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The absolute first thing to do when marketing art on social media? (Instagram, Facebook and more)

You are read to jump in and market yourself on social media. Or maybe you already have been using Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to show your art and you've built a following. Have you thought about what to do if your account gets hacked? Or you lose the password?

I love to use Instagram, Facebbok and Pinterest to share my images and I work hard to make sure the graphics look great. I secure my accounts with 2FA so that all my hard work can't be destroyed or lost easily.

Believe it or not, this happens a lot. To everyone. I personally just switched both my phone and my phone number and that was the backup number for most of my art-specific social media accounts. Sometimes it is just that someone signed up ages ago with an email account they no longer use and can't get into. Or maybe a hacker took over the email and that was how they reset your Instagram password and took over that account?


This isn't a theoretical problem, I see it happen every day and it doesn't need to - because there is one very quick and easy thing you can do to lock down your account from hackers while still giving you an easy way to recover it: Two Factor Authentication (also known as 2FA).


This may not be the first time you have heard of 2FA, but if you haven't enabled it anywhere it is available - you are putting your accounts at an unnecessary risk. 2FA provides a backup login authentication. In some cases it is just a text message to your phone number, a code to your email, a set of codes you keep in a safe, or an authentication app or dongle that only you have access to. This way, regardless whether you can't get back into the email associated with the account or not, you will have another way to get access to your Instagram account.


Personally I use a variety of authentication apps, but choose at least one, like Google Authenticator, Authy or LastPass.


I suggest you enable 2FA anywhere you see it offered. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest definitely offer it. So do most email services. And banks. Protect your digital property just as you would your physical property.



To find 2FA in Instagram, go to the settings (gear) and find Privacy and Security.

Additionally-

In some cases, some apps require you to turn 2FA off to use them (specifically some of the unfollow monitor apps for Instagram). They do have a legitimate reason for this, they need access to your account to audit your following list and perform actions for you. I can understand wanting to use these apps, but beware because:

  • you must give them your password to log in

  • your 2FA won't protect you while using them

Do you trust the person who created that app? Do you trust that they are securing the app itself from hackers? If you decide that you still want to use these apps, I would suggest using them for a specified period of time and then logging out, changing the Instagram password and enabling the 2FA. Repeat as necessary.


Or choose not to use those apps and instead use a Chrome addon like Helper Tools for Instagram to determine who has unfollowed you. This will require using a laptop or desktop computer but won't allow access to your account and won't require you to disable 2FA.


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