If you notice a sudden spike in the number of accounts you follow, or you see you’ve suddenly followed a random account that you don’t remember actually following, you’re not alone. This happens to quite a few users and often, the increase in the follower count is massive going from a two or three digit number to a four digit one. We’re going to go over what you can do if this happens and briefly touch on why it happens.

Fixing spam account follows

If you’ve followed a massive number of new accounts, you’re going to have to manually unfollow them. There is no shortcut for this. If you’re tempted to use a third-party app to unfollow spam accounts, we strongly discourage you from doing so. Once you’ve unfollowed these spam accounts, you need to do three things; audit your authorized apps, change your password, and set up two factor authentication.

Audit authorized apps

You can only manage your authorized apps from the desktop. Open a web browser and visit Instagram. Log in to your account and go to your Profile page. Next to the ‘Edit Profile’ button, you will see a cog wheel button. Click it. In the menu that opens, select Authorized Apps.

The Authorized apps will list all the apps that you have allowed to connect to your Instagram account. Anything that you don’t remember using or recognize, you should remove it immediately. If you’ve only got a few, trusted apps authorized, it might still be a good idea to revoke their access for at least a small period of time.

Change password

Change your Instagram password right away. It is possible that your password may have been hacked. Change your password right away. You can do this from the Security settings in the Instagram app or from the web interface. It’s up to you.

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Two factor authentication

On the same screen, you can enable two factor authentication. Enable it for your account so that any logins that haven’t been initiated by you are stopped.You should NOT opt to use an authenticator app to be extra safe. Use your phone number.

Why this happens

You might have heard of services that promise to get you more followers on your preferred social network. They work through apps and services that users have authorized to connect with their account. Normally, they appear to be harmless but they can turn out to be follower farms. This is why you shouldn’t use apps to unfollow accounts as advised earlier.

As for changing your password and enabling two factor authentication, it’s a precaution that you can take in case your account has been compromised.