Over time, Instagram has evolved from its status as a platform for sharing photos to a place where users can explore online shops, connect with people of like minds, book online services, and so much more.
But, despite the numerous benefits, it also has pitfalls that one should be cautious of and observe the necessary steps involved in keeping an Instagram account safe and secure.
How to keep your Instagram account safe
1. Make Your Account Private
Making your IG account private is the simplest way to secure your information, and it implies that no one will be able to see your images or stories unless you want them to in the future.
New users who visit your profile after it has been made private will only see your name and profile image. They can then ask to follow you, and you must accept their request before they can see your content.
To make your IG account private:
Go to the settings menu. It's behind the hamburger icon in the top-right corner of your profile page. That will bring up a side menu with numerous options; the cog at the bottom will take you to your settings.
Go to "Privacy"> "Account Privacy" and turn on "Private Account."
2. Safeguard Your IG Stories
Instagram allows you to choose who sees your stories (a 24-hour reel of photographs) and prevents people from sharing them further.
To keep your IG Stories hidden from certain people:
Select "Settings" >"Privacy"> "Story" from the drop-down menu.
Select "Hide Story From" from the drop-down menu. It'll bring your Instagram followers list. To prevent anyone from seeing your future IG stories, click on the circle next to their name.
3. Restrict Users From Seeing Your Feed
It's far more of an all-or-nothing situation when securing the photographs and videos you upload to your feed than with stories.
You can still block users that you don't want seeing your content if you don't want to change your account to private:
You must first go to their account to block them.
Tap the three-dotted menu in the upper-right corner of their profile page.
Select "Block" from the drop-down menu.
Note: You can also make this menu inaccessible to specific individuals. They can still read your material if you restrict them, but only you will see their comments, and they won't be able to see when you're online.
4. Make Yourself Scarce
You may do a few things to make it more difficult for people to find you (and give out less information about yourself).
To begin, you can no longer send your contacts to Instagram. When you signed up for Instagram, you may have granted it access to your contacts to help you find your pals, but that also means Instagram knows who's in your phone book. To turn it off, follow these steps:
Select "Settings" from the drop-down menu. > "Account" "Contacts Syncing" is a term used to describe the process of synchronizing contacts
"Connect Contacts" should be disabled.
5. Limit The Info People See About You
You can further limit what information in your account that people can see.
Turning off your activity status so that people can't see when you're online is one of the most important things. (Keep in mind that if you turn this off, you won't be able to see when other people are online.)
Select "Settings" >"Privacy" > "Activity Status" from the drop-down menu.
"Show Activity Status" should be disabled.
6. Don't Save Your Posts And Stories
You may not want to save the photographs and videos you upload on Instagram, particularly your vanishing stories. There are a few things you can do to prevent this.
To prevent your stories from being saved, follow these steps:
Select "Settings" > "Privacy" > "Story" from the drop-down menu.
Turn off two of the options. The first option is to save your stories to your phone's camera roll (on iOS) or gallery (on Android). The second option is "Save to Archive," which prevents Instagram from saving your stories for you to view later after they've vanished.
7. Remove Personalized Ads
Instagram advertising is tailored to the websites and apps you frequent. It's a little bit more challenging to put a halt to this. You'll need to go to Facebook's Instagram page, which Facebook owns.
You must first go to Facebook's ad settings to stop ad customization.
On a mobile device, hit the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the Facebook app, then select "Settings & Privacy"> "Settings">"Ad Preferences">"Ad Settings" from the drop-down menu.
Go to the "Your Ad Preferences" page on the web, and then select "Ad settings" to see your options.
The top two options, "Ads based on data from partners" and "Ads based on your behavior on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere," should be disabled. This will prevent Facebook from targeting you based on data it collects from sources other than Instagram.