. One of my good friends texted me that night right after I emailed the photo in and she had these wise words, “So, oftentimes, when we are embarking on our purpose, the enemy will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stop it. See this as more of an attempt to derail you. However, if God has called you to do this, then Satan can not so ANYTHING to stop it from happening.” She was so right! I couldn’t let it stop me or get me down. Thank you Courtney for your wisdom and comfort.
So, the next time something happens that is derailing you, making your good day turn bad, or causing you stress stop and think about whether it could be the Devil trying to stop you from doing great things.
Now, here are a few tips for anyone who has their Instagram account hacked.
- Try to stay calm, unlike me. Being hysterical, crying, and maybe possibly yelling at your husband does not help the situation (not that I did that or anything…). I am constantly telling my kids that whining doesn’t make anything better. I should’ve taken my own advice that night.
- Enable two-factor authentication on all of your social media accounts. I had no idea this even existed before my account was hacked. DO IT NOW! It is kind of annoying to have to get a text message with a code before you can log in, but not as annoying as your account being hacked.
- Change all of your passwords for all of your social media accounts. It is better to be safe and ensure that the hacker doesn’t access any other accounts. I was lucky that I had used a different email and password for my Mended Mama account, but I still changed all of my social media passwords.
- Please tell everyone you know to turn on two-factor authentication. I am sure there are many people who do not know anything about it. Evidently Instagram account hacks, especially of bloggers’ accounts, has been a big problem since August. Someone is out there doing this to many people.
So, what things has the Devil done to try to stop you? Let me know in the comments below.