As fantastic as Instagram is in terms of sharing your feelings, thoughts, and activities with your loved ones and the entire world, it also presents some security and privacy concerns. Some people avoid the platform altogether as a result, but there’s really no need. We’ll share with you 9 tips that, if practiced regularly, will ensure that your account and private information are secure.
9 Safety Tips for Instagram Users
1. Adjust the privacy settings for your account
Something as simple as making your account private can go a long way. Being specific about who can view your posts, follow you, and send you direct messages will ensure that people you don’t trust have no access to information about your activities.
Nonetheless, you need to be careful about the things you share online. And if you’re ever in doubt about a new follower, be sure to run a background check on them on Nuwber to understand who’s watching your online activity.
2. Be mindful of what you share
It’s a given that you should be careful about what you post, but do people clearly understand the potential dangers they may face from posting the wrong things? Some of them have no idea.
If your current location, home address, or credit card details are visible in any photo, it opens many doors for criminal activity, potentially jeopardizing your safety. Not only that, but even your online conversations can reveal sensitive information about you. Even the smallest details pose a threat, so be mindful of what you share.
3. For added security, enable two-factor authentication
To reduce the risk of someone logging into your Instagram account and posing as you, enable two-factor authentication. That way, an authentication code will be required for all log-ins from new devices. This means that without your mobile phone or access to your alternate email address, scammers will not be able to receive the authentication code and, therefore, will not log in to your account, even if they have your password.
4. Only post after the fact
Posting a photo of your current location means your location will be available to Instagram users all over the world. This can jeopardize your safety because people who are familiar with the area can easily identify your location, and others can easily search for and find it simply by searching shops within a specific geographical location. For this reason, it is best to wait until you leave the place to post a photo with it in the background.
5. Use single sign-on
Would you believe that just taking the time to log out of your account when it is not in use can save you a lot of headaches? Yes, it can! One of Instagram’s security features is a one-time password issued to you, eliminating the risk of having your password stolen.
When using a password, ensure that it is a unique one that you keep changing every few months. Although it may sometimes seem like a hassle, it’s a necessary precaution.
6. Regularly update the app
Regularly updating the app ensures that it’s as bug-free as possible, safeguarding your device against the software’s vulnerabilities. Software vulnerabilities create opportunities for hackers to exploit users’ accounts. Sometimes all it takes is for you to click a link or open an attachment, and hackers will have full access to your account.
7. Avoid giving access to third-party apps
Some apps, such as those that schedule Instagram posts for you, request access to your account in order to do so. Granting access to several applications can have a detrimental effect. You must remember that the likelihood of hacking increases with every access granted.
Ensure that only those apps that genuinely require access are granted it. Rest assured, you can always revoke access from apps to which you had previously granted access if you feel the need to.
8. Be alert to unfamiliar activity on your account
Keep a close eye on the activities on your account. Any login attempts, particularly. If you come across suspicious activity, it’s important that you take immediate action—change your password and report the problem to the platform.
9. Set a strong password
Ensure that your Instagram password is unique and hard to guess. Use a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters. No personal information—your birthday, for example—should be used in your password because hackers can easily retrieve it. Your password must also be changed regularly, with no two accounts having the same one. Also, never use the same passcode for multiple accounts.
If you think you’ve been hacked, confirm your suspicions
If you believe that your account has been compromised, check your recent account activity: password changes, logins, and logouts. If you come across anything suspicious, take immediate action.
If you’re using the mobile app, you’d need to go to Settings, then Privacy and Security, and then Access Data.
If you’re using the web, you’d need to click on the person icon to the upper-right of the screen, followed by the gear icon, and then click Privacy and Security, followed by View Account Data.
You’ll be taken to an information page detailing your account’s recent activities. Clicking on any of the listed categories will provide further information.
Be attentive to password changes, logins, logouts, stories activity, and account privacy changes. If anything seems unfamiliar to you, then someone else may have accessed your account. Change your password immediately.
Although Instagram is a platform that can be used to share your feelings, thoughts, and activities, it is also used by cybercriminals to potentially wreak havoc on your life. With over 2.35 billion monthly active users, it’s no wonder Instagram is such a common target for scammers. So, to be on the safe side, limit who sees and interacts with your posts. Take all the steps necessary to protect yourself by following the above-mentioned tips.