Instagram Impersonation – What To Do?
Online impersonation can cause significant damage to your personal or business brand, having the offenders account removed quickly can help minimise the impact.
If you find yourself in this position, remain calm and follow the steps below;
Account impersonation is when an account is created that uses your name, profile photo and posts content from your account.
If this matches your incident, this is cause for alarm and action should be taken.
It’s important to note that someone using your pictures without consent is considered copyright infringement and not impersonation.
For copyright use this form.
Report the account to Instagram; Instagram has a dedicated form for account impersonation. You will need Photo-identification and the exact username of the account impersonating you.
Fill out the form, and attach the required ‘selfie’ with your ID. The faster you report the account, the quicker action can be taken to remove the impersonating account.
Instagram will review the report and remove the account if it’s found to be impersonating you or your brand.
Warn your friends/followers on social media and consider issuing a statement on your website if the incident warrants it.
It’s important to communicate that it’s not a data breach or a ‘hack’, rather an event outside of your control and not a business or personal failure.
Make clear that your accounts remained secure and explain the difference between an impersonation and a hack.
After the account is removed by Instagram, continue to follow best practices for online security.
Always use unique passwords generated by a password manager and enable two-factor authentication.
Change passwords regularly and monitor social media for future incidents.
Public figures such as Journalists working in media, or brands can request verification from Instagram to help identify authentic accounts.