Why Am I Following Random Accounts On Instagram? Two Reasons And How To Fix It

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As great and innovative Instagram is, it’s not without its issues. For every pro that Instagram has to offer, there are cons that users must live with – like the app’s vulnerability to scammers, hackers, and bots.

Now, I’m not saying that Instagram has bad security, but you should always keep an eye on your account activity to make sure that nothing is amiss. Maybe there’s a weird photo uploaded to your personal feed. Maybe your friends have been receiving strange messages from you. 

Or, maybe you noticed that you’re following someone you’ve never seen before in your life.

If you’re wondering, “Why am I following random accounts on Instagram?” – I’ve got the answer for you. In this article, I’ll tell you why it happens and what you can do if you find that your Instagram keeps following random accounts.

Why Am I Following Random Accounts On Instagram?

Sometimes, you may notice random people in your following list on Instagram. You probably don’t remember pressing the follow button, much less have any idea about these profiles.

If you’re in this situation right now, don’t worry, your account is not haunted or anything. While seeing random accounts on Instagram may be considered a serious security issue, it’s actually not that difficult to solve. Here are the two most common reasons why this is happening:

  1. Your account has been compromised by third-party apps.
  2. Someone hacked into your account and is manually following people.

How To Fix Instagram Following Random Accounts

Again, regardless of the reason, fixing the issue is quite easy. Just follow these methods below and you’ll be sure to solve the problem in no time at all.

Check Your Instagram Account For Linked Apps (Video)

For most people, the reason why their accounts are following random people on Instagram is because of third-party apps, or apps that are linked to your Instagram account.

When you link a third-party app to your Instagram account, you’re essentially giving the app permission to access your account. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen out of your own volition.

You may have downloaded something or pressed on a suspicious web link, accidentally giving permission to another app or service to access your account.

Some apps, especially suspicious ones, may automatically follow random accounts on Instagram and cause other problems.

Not only is this annoying to you as a profile owner, but it can also get you flagged as a spam account by Instagram’s security system.

If you voluntarily installed and linked this app, be warned.

That said, if you don’t remember linking this app, chances are it’s a spam app or even a malware. In any case, revoking its access to your account should be easy.

It will take you about  3 minutes.

Here’s how to check if your Instagram account has been connected to a spam app or malware.

  1. Open the Instagram website on your mobile or desktop browser

    Instagram login button in the app

  2. Log in to your account and go to your profile.

    Circle button on the lower right corner of the Instagram app

  3. Click on the gear button at the upper left corner to open the Options menu.

    Settings in Instagram app located in the upper left corner

  4. Under Settings, click on Apps and Websites.

    Apps and websites tab in instagram app

  5. See all of the apps linked to your account.

    Instagram will show you all of the apps that have been linked to your account.
    Active Apps and Websites connected to Instagram app

  6. Remove any suspicious apps.

    Uninstall any app that you think might be causing the problem.

Take note that you cannot do this in the official Instagram app. You can only do this fix using your mobile or desktop browser.

Change Your Instagram Password To Prevent Unauthorized Access

If there are no suspicious apps or websites linked to your account, then someone else likely has access to your account. Maybe your account has fallen victim to hackers, or maybe you logged in to another person’s device and forgot to log out. 

Regardless, you need to change your password to revoke their access.

  1. Open your Instagram app and log in.
  2. Navigate to your profile page.
Go to profile page
  1. Tap the hamburger button. From there, go to Settings.
Click on settings
  1. You’ll see an option called “Security.” Tap it.
Tap the option "Security"
  1. Under Login Security, click the first option, which is “Password.”
Click the "Password" option
  1. You have to type your current password to be able to nominate a new one.
type your current password and then nominate a new one

For better security, pick a password that you haven’t used on your other accounts. Don’t choose a common password, like your favorite animal, birthdate, or name. The longer and more complex your password is, the more secure your account becomes.

Security Tip For More Protection: Two-factor Authentication (Video)

Unauthorized access to your account, whether it’s because of a bot, an app, or another person, is a serious matter. As our online and real-life worlds are becoming more enmeshed with the advancement of technology, it becomes more and more of a risk that a user could lose control over their Instagram account.

If you want to be serious about protecting your online Instagram presence, you should turn on two-factor authentication on Instagram.

  1. Log into the Instagram app and go to your profile.
Go to your profile
  1. Tap the hamburger icon and click “Settings.”
Click on settings
  1. A new menu will come up. Click “Security.”
Choose the option "Security"
  1. From here, tap on “Two-Factor Authentication.”
Select the two-factor authentication
  1. You’ll see a button saying “Get Started” if you haven’t activated two-factor authentication before. Click it.
Click the button "Get Started"
  1. Next, choose a security method. You can toggle only one or both for extra security.
Choose a security method
  1. If you haven’t linked your phone number yet to your account, the app will require you to do so.
  2. Instagram will then send a security code to your phone. 
  3. After this, simply type in the code and you’re done.
Type in the code

Keep in mind that Instagram will provide you with Back-Up Codes if you lose access to your phone. Save these codes for the future.

Check our video to see the steps in action:

When Instagram Keeps Following Random Accounts

In short, there are three methods you can try to solve this problem:

  • Revoke access from third-party apps and websites.
  • Change your password.
  • Enable two-factor authentication.

With these three methods, your problem should be fixed. Never again will you think, “Why am I following random accounts on Instagram?” or “Who were those people I didn’t know?”

However, if these methods still don’t work, the situation may be more serious than a normal user can handle. Don’t hesitate to go to the Instagram Help Center and contact their representatives.

Did you like this article? Let us know if these methods worked for you in the comments below!

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Michael Duong

Tech editor and senior writer Michael Duong is passionate about technology and innovation. He codes open-source projects and plays quiz games in his free time. An expert in his field and an avid learner, always seeking to expand his knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving world of technology. His specialization is mobile security and mobile data safety. Follow Michael on Twitter and Github.

18 thoughts on “Why Am I Following Random Accounts On Instagram? Two Reasons And How To Fix It”

  1. Instagram is a mess! Don’t they know about this issue?! Is there any way to explain this to them? It is obviously a bug, or they do it intentionally?!

  2. Couldn’t it also be that the suspicious account you are following was just hijacked and the name changed to something else?

  3. I dont really do social media… only instagram and reddit and do not ever access the app through 3rd party apps. This seems like a pass the blame explanation from instagram if you ask me. I have multiple new accounts on my feed weekly that I would have no reason to follow in the first place.

    Went through the steps and no 3rd party apps. Any other suggestions

    • Nothing above worked, never ever installed apps in insta.I think instagram know the issue but is not doing what is has to do.One of the suddem i following 65oo accounts, almost all dubious.Maybe is better to leava instagram.

      • Same! I’m at 7500 all of a sudden. I didn’t notice until my stories changed to things I didn’t recognize and I quit see my friends on there. Did you have to go thru and manually delete them?

  4. I checked my profile and had no third party apps installed. I changed my password and added two-factor authentication, it’s still happening. There must be a security flaw on their end or they’re intentionally doing this which they’ll never admit it to. There’s no mention of this issue on the online help database, which leads me to believe IG is suspect.

  5. Your instructions are clear however the apps that I found in my settings are in a foreign language and so, I cannot delete them. Do you have any advice? Is the delete button always in the same general area?


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