How to Protect Your Privacy and Stay Secure on Instagram
Instagram is a great app whether you’re just using it to stay up to date with friends or look at memes when you’re bored. Perhaps Instagram is even a source of income for you as you’re living that influencer life. Either way, this photo and video sharing app has become one of the hottest things on our phones and in the world today. It’s where identities are crafted, aesthetics are curated, and where social capital can be built or lost.
Reputations can be made or broken just over Instagram. If you’re someone with thousands of followers, or even if you’ve just got a few hundred or even tens of followers, you still need to know how to protect your privacy and stay secure on Instagram. Fortunately for you, we’re here to show you how and let you know what to look out for.
Public to Private
It may sound like an obvious tip, but we’re not going to let this one slide. Probably, one of the easiest things you can do to keep tabs on who sees your posts and stories on your Instagram profile is to set your account to private. Basically, this means that if anyone wants to follow you, they’ve got to send you a request and you can then choose whether you’d like to accept their follow request or reject it. The choice is yours, and it’s safer for you, in every sense, to only allow those to follow you if you know them personally (in some way or another).
How to set your account to private? It’s simple, really. Go to your profile page and tap the hamburger button in the top-right corner. Once you’ve opened up the menu, look out for the cog near the button. This takes you to your account settings.
Once there, you’ll find “Privacy”. Tap that, then tap “Account Privacy”. You’re now able to activate the “Private Account” setting.
It’s important to note that if you set your account to private, those who are already following you will still be following you. However, you do have the option to remove someone who’s following you. On your profile, tapping on your number of followers will bring up a list of your followers. Beside each follower, there’s a “Remove” button. Selecting that will remove anyone from your followers list and they will no longer be able to view your posts and stories.
Keep Them Wanting – Limit Your Personal Information
While always keeping your Instagram followers wanting more is good for social media business, keeping as little personal information about you and your life on Instagram is good for your privacy. Staying secure on Instagram means that you should make a point of editing your account details. Ensure that all your personal information, like first and last name, birth year, and hometown are not visible or accessible on Instagram is essential. This makes you safer from having your accounts hacked – such information is often tied to your password retrieval, for instance – and also keeps stalkers (or over-enthusiastic fans) from having access to you.
Location, Location, Location
With every photo that you post on Instagram, you’ve got the option of adding your location to the post. It’s exhilarating to know that your online reputation might jump a few points if you’re posting from the trendiest café or club in the city, but geotagging also shows everyone where you’ve been and is accessible to all Instagram users if your profile is public. If you’re regularly adding the location to the photos that you post, you’re allowing others to learn about your routine. This allows people to know where you go, when you go, and where to find you, and may also have other unintended consequences.
Two-Factor Authentication – Up Your Security
As one of the most popular social media platforms today, Instagram needs to be up-to-date with the latest in security measures. To provide your account with increased security, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA means that you need a second form of authentication to log in, after entering your password. This way, if someone wants to hack into your Instagram account, they’ll need physical access to your already connected device. So, if they’ve managed to crack your Instagram password from wherever they are in the world, there’s still another obstacle in their way.
Revoke Access to Third-party Apps
We all love convenience, especially if one account can log us into many different apps or websites. Some apps allow you access by letting you sign up or log in using your (already logged in) Instagram account. These apps can also be given access to post on your Instagram account on your behalf – sometimes you may not even be aware of it until it’s too late. Many of these third-party apps also analyze your followers and learn more about you through your information stored on Instagram.
Make sure to only allow apps access to your account if they’re trustworthy. This means that you should always do a little research on a third-party app before you allow it access. Take some time to check which third-party apps have access to your Instagram account.
How do you do this? First, it’s not possible from your Instagram app! Log into Instagram from your browser. Click “Edit Profile” in the top-right corner, and select “Manage Applications”. From there, you’ll be able to view every app that you have previously allowed to access and use your Instagram account. It’s possible that you might not even remember some of them!
Revoke access to any apps that you don’t recognize or use anymore. This will help to keep your Instagram account data more private and secure.
Instagram Privacy and Security
As a final note, as one of the largest social media platforms, Instagram is a target for those who want to breach its servers and gain access to its users’ data. Just recently, thousands of Instagram passwords were leaked online. Yours could have been one of those accounts. With privacy and security concerns becoming more and more of a priority, many have become wary and want to know how to delete Instagram. It’s a step that many of us might want to take, for whatever the reason may be. Just remember, make sure you’ve decided whether you want to deactivate or completely delete your Instagram account before you make your move!