Don't IG Ahead of Me, I Don't Want To Follow
January 3, 2019 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm kind of like the mirror-image of this question - I'm an Instagram Newbie trying to stop my account FROM following people I don't want to follow. Details and a list of the steps I have already taken inside.

I have a bare-bones Instagram that I rarely poke my nose into. But a couple times - once a few months ago, and once just now - when I've peeked back in, I've noticed that my account has signed itself up as a "follower" of a couple hundred random strangers that I neither know or care about; mostly personal trainers, makeup tutorial sites, random dudes in other countries, etc. The first time it happened, I changed my password and unfollowed them all.

But it happened again today - and this time even after changing my password and unfollowing them, some of those accounts I unfollowed started popping back up in my "following" list. I changed my password AGAIN, set up two-factor authentication, logged out, and then logged back in - and removed people again. And AGAIN they kept popping up. Then I tried BLOCKING people I wanted to get rid of. After a certain point, blocking people wouldn't "take". Curious!...I've since heard that Instagram has a natural failsafe for if users try to unfollow a bunch of people because they think that that act is ITSELF a hack, so I've just left things alone for now. I'm also following someone's recommendation to just disable my account for a couple days to let the dust settle before trying again; then I'll unfollow people about 20 at a time each day until the list is whittled down.

I have also further withdrawn any 3rd-party permissions from my Instagram account. I only had the one (my OKC profile), and that is now gone.

My question is twofold:

a) Is there anything ELSE I could do to prevent this kind of hack from happening again? I'm pretty sure that changing my password 3 times, disabling the account for a couple days, setting up 2-factor authorization and withdrawing any 3rd party access is pretty exhaustive, but want to be sure.

b) There IS one app that people have pointed to as a likely culprit - Gramblr, which lets you post to Instagram from your computer. I have been using that, because I don't regularly use my phone for Instagram and instead use it to share photos I've taken with my digital camera (and want to do more of that in the coming year). But other discussions point to Gramblr as a weak link in this particular chain. (however - I didn't see Gramblr listed in my list of 3rd-party aps when I was disabling them, and I think I set it up on my computer so that it didn't have constant access to Instagram.) Is there another, safer such program I could use instead?

thanks, all - doing more photos is one of my 2019 resolutions, and I'd really rather not have to unfollow "pixieunicornhair105" or "BigGrillaz" every five minutes each time I post something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to this reddit post, Gramblr automatically starts following random accounts
posted by General Malaise at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yeah, that's the very reddit post I took my cues from. But I didn't see Gramblr listed in my "apps with 3rd party access" in my Instagram account page, and I haven't used it since October. The new "following" incident was more within the past couple weeks.

But - again, assuming that Gramblr is the culprit after all, what is an alternative?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on January 3, 2019

I would bet money that this is Gramblr. You can just do some hacky stuff to be able to do it through Instagram with no third parties involved - here's a page that explains how - basically you tell your browser to tell Instagram that you're on a phone, and it works just fine.
posted by brainmouse at 10:30 AM on January 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Thanks, brainmouse; I'm going to uninstall Gramblr as soon as I get home, and then wait a day before re-enabling the IG account. Then follow the instructions on that page.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on January 3, 2019

Okay, I'm back - I've read thatpage that tells your browser to tell Instagram that you're on a phone 3 times, but it's showing you how to do it if you're on a Mac. I have a PC, and can't find any of the features that this link is telling me to follow. Help?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 AM on January 20, 2019

Oh wait, I think I found it, stand by....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 AM on January 20, 2019

Presenting a photo I uploaded from my computer to Instagram by convincing Chrome I was really on a phone. Boom.

Thanks. Marking resolved.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on January 20, 2019

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