Privacy on Instagram: Safeguarding Your Digital World

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Feb 16, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Sharing content about our lives is second nature, and Instagram plays a prominent role in how we do so successfully. According to Statista, with over a billion monthly users, Instagram is a virtual hub for connecting with friends and sharing diverse content. However, as we immerse ourselves in various social interactions and engagements, we should maintain privacy on Instagram. Why so?

Often, our content is open to the public and may include details about our personal lives. As a result, these details can get into the hands of malicious actors seeking to exploit us. Also, sometimes, we want to share content but don’t want the entire world to see it. Regardless, having a measure of privacy on Instagram can help you feel more comfortable using this social platform. This guide details numerous privacy settings and how to use them. Read on to uncover gems into the world of online privacy.

Man looking over developer code on a computer screen at night.

Customizable Settings on Instagram To Improve Your Privacy

To enhance privacy on Instagram, this social platform equips each user with customizable settings they can use to their advantage. These settings on Instagram enable you to shape your experience while fully controlling who sees and engages your posts. Let’s check out five settings you can adjust to ensure privacy on the Instagram app.

1. Follower Requests

Private profiles come with the added layer of follower requests. When someone wishes to follow you, they send a request that you can either accept or decline. This grants you the power to manage who views your profile and content, thus fostering a sense of security.

2. Story Sharing

Instagram Story has become a popular feature for sharing diverse content on the go. Many influencers use this feature to engage specific audiences. As such, you can choose to share a story with close friends. This creates an intimate space for candid moments while maintaining your broader follower base.

3. Blocking and Restricting

The public account comes with unwanted interactions between users, and you cannot entirely escape it (except if you go private). While many do not fully embrace going private, Instagram provides the necessary tools to deal with such situations. Knowing how to block people on Instagram helps prevent certain users from interacting with your account. Restricting them can be effective if you still want to maintain limited interactions with a user.

4. Location Tagging

Knowing how to use location tags on Instagram can add context to your posts. Yet, it raises concerns about your privacy. Therefore, be mindful of giving out your location access, especially if they reveal sensitive information like your home address. You can alternatively use clever geolocation tags to ward off malicious actors.

5. Comment Controls

Everyone thrives on a positive and respectful social environment, and it is beneficial when commenting. You can filter comments by keywords or disable them on your posts to avoid negativity.

The “Private” sign on display. 

Can a Private Account Enhance Your Privacy on IG?

When signing up on Instagram, the platform automatically provides each user with a public profile. While this allows various users to connect with you, it can lead to unwanted interactions. This can harm your privacy on Instagram. Thankfully, Instagram provides a private account that can help control.

When you make your IG profile private, you have more control of your digital environment. Also, with a private setting, your posts are visible only to those you approve as followers. This shields your content from prying eyes.

When transitioning from a public to a private profile, viewing your private account can spark curiosity from new users. A private account will show only your username and profile picture to accounts that do not follow you. People eager to explore more about you must send a “follow” request. Does this interest you? If yes, here’s how to make your Instagram account private:

  1. From your Instagram profile, access your Instagram settings menu. You can find it by tapping the hamburger menu at the top-right corner.
  2. After selecting this menu, you’ll find the “Settings” option at the bottom of the list.
  3. Tap on Settings, then Privacy. This will take you to the Account Privacy option.
  4. Select this option and find “Private Account.” Toggle the control to activate this setting.

It is important to note that the transition to a private account does not sever existing bonds. Your current followers will remain with you and continue engaging with your new posts. However, if there are users you wish to part ways with, you can remove them. 

How To Change Privacy Settings on Instagram

Apart from setting your account private, you can adjust other settings to safeguard your privacy on Instagram. You can choose who checks your Instagram Story and block personalized ads. All you need to do is access the settings on the app. Afterward, you can begin the process of protecting your privacy.

Let’s consider the easy steps to change privacy settings on Instagram regarding Stories and personalized ads.

Protect Your Privacy on Instagram Story

The Instagram Story allows you to display images that only last for 24 hours. While this feature is fun, what if you want to share your life’s moments with only a chosen few? Instagram privacy settings are here to give you complete control on how to do that. Check out these easy steps.

  1. Access your Settings by tapping the hamburger menu on the top-right of your Instagram profile.
  2. Find Privacy and tap  Story.
  3. You will find the option “Hide Stoy From.” Choose this option to reveal your followers list.
  4. Begin tapping on users you want to hide your Story from.

Instagram provides a feature that allows other users to share your stories. To further protect your privacy on Instagram, you can turn off the sharing option. Here is how to do so:  

  1. Navigate to “Settings,” then “Privacy,” and finally “Story.
  2. Find and tap the “Sharing” option.
  3. Next, you’ll find “Allow Sharing.” Tap to turn it off.
  4. You can also turn off “Share Your Story to Facebook.” This will stop sharing your content on Facebook and only post on Instagram.

Improve Your Privacy on Instagram by Restricting Personalized Ads Access

Instagram, our visual playground, often surprises us with ads that suit our interests, using data from our online interactions. But what if you want more privacy on IG? Here’s a nifty trick: You’ll need to take a short stroll to Facebook since it’s Instagram’s parent platform. 

Here are steps to restrict personalized ads and improve your IG privacy:

  1. Log into your Facebook account (the one connected to your Instagram account).
  2. If you’re on your mobile device, tap the top-right corner hamburger menu.
  3. Navigate toward “Settings & Privacy.” Tap on “Settings,” then “Ad Preferences.
  4. Finally, tap “Ad Settings” and turn off two options: “Ads based on data from partners” and “Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere.” This will halt Facebook’s pursuit of your data beyond Instagram’s borders.
  5. If you use the web, visit the “Your Ad Preferences” page to reveal your choices and select “Ad settings.” Then, turn off the two options highlighted in the previous step. 

With these steps, you can redefine your ad experience, thus improving your privacy on Instagram.

A user checking his Instagram feed. 

Effective Ways To Maintain Your Privacy on Instagram

In the bustling realm of social media, the quest to improve privacy is a noble endeavor. We all relish connecting with friends, family, and followers on Instagram. Yet, certain situations require the enhancement of our privacy on Instagram to share our content. These situations could include harassment, negative comments, and hacking attempts.

Knowing ways to maintain your privacy on Instagram is vital to fine-tuning your preferences and taking full control. So, let’s dive into ways you can maintain your Instagram privacy. Note that the steps may vary between users of different Instagram platforms (PC, iOS, and Android) 

1. Crafting Your Online Persona Mindfully 

A significant rule of social media posts is to be mindful of what you post online. Malicious actors and hackers often scan Instagram, seeking ways to defraud unsuspecting users and commit scams. Therefore, in maintaining your privacy on Instagram,  avoid sharing the following:

  • Financial documents like credit cards, checks, or boarding passes
  • Sensitive identifiers like Social Security Numbers or SIN cards
  • Academic reports and application forms
  • Personal IDs, including driver’s licenses and passports
  • Health-related information or insurance details

2. Use Two-Factor Authentication to Enhance Your Privacy on Instagram

Two-factor authentication (2-FA) remains one of the popular advanced features for securing your social media accounts. This tool prevents hackers from using only your username and password to operate your Instagram account. With this tool, you have two options to safeguard your privacy on Instagram. First, you can send a text code to your device when you log in. Second, you can make use of third-party authentication apps like Google Authenticator.

So, improve your security with two-factor authentication by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the menu icon and select “Settings.”
  2. Scroll down to “Security,” then “Two-Factor Authentication, and select “Get Started.”
  3. Choose text message authentication or use a third-party authenticator app. 

3. Wield the Power of Blocking To Maintain Your Privacy on Instagram

Blocking a user on Instagram can be a sure way to protect your privacy and mental health. Accounts that you block will not see your profile and posts anymore. Thus, you shield yourself from unwanted attention, thereby maintaining your privacy on Instagram. To block an account, follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit the account you want to block.
  2. Next to their username, tap the three dots.
  3. Choose “Block,” then confirm.

4. Command Comment Control in Enhancing Your Privacy on Instagram

While controlling comments may not hide your content from annoying users, you can limit what they say about your posts. This helps remove pesky and offensive messages, thus maintaining your privacy on Instagram. Hence, to fine-tune your conversation sphere, follow these steps:

  1. Access Instagram Settings
  2. Navigate to Privacy, and then click Comments.
  3. Then, you can adjust who you allow to comment on your post.

A user taking steps to report a violation on Instagram. 

How To Report a Violation of Your Privacy on Instagram

Instagram updates its privacy policy to ensure a safe community for all its users. Despite the platform’s best efforts, certain people still violate other users’ privacy on Instagram. It may be unwanted attention, cyberbullying, spam from social media bots, or a breach of personal information.

Consequently, knowing how to report a violation of your privacy on Instagram is key to maintaining your security online. To report a privacy violation on Instagram, follow these steps:

  1. If you encounter a post, comment, or account that violates your privacy, navigate to the content in question.
  2. Look for the three dots (ellipsis) at the top-right corner of the post or profile. Tap on them. You can also follow the prompts on the Instagram Report page via your PC. 
  3. A menu will pop up. Choose the “Report” option.
  4. Instagram will present you with different reporting options. Select the one that matches the violation you encountered. For privacy concerns, you might find options like “It’s Inappropriate” or “I’m Being Harassed.”
  5. Instagram may guide you through several prompts, asking for more details about the violation. Provide as much accurate information as possible.
  6. After providing the necessary information, submit your report.
  7. Then, be patient for the Instagram team to investigate the matter and resolve your complaint. 

After Protecting Your Privacy, How Can You Grow Your Instagram Account?

Privacy on Instagram is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it is a journey of personalization. Every individual’s life story is distinct, as are our preferences when sharing, connecting, and protecting our online personas. As you traverse the virtual landscapes of Instagram, ensure you employ its settings to improve your privacy. 

Aside from protecting your privacy as an influencer, it is equally important to grow your fan base. As such, it is essential to seek the services of an expert growth service to achieve this goal. Interestingly, Path Social is here to help. This social media management platform connects you with real followers who have your best interests at heart. Therefore, sign up with Path Social today and start growing and gaining followers.