Written by Jon Woods, Marketing Manager at Lorfords Contemporary
Google tells us... "Instagram is considered to be the best social media platform for engagement or your ability as a brand to connect with your followers. It's visual, simple and it attracts the younger generations more than other social media platforms. The perfect marketing tool”.
This is all true. But what happens when your account is hacked? How perfect is it then?
Unfortunately, last month Lorfords Contemporary's account did get hacked. We received a seemingly innocent message asking for us to support a follower who had entered a competition. All that was required was for us to vote by clicking a button. Within seconds, we lost all access to our account.
So, what do you do in a situation like this? Research has established that an Instagram hack happens every 39 seconds. You would imagine there would be a standard procedure to deal with these problems. Don’t do that.
The first step
Obviously, our priority was to ensure that our followers and trusted partners were safe, and their privacy stayed intact. Our first port of call was to get in contact with Instagram, and their parent company Meta, to report that we had been hijacked and ask them to retrieve our account for us. Seems simple! Unfortunately, we ran into a brick wall pretty much immediately.
The main method Instagram uses to retrieve accounts is using facial recognition; rather difficult when all your pictures are of lovely furniture, so this wasn’t an option for us. We then tried to speak with someone rather than a machine but again our efforts came to nothing. After bombarding Instagram, Facebook and Meta with numerous messages, this is when it felt that the computer said “No!”. We really were getting nowhere. This was confirmed when Facebook commerce support acknowledged our situation and said we may not be able to gain access to our account again. We did however, get the account frozen. This meant no posts or messages could be sent. A small, but important, win.
The dead end
Having reached a dead end through the proper support channels, we started to investigate other options. Seemingly, the most hopeful avenue appeared to be to employ the services of an ethical hacker, they advertise themselves as the saviours of those who own jeopardised accounts. We opened into a dialogue with one of these ‘good’ hackers. However, as the conversation evolved, it all seemed a little too dubious for us, so we rejected this approach.
With no real alternative available, and with growing frustration at our lack of social media presence, we made the difficult decision to start afresh. We know it will take time to rebuild our following, but it’s the hit we have had to take. We are now in the process of getting our old account shut down. We did this because we believe we are doing what is best for our trusted customer base and the future of our business.
Anyway, as far as we are concerned this matter is now behind us and as we now start to look forward, we are thrilled to share all the new and exciting things we have coming up over the next few months.
Please do follow our renewed fully secure account @lorfords_contemporary to discover our newest offers, collaborations and business developments.
Marketing Manager, Lorfords Contemporary