Instagram Stalker: The Harm They Bring and How To Catch One
For many people, Instagram is a safe space. It’s where they share their favorite photos from their personal lives and even update friends and family on their milestones. It’s a haven meant for those they know and love only. So, it’s quite unnerving to think of the possibility that there might be an unwelcome Instagram stalker lurking somewhere.
It’s normal for people to visit other users’ Instagram profiles. All of us do it, whether it’s to check on an ex or if that one couple finally broke up. But some people have malicious intent when they go to your profile again and again. It’s best to be wary of stalkers like these so that you can keep yourself and your private information safe.
There are many reasons why you could be anxious about a possible online stalker. Sometimes, you’re just wondering if your crush is visiting your page as much as you look through theirs. But sometimes, it could be much more dire and sinister. Today, we’ll hold your hand through what makes having stalkers a huge safety risk and how to catch them. Keep reading to learn more.
The Dangers of Having a Stalker on Instagram
It’s hard to say whether Instagram is safe or not. For the most part, it is. The app has safety features in place (especially for younger users) to ensure their well-being.
But while social media is fun and exciting for the most part, it could still put you in danger of stalkers. Forbes says that social media has created a rise in real-life stalking all over the world. When you post photos and life updates online, you’re even more likely to be in a stalker’s line of vision.
A lot of people put their accounts in private mode to avoid unwanted stalkers on Instagram. But this isn’t possible for everyone. If you’re an aspiring influencer or a professional, it makes more sense to keep your profile public. That means strangers and random people on the internet will have access to your posts at any time.
But what makes having an online stalker so bad, anyway? It may sound harmless to have someone visit your page repetitively. And most of the time, it is. But if a malicious stalker finds your page, here are some of the dangerous situations you can find yourself in.
Identity Theft: The Stalker Can Steal Your Photos and Private Info
If scammers find your profile, they could steal the public information you have and use it with ill intent. This includes your full name, location, and even your profile picture and other personal photos on your feed.
After stealing your identity, there are plenty of things stalkers can do with it. The tamest would be to catfish someone else on the internet by pretending to be you as a prank. The worst is to falsely represent you to commit crimes like fraud and scamming others out of their money.
Harassment and Cyberbullying Over Direct Messages
Stalkers could also slide into your inbox and bombard you with direct messages. These DMs can range from scammy texts with phishing links to messages meant to harass and scare you.
A lot of stalkers eventually become obsessed with the people whose pages they visit every day. They might try to reach out to you to have a conversation.
You may brush this off as a harmless attempt to flirt or be nice. But sometimes, they might be a little too persistent to the point that they sound aggressive in their messages. They might force personal information out of you or send you threats if you don’t respond. They could even be violent in how they speak to you, making you feel harassed and unsafe.
Most of the time, these DMs will go to your message request folder, not directly to your inbox. This is Instagram’s way of filtering out spammy, irrelevant messages. If the messages start to build up, don’t hesitate to block stalkers so they can no longer send you any.
An Instagram Story Stalker Can Know Your Daily Location
Instagram Stories are one of the coolest features of the app. People usually use these 24-hour posts to share real-time life updates, like what you’re doing and where you are. But an Instagram Story stalker with ill intent might use this information to put you in harm’s way.
For example, if you post where you’re eating with friends, a stalker might go to that location to see you. If they find you, they could either watch you from afar or try to strike up a conversation—both very creepy. This is incredibly dangerous and extreme, but it’s still a possibility.
An Instagram Highlights Stalker Can Gather Intricate Details About Your Past
Some people post their favorite and most intimate Instagram Stories in their Highlights section. This could include photos from family gatherings and vacations with friends. But an Instagram Highlights stalker can use this to their advantage, too.
By finding out all this personal information about your past, they could piece together more about you. This makes identity theft easier for them, especially if their goal is to impersonate you and scam people you know.
For example, they could pose as you in another account and message your friends, trying to get cash from them. If your friends show signs of distrust, the stalker might share information from your Highlights that can change their mind. They might mention a trip or night out you had with them recently to convince them that it’s really you. When the scammers have their trust, they’ll go in for the kill and ask them for money.
Simple Tricks To Check for Stalkers on Instagram
It can be difficult to catch stalkers because it’s hard to find out who views your Instagram. While you can easily see who views your Instagram Stories, there’s no in-app way to check who visits your profile.
That doesn’t mean you can’t check for stalkers on your page. If you’re diligent and willing to go through tedious ways to find them, there are some tricks you can do.
One thing you can do to see if you have any stalkers is to go through your profile interactions. From your Instagram home screen, click on the heart icon in the top-right corner. Here, you’ll see all the likes, comments, shares, and new followers for your page.
Try to see if there are users who constantly interact with your profile. Scope them out and visit their page. Check their profile picture, posts, and how they engage with people. If they seem like a genuine follower or fans, you likely have nothing to worry about. But if they spam with likes, sketchy comments, and aggressive DMs, consider removing them as a follower to be safe.
You can also do the same with people who view your Instagram Stories. The algorithm usually arranges the viewer list from those you interact with most to those you don’t.
To find stalkers, scroll to the bottom of the viewer list and look for unfamiliar names. Do a background check on them, too. If you’re unfamiliar with them and don’t feel comfortable with them watching your Stories, hide your content from them.
Can You Use an Instagram Stalker App To See Who Visits Your Page?
Since Instagram doesn’t tell you who visited your profile, some people use third-party apps to find this information. There are plenty of Instagram stalker apps out there that claim to tell you who stalked your profile recently.
But always be wary of third-party apps like these. Instagram has pretty safe data privacy policies that are almost impossible to infiltrate. If the apps don’t have a sophisticated program, the results they give you might be inaccurate and unreliable.
Always make sure to do your research on the third-party apps you want to use to find stalkers. If you don’t know where to start, here are two apps that have a significant number of reviews from users.
- FollowMeter for Instagram: This app claims to show you your top likers and who viewed your profile. You can even see unfollowers and those who blocked you from their profile, if any. Just note that many of the app’s features are premium and will need extra payment to use. The app is available for iOS and Android.
- Influxy: Influxy claims to tell you which uses looked at your profile. It also has other features, such as showing you your best posts and recent changes on a certain profile. Best of all, you don’t need a premium subscription to use these features. It’s also available on both iOS and Android.
Fair Warning: Using an Instagram Stalker Website Can Put Your Account at Risk
Although using an Instagram stalker website or app sounds convenient, it can lead to consequences for your account.
Instagram has strict regulations on people using unauthorized third-party apps and automation bots. If the algorithm flags your account after you use a stalker app, Instagram might put you on a shadowban. When this happens, your ranking on the feed will go lower, decreasing your visibility and post engagements.
Another risk is having your Instagram data compromised. Some apps and websites will ask for your login credentials to see all the information from your account. This can lead to fraudsters hacking your account. So, always be careful with giving out sensitive information like this. If it’s possible, avoid these kinds of websites and apps altogether.
Curious Mode: How To View? Be an Anonymous Instagram Viewer Yourself
But what if the tables were turned? What if you wanted to visit someone’s profile without them knowing? Maybe you want to see how a former friend is doing without seeming like a stalker. Or maybe you want to see your ex’s new girlfriend after they blocked you. Is there a way to be an anonymous Instagram viewer yourself?
As long as the reason is harmless, it’s no big deal to want to anonymously view someone’s page. We all get curious from time to time! Luckily, viewing someone’s profile, posts, and Reels are always anonymous. It’s when you watch their Instagram Stories that things get tricky.
Instagram always shows users a list of people who view their Stories. But if you want to get around that, you can use Path Social’s free Instagram Story viewer. All you have to do is type someone’s username in the bar and hit “search.” In just a few seconds, you can see all the Stories they currently have on their page. They’ll never know you looked them up!
Avoid Stalkers by Catching Them and Blocking Them Quick
When you have an online stalker, you put a lot on the line. Your profile and posts reveal intimate details about your life that you can take advantage of. They might even steal your profile picture and identity to scam others out of their money. They could even use Instagram Stories to see your current whereabouts and stalk you in person.
So, do your due diligence by constantly checking on profile interactions and spammy direct messages to catch potential stalkers. If you see anyone sketchy and suspicious, don’t hesitate to block them or hide your content from them.
You could also use third-party apps to track down stalkers for you. But remember—the majority of these apps aren’t accurate and can lead to dire consequences for your Instagram account.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of your sketchy Instagram stalker, you’re in the clear to focus on growing your page. You can finally post content without fear of people using your info to their advantage. Now, you need an audience that will engage with your content. That’s where we come in.
Path Social has a unique, proprietary targeting algorithm that hunts down your niche audience. We grab their attention with your content so you can get more likes, comments, and even new followers. In just a few days, you’ll see your follower count start to increase. Start growing your community with us today!