Recently we discussed the influence that social media have on our daily lives, particularly on Facebook. Instagram is a social media that has become increasingly popular, and the more popular it becomes, the more security risks we have when using it. Therefore, before starting to publish your favorite photos of your trips and your favorite dishes, take into account some security measures to use Instagram safely.
Instagram is undoubtedly the social media preferred by young people today, for the large amount of visual content that is published, as well as the immediacy of their publications, especially on the Stories. However, it does not stop being a focus of attention for hackers if it is not used correctly.
How could the misuse of an Instagram account affect your security? Small details such as simply having an open account, or connecting from a public Wi-Fi can bring you serious consequences, such as being a victim of fraud or data leakage.
Therefore, it is better to take security measures, from the most basic to some specific settings of the application.
How to use Instagram safely?
- If you do not have an Instagram yet and you are thinking about having it on your mobile, the first thing you should do is to download it from the official stores (Play Store, Apple Store, etc). Avoid downloading it from another site.
- After having your account, or if you already have it, the basic rule to use Instagram safely is to use the private account mode, so only those who want you choose can access you. If you want to leave it public because you want to promote it, make sure you do not publish any personal information that could compromise your security such as travel photos where you and/or your relatives appear, photos of children, etc.
- As in other social media (and in real life), if your account is personal and not for any promotional purpose, just accept to be followed by people you know, remember there are false accounts. In the same way, these false accounts will try to write you by direct messages to try to connect with you, if you do not recognize them, you can reject the request and they won’t be able to contact you.
- This privacy option is also available for Stories, Instagram allows you to create a group called “Close friends”, with that option you can select who of your followers will be able to see your Stories.
- We have repeated many times how dangerous it can be to connect to a public Wi-Fi without taking the appropriate security measures. Avoid doing it this way, since this is the easiest way for hackers to steal your user and password and access your account.
- It is important to be careful with third-party apps, if you want to know is a third-party app is reliable, you should consider some important details, for example: when you register with third-party app, it must show you a URL like this “https://instagram.com/, as well as show you the typical Instagram form to enter username and password (it must be the same as the login of the original app). Do not enter anything if you do not comply with these conditions.
- To add more security and using your Instagram safely, activate two-factor authentication, so every time you log in your account, you must enter in addition to your username and password, a code that will be sent to your mobile.
- Check the information of doubtful accounts: one of the security options that Instagram has recently added is to be able to review information about accounts with very large audiences (not necessarily public brands or personalities). When entering the profile of these accounts you just have to click on the three points that are in the upper right corner, and there you can click on “About this Account” and access to this information.
This option is not available for all accounts, but those that do have it allow you to verify things like the country (which can help you know if it shows a false location in their posts) date joined, or former usernames.
- The blue checkmark is also a way of knowing that the account is verified and that it is indeed the personality or brand they claim to be.
- If, on the other hand, you would like to verify an account, you must send a request through Instagram, but take into account that sending the request will not guarantee that it will be verified. After your application has been reviewed, you will receive a confirmation or rejection notification in the notifications tab. Instagram will never request payment for verification or contact you in any way for you to confirm it.
If you still have doubts it is always good to consult the Instagram help center. The important thing is to know the risks to which you are exposed to using this network and how to use it responsibly to enjoy its advantages.