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Of the major social networks, Instagram is definitely one of the most public. It’s also one of the most limited in terms of what can and can’t be shared, relying solely on visual content. “Status updates” take the form of images, videos, or GIFs as opposed to written content, as you see on Twitter and Facebook. As a result, people tend to share less clearly identifiable information on Instagram than they do on other networks, making the extensive privacy policies of those sites pretty much unnecessary.
But that’s not to say there aren’t a few privacy-related things you should be aware of when it comes to Instagram.
If you want to share your images only with a select group of people, go ahead and make your profile private. This limits your audience only to the people you approve of as your followers. It’s not a great move if you’re trying to build a brand, but it’s totally fine if you’re just interested in communicating with friends and family.
First, go to your profile by clicking on the silhouette of a person in the lower right corner of your app. If you’re on an iPhone, click the cog in the upper right corner. If you’re on Android, click the three dots. Then, scroll down until you see “Private Account.” Switch that toggle and that’s it! You’re in private mode.
One thing you might want to do if you’ve gone private is weed out any users that you previously approved, but don’t want to lurk on your profile anymore. You can do that by removing them.
In order to remove people, go back to that silhouette in the bottom right corner to bring you back to your profile page. At the top of your profile, you can see your number of followers. Tap on that, and it will bring you to the names of everyone who follows you. There should be three dots on the far right side of the screen for every follower. Tap on that, and it will give you the option of removing them.
If you want to block a user completely — making it so they can’t see your profile and also can’t re-request to follow you — click on their name to bring you to their profile. Then, click on the three dots in the upper right corner, next to their username. Click on “Block” and you’re good to go!
Stories are a newer feature on Instagram. They stay “alive” for 24 hours and then disappear. As a default, they’re visible to anyone if your profile is public and only to your followers if it’s private.
However, if you want to keep a specific person from viewing your stories you can hide them from them. The option is in the same list you’ll pull up to block someone — just click “Hide My Story” instead of “Block.” (See the image above.)
You may have been sharing the location of where your images were taken without even realizing it. If that’s the case and you want to remove location data from a past post, first click on the post. Then, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. Click “Edit” on the menu that pops up and then click on the location, which is under your name at the top. That should bring up the option to “Remove Location” or “Change Location.”
If you don’t want your location added to images going forward, you have to change the permissions on your phone. iPhone users can go to “Settings,” then “Privacy,” then “Location Services.” Scroll down until you get to Instagram and change location access to “Never.”
When you share a photo, you might be sharing more information than you intended. That’s because a lot of phones are set to default geotag your photos, making it possible to identify where a photo was taken down to the latitude and longitude.
If you’re not interested in sharing your exact location with the entire world, you can easily turn off the geotagging function on your phone
Tap on the “Settings” icon on your home screen;
Tap on “Privacy”;
Tap on “Location Services”;
Scroll down to “Camera” and change from “While Using the App” to “Never”;
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