Everyone knows Instagram is one of the most powerful social media sites in the world.
However, that doesn’t mean there are no security risks.
If you think about it, security risks and threats are getting even bigger from year to year as social networking platforms grow. As with the expansion of the digital world, hackers try to break into systems more aggressively than ever and they are developing more and more sophisticated methods to succeed.
Fortunately, you can do something about it. There are certain security and authentication methods you can implement to increase the security and privacy of your Instagram account. In this guide, we’ve covered the most crucial tips for your safety.
Steps to Ensure Instagram Security
Let’s get into it.
0. A bulletproof password is more powerful than you think
This is point zero. This should be as obvious as it sounds to check Instagram security. Yet, I still see many examples of weak, logical, unconsidered passwords just to be remembered. This is a mistake you can easily regret, after, your account gets hacked. Once and for all, let’s make it clear. Use long passwords that include at least six numbers, capitals and various characters in an inconsequent order. This is the most basic step you have to do. Also, using a password manager is a great idea not to forget those strong passwords.
Now we can move on to the first step.
1. Don’t get lazy reading the ‘Privacy & Safety Center’ guidelines
Yes, it is not going to be a late night reading in the bed, but it still worth it. It contains the most important information about Instagram’s security and privacy. It covers detailed information on visibility, safety tips, blocking, secure photo sharing, tips for parents and platform policy. You can take a look at it here: Instagram Privacy & Safety Center.
2. Disable location sharing
Sharing your location is never a wise idea. When others can see your current position, especially if it is a sensitive one like your home or workplace, unwanted criminals can get access to it and get the details of your location. This can alter your privacy and can lead to identity theft. If you have already shared your location, check it and remove all your previous geotags from your pictures.
3. Don’t use third-party applications
You’ve probably come across third-party apps since they are very common for offering great features like photo editor apps, follower analyzers, etc. These applications usually have access to your private profile information. For your privacy and security, only allow authorized applications from the most trusted developers. It helps to improve Instagram security as well.
4. Avoid suspicious profiles
One of the most common phishing attacks on Instagram is still the fake profile scam. Fortunately, with a little awareness, you can easily identify a fake profile. First, a profile with a suspicious profile picture starts commenting on your photos and starts following your profile. They usually offer “free s*x” or “quick money making” and even “free followers” with a spammy, shortened URL link in the profile description. Needless to say, they are usually bots. If you are aware enough, and not clicking on every link you come across, you will avoid these type of phishing attacks. Also, blocking and reporting these fake accounts to Instagram is necessary to get rid of them fast.
5. Mind the shortened URLs
Shortened URLs usually goes hand-in-hand with fake profiles. You can find these URLs in the profile description of fake accounts. Some of these links can be extremely dangerous and could potentially lead to phishing attacks and data theft. You are not supposed to click on any of them no matter what they promise or how attractive they are.
6. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication also called for multiple step verification is a process to double check your identity when you log into an email or social media account. This feature is available on almost every social network platform by now. The Two-Factor Authentication formula requires “something you know” (username and password) and “something you have” (mobile phone) every time you want to log into your account. It usually requires a verification code that arrives at your phone after you entered the login details. Although it doesn’t take a much extra effort to implement, 2FA is considered one of the best methods to keep your Instagram account secure.
7. Consider going into private mode
Although sharing your photos publicly might seem like an attractive way to get attention, but sometimes it’s not the smartest move. It depends mostly on what type of photos you share. If you upload more like personal photos of your life, home, work, different activities, and vacations, you might want to consider going into the private mode to share your photos only with people whom you give access to it.
Security starts with awareness
By implementing the steps mentioned above, you can make your Instagram account significantly safer. However, Instagram security is not everything. There are other factors to consider such as the security and privacy of your email and other social media accounts, network security as well as your offline and cloud storage security. For example, encrypting your files or setting up a VPN is always a good idea if you want extra safety or privacy. Take a look at this guide of VPN providers to get more information on trustworthy VPN services.