"Your Account Was Compromised": How Not to Get Blocked on Instagram.

Could your Instagram account join the increasing number to be “compromised" and potentially blocked? We explain how to avoid this, and why Falcon users have nothing to worry about.
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Mikael Lemberg
September 19, 2019 - 3 min. read

As described in a recent article by Business Insider, it’s clear that Instagram is busy sending warning notifications to many users of third-party apps that their accounts have been “compromised”.

The notifications advise them to change their passwords, as the apps in question have “shared your password with a service to help you get more likes or followers, which goes against our Community Guidelines.”

When approached for comment by Business Insider, Facebook, which owns Instagram, made this statement: 

“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.”

Failure to do so will likely result in the user being blocked.

Why Falcon users won’t be blocked

instagram account compromised

First off, it’s because the Falcon platform simply doesn’t require the user’s Instagram password in order to connect to their Instagram channels.

And second, because as an Instagram Partner we have a deep, strategic relationship with the network. Our entire design philosophy is centered on never violating our partner networks’ policies, which includes the integration of other non-compliant third-party apps.

Also see: How to Get Verified on Instagram in 2019

What’s behind the crackdown? And how can you avoid being blocked?

instagram account compromised

Instagram has doubled-down this year on compliance violations by third-party apps.

That includes compromising account security by caching passwords to provide functionality not supported by the Instagram API. During the last few months, Instagram has hardened its approach to non-compliant apps by sending out cease and desist notices, cutting off access, blocking compromised accounts and even stripping some vendors of their Facebook Marketing Partner status.

The message to third-party apps is clear, don’t comply and Instagram will block you. And, if you are a company that uses non-compliant apps to assist you with Instagram workflows such as publishing, Instagram will block your account too.

Instagram’s concern lies in the fact that caching passwords compromises the security of individual accounts. When an external third-party app stores your login credentials, these are put at risk of getting hacked or leaked – as has happened.

And since people tend to use the same password across multiple logins, getting your Instagram password leaked also exposes you to hacking elsewhere.

Instagram is being very protective of the integrity of its platform. That is why it only offers APIs such as Story Publishing of Content Publishing to a small, closely vetted group of partners (which includes Falcon.io). They clearly fear that if they were too open with their APIs that programmatic and automated publishing behavior would become excessively spammy and bother users.

Choose Facebook Marketing Partners

instagram account compromised

When choosing a third-party app, the safest approach is to select from the list of Facebook Marketing Partners. In order to qualify as a partner, apps must meet a very strict list of quality and integrity criteria, including never requesting your Instagram password.  

You should also make sure that if you work with external partners such as agencies that their apps match these criteria too.

And double-check your app compliance

As an example: posting and scheduling Instagram Stories and image carousels still requires manual action from the native Instagram app, even for social media management platforms like ours.

For this purpose, we have built a solution that allows you to schedule all the Instagram Stories and other content types that can’t be published automatically.

As it currently works, your content will then arrive straight on your phone in a push notification, ready for you to publish. This way, we help you with your scheduling needs, while guaranteeing compliance.

Can you guarantee the compliance of your publishing app? If you can, you don’t need to worry about a “your account was compromised” notification from Instagram.

If not, it’s time to take action now