According to the Pew Research Center, almost three-fourths of people use social media to some degree in this day and age. They sign up for accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
If you’re going to join them, it’s going to be almost impossible to keep your digital privacy completely intact. Even if you don’t post much on social media, you’re going to be cracking the door open and letting people into your world just a little bit.
There are, however, some things that you can do to maintain your Instagram privacy if you sign up for an account on that particular platform. You can take certain steps from the second that you first set up an Instagram profile to guarantee that you don’t have to give up all of your privacy.
Want to know how to do it? Continue reading to learn about some of the different ways in which you can increase your Instagram privacy and ensure your digital safety.
Avoid Using Your Real Name When You’re Coming Up With an Instagram Handle
When you first sign up for Instagram, you’re going to be asked to come up with an Instagram handle. This handle is going to be the name that you will use for your Instagram account.
You might want to consider using your real name if you’re planning on utilizing Instagram for professional purposes. If, for instance, you’re a real estate agent who is going to use Instagram for marketing, using your real name as your handle might make all the sense in the world.
But if you’re the least bit worried about your Instagram privacy, you should avoid using your real name as your handle at all costs. Doing that would make it entirely too easy for others to find you while they’re searching for people on Instagram.
Rather than going with your real name, you should come up with a clever handle that describes you in some way without giving away exactly who you are. It’ll make it possible for you to maintain your Instagram privacy while also showing off your personality at the same time.
Make Your Instagram Profile Private Right From the Very Start
Initially, your Instagram profile is going to be public when you first set it up. As a result, everyone will be able to get access to your posts when you begin putting them up on Instagram.
But you can change this if you want. You can make your entire Instagram profile private so that only those you approve to follow you will be permitted to see what you post.
Here is how to make your Instagram profile private:
- Hit the menu icon and select “Settings”
- Go to “Privacy”
- Press down on the “Private Account” option
This will make your public Instagram account private right away. You won’t have to worry about anyone creeping on your Instagram page without your permission.
Be Careful About Who You Choose to Befriend on Instagram
Once you have successfully set up an Instagram profile and made it private, people will have the option to start to follow you on the social media platform. They’ll be able to do this by hitting the “Follow” button on your Instagram page.
But simply hitting this button isn’t going to give them immediate access to your Instagram profile and, more importantly, your Instagram posts. They still won’t be able to see anything that you’ve put up on Instagram until you accept their follow request.
With this in mind, it’s going to be up to you to determine whether or not you want to let certain people follow you. You should be careful about accepting just anyone’s request since you’ll be giving up a little bit of your Instagram privacy every time you gain a new follower.
You’re more than welcome to allow those that you know well to follow you on Instagram. But if you don’t know someone who has requested to follow you, you should always think twice about bringing them on board as a new follower.
Get Into the Habit of Blocking People That You Don’t Want to Contact You on Instagram
Over time, there are likely going to be some Instagram users that you won’t want to follow and/or contact you at any time. For example, you might want to stop an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend from being able to get in touch with you through Instagram.
You can maintain your Instagram privacy—and your sanity!—by simply blocking those that you want to avoid on Instagram. You can do it by following these steps:
- Visit the Instagram profile of the person that you want to block
- Click on the three tiny dots located next to their Instagram handle
- Push on the “Block” button and then confirm that you do, in fact, want to block them
By doing this, you’ll stop this person from being able to contact you on Instagram at any point. They shouldn’t even be able to see that you still have an Instagram profile set up.
Prevent Other People From Tagging You in the Photos They Post on Instagram
You might take the necessary steps to keep your photos under lock and key on your Instagram profile. But that doesn’t mean that someone else can’t post a photo of you on their Instagram profile and tag you in it.
This is obviously going to have an impact on your Instagram privacy. But you should know that you can stop them—and others—from being able to tag you in any posts that they put up on Instagram.
How can you do it? Try this:
- Click on the menu icon and choose “Settings”
- Select “Privacy” and choose “Tags”
- Look under “Allow Tags From” and choose “No one”
This is going to restrict others from being able to tag you in their photos. They can still technically put the photos up on Instagram. But they won’t have the ability to identify you through the use of your Instagram handle.
Take Control of the Comments That Are Left on Your Instagram Posts
When you put up a post on Instagram, the people who follow you will be able to leave comments on it. For the most part, this shouldn’t have a negative effect on your privacy. But they could potentially say something that could put your Instagram privacy into jeopardy.
If you want to eliminate the chances of this happening, you have the right to take control of the comments that people leave on your Instagram posts. You can, once again, tinker with your Instagram privacy settings so that people aren’t able to leave comments without your approval.
This is how you can do it:
- Hit the menu icon and go to “Settings”
- Select “Privacy” and go to “Comments”
- Click “Allow Comments From” or “Block Comments From” to change who can leave comments for you
You won’t have to constantly patrol your comments when you take this approach to dealing with them. You also won’t have to worry about any comments left on your Instagram posts putting your Instagram privacy at risk.
Shut Off Your Activity Status on Instagram
When you’re using Instagram, it’s going to be possible for your followers to see that you’re signed in to the social media platform. This will provide them with an opportunity to chat with you if they would like.
If you don’t want others to know when you’re online, you can shut off your activity status on Instagram. It’ll allow you to use Instagram in peace without having to worry about people contacting you all the time when you don’t have time to talk.
To shut off your activity status, you’ll need to go through these steps:
- Click on the menu icon and select “Settings”
- Go to “Privacy” and then “Activity Status”
- Turn your “Activity Status” off
Once that’s done, you can use Instagram all you want without anyone else knowing that you’re on the social media platform. It’ll cut down on the number of people who attempt to contact you through the Instagram chat feature.
Steer Clear of Allowing Third-Party Apps to Access Your Instagram Account
After you get the hang of using Instagram, you might want to venture out and download some third-party apps so that you can make the most of your Instagram experience. There are all kinds of apps that can enhance your Instagram photos and make them look way better than they would otherwise.
Many of these apps will take steps to ensure that your Instagram privacy remains intact when you’re using them. But there are some that don’t take privacy as seriously as they should. They could put some of your personal information at risk as a result of it.
You should always, always, always read the privacy policies that third-party apps have in place. And if you’re concerned at all about them, you should avoid downloading these apps and using them. They could jeopardize your Instagram privacy without you even realizing it.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Your Instagram Account
The last thing that you want is for someone else to be able to gain access to your Instagram account after you’ve set it up and started using it. They could really wreak havoc on your social media existence and on your life as a whole if you’re not careful.
There is, unfortunately, not a 100% surefire way to stop hackers from stealing your account. But you should be able to keep your Instagram profile 99.99% safe and secure by enabling two-factor authentication for it.
When you have two-factor authentication, a hacker is going to need to have more than just your Instagram handle and your Instagram password to access your account. They’ll also need to have a special code that you can have texted directly to one of your devices.
This will, of course, make it a little more challenging for you to sign in to your Instagram account yourself. But it’ll be well worth it once you see how safe that your account is.
Be Extremely Careful About What You Post on Instagram
As long as you do everything else that we’ve talked about here, you should pretty much be in the clear as far as your Instagram privacy is concerned. You shouldn’t have to lose any sleep at night wondering whether or not your Instagram account is private and protected.
But there is one final thing that you’ll have to do to ensure your Instagram privacy. You’ll need to be very careful about what you post on Instagram.
It’s not uncommon at all for people to inadvertently post things like credit cards, airplane boarding passes, tax documents, and more on Instagram. These things might not be the focus of your photos. But if you have, say, a credit card on the table behind you when you post a picture, it could catch the attention of someone out there and result in identity theft.
You will always want to take a good, long look at a photo before you put it up on Instagram. It’ll help you steer clear of posting anything that might adversely affect your Instagram privacy in the end.
Maintaining Your Instagram Privacy Is Possible If You Take the Right Steps
As we alluded to earlier, you are going to have to give up some privacy when you sign up for an Instagram profile. That is, after all, sort of the point of social media. You’re giving at least a few people a glimpse into what your life is like.
But you don’t have to compromise all your privacy for the sake of an Instagram profile. You can protect your Instagram privacy by taking each of the steps that we’ve listed here. They should work to prevent you from sharing too much with the world while you’re in the process of putting social media to good use.
Would you like to get some more tips on using social media more effectively? Find them by browsing through the other technology-related articles posted on our blog.