Facebook and Instagram accounts: How to keep yours protected

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Getting locked out of a social media account happens too often. 

On Meta Platforms, billions of users log on each day. Meta has said it is committed to building out its customer service in the coming years. It often directs struggling users to guided tools.

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However, a new Wall Street Journal report notes that sometimes hackers have changed email addresses, people no longer have access to certain accounts and no longer know their passwords.

To stay hacker free, there are several steps that can potentially help, including enabling some basic privacy functions.

Turn on two-factor authentication

Adding another security measure can make an account much harder for hackers to take over. 

In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is displayed on a laptop screen on March 25, 2009 in London, England.

In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is displayed on a laptop screen on March 25, 2009 in London, England.
((Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images))

Authenticators like Okta Verify or security keys can help deter bad actors. 

On Facebook, go to “Security and Login Settings” and scroll to “Use two-factor authentication.” 

Click “Edit” and choose the security method you want to add, including a text message code from your mobile phone.

On the Instagram app for Android and iPhone, go to your profile and tap the three horizontal bars in the top right. 

Find “Settings” and hit “Security.” 

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Under “Two-factor authentication” hit “Get started” and choose the security method you want to add.

This photo illustration taken on March 22, 2018 shows apps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks on a smartphone in New Delhi. 

This photo illustration taken on March 22, 2018 shows apps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks on a smartphone in New Delhi. 
((Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images))

There are other instructions for Instagram’s website from a mobile browser and from a computer.

Use a Password manager 

A password manager can help to keep track of even your trickiest passwords. 

However, make sure not to reuse passwords and try to keep them 12 characters or longer.

Check the email related to the account

Check to see what email addresses Facebook or Instagram remember.

In this photo illustration the Instagram logo seen displayed on a smartphone. 

In this photo illustration the Instagram logo seen displayed on a smartphone. 
((Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images))

Another email address could make it easier to get back into an account.

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To add or remove an email address in Facebook, go to Settings and hit “Contact” in the “General” tab. 

On Instagram, go to your profile, tap the three bars and then hit Settings. 

Scroll down to logins and hit “Add Account.” 

“You can only be logged into a single Instagram account at a time, but your device can store login information for multiple Instagram accounts. You can add or remove login information from your Instagram app settings,” the app’s help center says. 

Removing login information will not temporarily deactivate or permanently delete the account.

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