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16 ways to improve your privacy and security on Instagram «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

As with most social media platforms, Instagram can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a great way to share and express yourself – on the other hand, it can be just as effective to compromise your privacy and security. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

As with all things regarding cyber security, no plan is foolproof. So be aware that even if you implement these tips, you still risk your personal information falling into the wrong hands. But by adjusting these settings in the Instagram app for Android or iPhone, you will dramatically lower your risks.

Tip 1
: Enable two-factor authentication

One of the easiest things you can do to improve your defense is to enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This requires you to add your phone number to your account (if you created your account with just your email addresses or Facebook details), but add an extra layer to your security.

With two-factor authentication, you need both your password and a single password (OTP) to log in to your Instagram account. This OTP is sent to your phone when you try to log in. In principle, hackers are prevented from accessing your account unless they have physical access to your phone.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Two Factor Authentication ->
Get started -> Text message
or authentication app 

If you want to activate 2FA, go to the profile tab in the Instagram app, press the menu button (three rows) at the top right and select "Settings" at the bottom. Then select "Privacy and Security" and select "Two Factor Authentication."

Press the "Get Started" button (if you see it) and then turn on the power switch next to "Text Message". A code will be sent to your phone number via a text message, which you then have to enter. When it is ready, 2FA is activated on your account.

You can also choose to enable the "Authentication App" option, which is a safer method for two-factor authentication. Check out our summary of the best two-factor authentication apps to learn more and see which ones are worth using on your iPhone or Android phone.

Pictures of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 2: Save Your Instagram Recovery Codes

Two-factor authentication requires you to have access to your SMS texts or your smartphone's authentication app, depending on what you chose, but what if you recently changed phone numbers or didn't have your smartphone on you? You can use recovery codes as a backup, as long as you imagine and save them somewhere, such as a password manager that you can still access.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Two Factor Authentication ->
Recovery codes 

To access the codes from your account, visit your "Two Factor Authentication" settings on Instagram and then select "Recovery Codes". Screenshot them (which can be backed up online), copy them to a password manager (such as LastPass), or even jot them onto a paper you hold in your wallet. But you choose to secure the codes, it will be five in total, and each code can only be used once. Once you have used all recovery codes, you can request a new set.

Pictures of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 3: Use a password manager

In addition to OTP , authentication app or recovery codes, your password is the main gatekeeper that prevents access to your account. Unfortunately, so many users protect their account with a password that is easy to memorize, which has an unintended consequence of being a simpler password for hacking. Unfortunately.

Instead of relying on a memorized password, use a password manager to create one for you. Unlike anything you create, the password manager is guaranteed to be as strong as needed because you can control the criteria it needs to follow. In addition, you can easily change your password (we recommend every 90 days) to ensure that hackers do not have much time to guess your password.

Whether you use iOS or Android, we recommend using LastPass Password Manager. The low cost combined with a large feature list is unmatched by any other manager in any app store. Check out our full overview of why LastPass is best, then try to help secure your Instagram account.

Tip 4: Turn off geotagging

Most camera programs tag your photos with coordinates that show where they were taken, and Instagram is no different. It's a great way to recall previous adventures in specific locations, but with this metadata linked to your photos, unwanted people can easily learn your place.

It should be noted that Instagram tracks all EXIF ​​data from images you upload, so if you took the picture with your stock camera app or another third-party camera, it does not automatically send geolocation data to all of your followers. However, Instagram reads geolocation data so that if you want to "add place" before you share it, it helps you find the right place without chasing too hard.

To keep your current location out of other Instagram users "Hands, just don't add a place in the last step before you tap" Share. If you must, just add places that won't help anyone track your current location or your daily routes, such as vacation places from weeks ago.

  Android: Android Settings ->
Security and location ->
Location -> See All ->
App name -> Permissions ->

iPhone: iOS Settings -> AppName ->
Location -> Never 

If you don't want Instagram to read your geolocation or if you don't want Instagram to record your location when you take a photo in the app, you can turn off geotagging for Instagram and each of the camera apps that you use. For stock Android, you can disable the "Location" app in the Settings app, but it may differ from other Android. 16 To improve your privacy and security on Instagram ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

  16 ways to improve your privacy and security on Instagram
Disable "iOS devices" in Settings, and disable it.

Tip 5: Requires approval for tagged images

Your presence on Instagram goes beyond the images you personally upload. If someone else takes a picture of you and takes you into it, this photo will also appear on your page, whether you wanted it. Fortunately, you can change it by requiring approval before adding it to your profile.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Photos and videos by you ->
Add Automatically (Off) 

Go to your profile tab in Instagram, tap the menu icon and then "Settings". Then select or find "Privacy and Security" and then select "Photos and Videos from you". Replace "Add Automatically" so that every post you tagged requires you to approve it manually before adding it to your profile. You can also click "Hide photos and videos" to hide any posts you've already tagged in.

Tip 7: Prevent others sharing your posts to their stories

Many of Instagram's features are automatically enabled when they are recently introduced, and it includes the ability of other users to share your photo and video posts with their stories. If you make your Instagram account private, turn off this feature, but you must manually disable it if you like public life.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Resharing to Stories ->
Allow resharing to stories (Off) 

Open the settings in the app, then select the "Resharing to Stories" settings under the "Privacy and Security" umbrella. Turn off "Allow resharing to stories" and other users can no longer share your posts in their stories.

Tip 8: Stop others from sharing your stories as DMs

Another Instagram Stories feature that automatically activates allows others to share your stories through instant messaging. This means that anyone who can see your stories can share it via the DM to someone else (if your profile is public) or your only followers (if you are private).

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Story Controls ->
Allow Sharing (Off) 

If you want to prevent others from sharing your stories, you can simply disable the feature by going to the Story Controls option under the "Privacy and Security" section of the app's settings. Turn off "Allow sharing" and people can no longer share your story as a message.

] Pictures of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 9: View past account activity [19659005] Instagram registers important account activity, e.g. a new password, another email and any logins / logs. If any changes have been made without your knowledge, here's how to find out.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Access data 

To access your previous business, go to your settings in the app and select "Access data" under "Privacy and security". You can see change of account interests, password changes, logins, logs, search history, and more. If you notice logs that are not meaningful or other unusual activities, it is best to change your password immediately.

Pictures by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 10: Clear the search history

If you let someone else browse your account, they could see your latest search history with just a few cranes. Fortunately, you can just as easily clear it, wipe away all the embarrassing "cat" searches.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Search History ->
Clear Search History 

In your app settings, select Search History in the "Privacy and Security" section and press "Clear Search History" to delete your searches. However, you can

still see accounts you have searched for under Suggested on the search page. You can individually delete these accounts by pressing "X" to the right of the profile image on the search page.

Pictures by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 11: Check comments on your posts

Comments can quickly sprout out of control if you post something controversial, especially if your account is public. Trolls can come out in hugs to leave nasty and aggressive comments on your photos and videos, but you can take action by checking who can comment and what they can write.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Comment Controls 

From the settings in the app, go to "Comment Controls" in the "Privacy and Security" section. Here you can manage who can comment on your posts (anyone, people you follow, your followers or the two later in combination), block comments from some users and enable filters to hide offensive comments.

Instagram uses artificial intelligence to block comments it considers offensive. You can also add your own words or phrases to manually filter out comments. There is also a filter to hide comments that contain words that are usually reported on your posts.

Pictures of Nelson Tip to access your account

If you've ever used an app from third party to monitor who did not follow you or share your photos on a dating platform, You may also have inadvertently provided these services with more access to your Instagram account than you may be comfortable with. Although not all third-party programs do this, they have the ability to enjoy photos, comment on posts and upload to your account – all without knowing.


Even if you stop using third-party applications and services, they can still access your account, so it's important to find these "authorized" apps and revoke their privileges. You cannot do this from your Instagram app, so it must be done in your mobile browser.

Pictures of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 13: Remove some contact information from your account

You share your information, such as your phone number and social media, because you want to connect with people, but sometimes you can give up more than you originally thought. Did you know that someone with your number saved in their contacts or who has added you on Facebook can easily find your Instagram account?

  Delete phone number:

Instagram -> Profile ->
Edit Profile -> Phone (Delete)

Disconnect your Facebook:

Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Account ->
Linked accounts -> Facebook ->
Unlink Account 

All that is required is that they should check out their Find friends or Follow the Facebook Friends page on Instagram and your account will surely show up – if you do nothing about it. If you remove your phone number and disconnect your Facebook from Instagram, users with your account information will find it harder to find you.

Picture of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks [19659021] Tip 14: Make your account private

For maximum privacy, your account may not be public. Any public account can be accessed by anyone, which can cause your photos and videos to be copied by catfish and other harmful people. However, privacy comes at a cost. For example, for those who create brand awareness, anything that prevents individuals from discovering you will harm your progress. For this reason, this tip is optional based on your needs.

  Instagram -> Profile -> Menu ->
Settings -> Privacy and Security ->
Account Privacy ->
Private account (On) 

If you are an average Joe who uses the platform to connect to friends, enter the settings in the app, tap "Account description" in the "Privacy and security" section and turn on the switch next to "Private account ". Once enabled, only those you accept can view your content. 16 ways to improve your privacy and security on Instagram ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

  16 ways to improve your privacy and security on Instagram
Pictures by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Tip 15: Temporarily disable your account

You do not need to delete your account to hide it from the world. Instead of permanently deleting your profile, you temporarily disable it. You cannot disable your account from the Instagram program, so you will need to use a mobile browser.


Log in to your account settings, scroll down, and tap "Disable temporarily my account." When your account is disabled, it looks like it's been deleted. When you search for it, it will be said that the page is not available or that the account was not found. To reactivate your account, just log in online or in the mobile app.

Pictures of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

Tip 16: Use Instagram Wisely [19659005] In addition to technical solutions, there are some personal choices you can make to protect your private information when instagraming on your phone.

First of all, remember that whatever you post (even with a private account) is available to other people. Don't post pictures that you might regret later in life – especially those you might be ashamed of later or pictures that reveal personal information. Always remember that anything that can be used against you will be used against you.

Secondly, be aware that your profile does not have to be filled in completely. Do not give information to others who are not needed. Despite what you trust with your followers, it only takes one person to make a decision that can affect your life.

Finally, use the user function . On the "Followers" list, tap which user you do not know or are toxic and select the ellipse (•••). In the pop-up menu, select "Block" to disable access to your account.

Pictures of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

With these tips, you make Instagram's double-sided sword a little sharper . While the risk is not averted, it falls dramatically.

This article has been produced under the Gadget Hack's special coverage of smartphone privacy and security. Check out the entire privacy and security series.

Don't miss: More Instagram Tips & Tricks

Cover by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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