Tips to protect your privacy and help you stay safe in 2023

Tips to protect your privacy and help you stay safe in 2023

In recent years, Instagram has become a popular platform for sharing photos and videos with friends and family, plus also a platform for sharing your creative work while building a personal brand, especially for Influencers thanks to tons of features like Instagram Stories that have hooked their respective Here are a few steps that will increase the security of your Instagram account and keep hackers away.

First of all, head over to your settings page or click here.

Use a very strong password

It’s 2023, change your Instagram password from weak to very strong here.

There are several password generators online if you need help with that. You can also choose password managers like Dashlane or LastPass to create a strong password for you, but they can also manage the passwords for you for different accounts so you don’t have to use the same password for your other accounts.

Some browsers such as Chrome also handle password management for not only current accounts but also new accounts. It even has a password checker which is a service that examines a user’s saved passwords to see if they have been compromised in any way.

Another way is through the Passphrase/Diceware method. This method suggests choosing 6 or more random words and combining them to create a passphrase which then becomes your password.

Use SMS two-factor authentication

Instagram offers SMS 2FA where you add your number so that when you log into your Instagram account, a code is sent and you use it as a token to verify your account.

Just go to your Instagram profile and tap the settings button. Then scroll down to Security and tap on Two Factor Authentication and enable this feature.

Save these changes when you’re done.

However, SMS-based 2FA is not the most secure. Companies like Facebook and Twitter may use your phone number for ad targeting purposes. Changing SIMs can also happen without you knowing that it makes you vulnerable.

Despite this, it is the easiest to set up and is more adaptable for most users.

Use application-based two-factor authentication

You can now ditch SMS-based 2FA for app-based 2FA, and Instagram already supports third-party authenticator apps like Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, and LastPass apps.

Authy even allows multi-device support for those who frequently switch devices via a cloud backup.

Authy’s desktop, Android and iOS apps allow you to search for tokens by name, view tokens as a list or grid view, larger device information so you can see and remove unused apps. You also get push authentication support for sites that have implemented it.

It’s best to install the Authy app on your phone and desktop or other device so that when your tokens are synced to Authy Cloud, they sync automatically. This is so that when attempting to install another instance of Authy, you will be notified via the other app when Authy checks the new device against an existing device they already trust.

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Once this is done, go ahead and turn off the app’s multi-device feature so that no additional apps are installed.

Most sites will suggest the Google Authenticator app for 2FA, but you can easily replace it with Authy.

2FA apps are also vulnerable as most websites have a logical flaw vulnerability that allows you to log in without knowing your current password. It works when you try to change your password while you are in the process of logging into the 2FA login page. Google solved this problem. Instagram and Microsoft are still vulnerable. Read all about it here.

Just go to your Instagram profile and tap the settings button. Then scroll down to Security and tap on Two Factor Authentication and enable this feature for Authenticator App option.

If you have the authenticator apps listed above, Instagram will automatically find the app and send it a login code. You must get the code and enter it. Once that’s done, two-factor authentication is turned on automatically.

Consumers are becoming more aware of 2FA and going beyond just password logins.

Review apps connected to your Instagram account

Make sure you review apps that use your Instagram account to log into their platforms. If you continue to use these apps or services, you must revoke their access.

Go to your Instagram profile, go to Security Settings and tap on Apps and Websites or just click here. If you see something shady or apps you’ve stopped using, simply click on Revoke Third-Party App Access by clicking the Revoke Access button.

Instagram is also introducing an updated authorization screen that shows all the information the third party requests access to. You have the option to “cancel” or “authorize” this access directly from the authorization screen.

Use Instagram’s new account recovery process

This is for when you can’t access your Instagram account because the password was changed.

Just press the “My login information is not working” button which will ask you to enter the email address or phone number associated with your account. Instagram will then send you a six-digit code to allow you to access your account again.

Avoid phishing emails

Instagram has an “Emails from Instagram” tab, which allows anyone to check if an email claiming to be from Instagram is genuine to avoid phishing emails. You can find it here Settings > Security > Email from Instagram. A security tab displays a list of the emails Instagram has sent you in the past 14 days regarding your account security and the locations you’ve logged into. On the “Other” tab, Instagram will show you any remaining emails Instagram has sent you over the same period.

Other privacy features

  • Make your account private so you can only share your photos with a select group of people. Your photos remain hidden from everyone else, thus only people you really care about will be aware of your activities.

Go to your profile on the app, scroll to settings and select “Privacy & Security” then “Account Privacy.” and activate that switch. Do the same for the web, but check for private account or click here.

  • Block followers from seeing your posts – they won’t be notified that you’ve blocked them. On the app, just tap “Followers” at the top of the main mobile menu, then search for the follower you want to block and tap the three vertical dots and select remove. Follow the same steps for the web and then tap the three horizontal dots to the right of their name. Select “Block this user”.
  • Ignore accounts: You can mute accounts so you stop seeing their updates in your feed. Go to their profile and tap the three-dot menu next to their name and select Mute. Instagram won’t notify them that you’ve muted them. You have the option to mute an account’s posts, their stories, or both. For DMs, tap the information icon in the top right, where you can choose to mute messages and/or video chats. To manage the mute list, go to Settings > Privacy > Muted Accounts.
  • Limit Accounts: Instagram has a Limit feature that hides a particular user’s comments and alerts if you want to stop seeing their posts and comments without unfollowing or reporting them. This feature can be enabled by going to Settings > Privacy > Restricted account and adding the accounts manually or by going to the person’s profile, tapping the three dots icon in the top right and selecting Restrict. Comments from restricted users will only be visible to them. You can choose to see them by tapping “View Comment” and then choosing to approve it, delete it, or ignore it. As usual, you will not receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.
  • Protect your stories by limiting who sees your stories. Hide your stories from specific people by going to Settings > Privacy > Story > Select Hide story from and circle the follower you don’t want to see your stories and cut off their access. Another thing you can do is prevent people from sharing your story by going to Settings. Privacy > History and scroll down to Sharing mark and turn off Allow sharing toggle to stop people from messaging your stories to others. While you’re here, you might as well switch off Allow forwarding to stories option. This will prevent people from adding your posts to their stories. You can also disable Share your story on Facebook option
  • The Close Friends option can also come in handy for you as it limits the reach of stories to specific people by going to Settings > Privacy > Story and under Close Friends, start adding people. The good thing is that Instagram does not notify the people who have been added or removed from this group.
  • Inspect accounts to verify their legitimacy: Go to your profile, tap the three-dot menu, and select About this account. Instagram will then show you when the user joined the platform, which country the account is located in, any ads they run, a history of username changes and accounts with shared followers. If something seems suspicious, you can block or report the accounts.
  • Check if your account has been hacked by checking for account activities that include logging in, logging out, changing passwords, and more. In the app, go to Settings > Privacy and security > Access to data. Online, click here. You will be redirected to an info page that has a lot of data about how your account has been used. You can then click on any category to get more information, such as “Hashtags You Follow”, “Account Privacy Changes”, “Logins”, “Logout” and so on. While here, focus on “Password Changes”, “Logins”, “Logouts” and “History Activity”. If you see anything suspicious, it could mean that someone else is using your account, and it’s important that you change your password to lock them out.
  • Disable Activity Status so no one can see if you’re online by going to Settings > Privacy > Activity Status and turning that option off.
  • Disable contact sync by going to Settings > Account > Contact sync and disable contacts.
  • Turn off suggested accounts to follow by going to your profile, clicking the edit profile button, then scrolling to the last option that reads Similar account suggestions and removes the mark.
  • Remove the tag yourself from the images. This comes in handy for public accounts, and by looking at who’s tagging you, you can stop spammers and for private accounts, stop your friends from tagging you in inappropriate photo(s). Go to Settings > Privacy > Tags and enable Manually approved labels.
  • Stop stories from being saved by going to Settings > Privacy > History and turning off Save to camera Roll or Save to Gallery on iOS and Android respectively. Another setting to turn off is Save to Archive option. Instagram will now not keep Stories long after they have disappeared.
  • Keep your posts on Instagram by going to Settings > Account > Original Posts and disable Save original posts, Save posted photosand Save posted videos options so that photos are not saved on your phone, but only on Instagram.
  • Disable ad customization by either jumping into the Facebook app, you click the hamburger menu in the top right corner and scroll to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Ad Settings > Ad Settings or go online to the Ad Settings page (direct link ) and click on Ad Settings to see the options yours. Turn off these two options: Ads based on data from partners and Ads based on your activity on Facebook company products that you see elsewhere. This will stop Facebook from targeting you with ads based on information obtained outside of Instagram.
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Conclusion

Enabling these security protections will ensure that your Instagram account is safe and make it difficult for hackers to access your account, and it will also make your experience on Instagram worthwhile.

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