Social networks are an excellent personal showcase where we can look not only to expose ourselves, but also to find friendships, work or simply to entertain ourselves with everything that others publish. Although, as social networks, these applications they tend to put our privacy on the line not only so that we can share our content, but also so that we can make it profitable. It is therefore appropriate to maintain control over everything we dump on the networks, at least as far as possible.
All social networks offer more or less comprehensive tools to exercise control over our privacy, but not all are equally accessible. This is the case with Instagram: although its use involves some exposure, it also offers several ways to control access to our data, profile and content. Whether you’re obsessed with privacy or not, it’s always good to know how to turn the tap off.
Do you want to protect your data as much as possible without having to leave the network? Well, here’s how you can exercise control over your privacy on Instagram.
Withdraw permissions from the application
If you want Instagram to be unable to access such sensitive hardware items as the camera, location, or microphone, the app’s permissions should be withdrawn. However, you will not have the option to use Instagram’s camera for Stories, for example, or to geolocate photos, for example.
To remove all access permissions to your phone from Instagram, simply do the following:
- Go to your Android settings and enter the application menu.
- Search for Instagram among everything you have installed and access its configuration menu.
- Go to ‘Permissions’.
- Delete all the permissions you gave him except the one for ‘Storage’. This way you can share photos and videos with the application, both on the Posting Wall and in the Stories: just take the photos or recordings with your phone’s camera application; and then attach them from the content selector.
Deactivate ‘Connect contacts’.
Instagram can access your contacts to synchronize them and, in theory, offer you new friendships on the social network. Since you’ll already be following your best friends, it’s best to turn off contact synchronization:
- Go to the profile tab (on the bottom dummy) and click on the three horizontal menu bars (top right).
- Select ‘Settings’.
- Go to ‘Account’ and enter ‘Contact Synchronization’.
- Disable the function.
Unlink your Facebook account
Since Instagram is from Facebook, the parent company takes a lot of data from its photo social network (also the other way around). This is why, cutting the loop that ties them together improves privacy. Even if they do, they will probably still be exchanging information, at least if you have similar profiles on both networks.
To unlink your Facebook account you must do the following:
- Go to the ‘Account’ options (‘Profile/Settings/Account’) and go to ‘Linked Accounts.
- If you linked your Facebook account to the Instagram account, it will appear in blue in the list. Click there.
- Click on ‘Unlink Account’, just below.
- Accept, and both accounts would be unlinked by now. You will not have access to Instagram account recovery from Facebook.
Disable apps and services with access to your account
Over time, it is common to grant access to other applications and services in order to obtain additional options, how to automatically share images or download other people’s storiesfor example. And all those apps keep taking your data even if you’ve only used them once.
To withdraw permission to access your Instagram account, you must do the following:
- Enter the Instagram configuration and then the ‘Security’ menu.
- Look for the ‘Web applications and services’ option.
- Go to ‘Active’ and click on ‘Remove’ of all the services that no longer serve you. Our advice is to remove them all and, if you need any again, grant access to them in a timely manner.
Protect your Instagram Stories
The Instagram Stories are the most delicate part of the application as this is where we tend to see the most intimate situations, so it is a good idea to protect them, especially to those people we don’t trust.
There are several ways to protect Stories: from blocking untrustworthy users to not allowing them to be shared. Let’s look at all the steps of the History’ section, in Instagram privacy settings.
- Block the Stories from those you don’t want to see. Just go to ‘Hide History a’ and choose all the followers that don’t suit you.
- Avoid being sent answers to the Stories. Every time someone responds to a Story Instagram, they send you a direct message, an option that involves some loss of privacy. You can prevent this by checking ‘Disable’ in the ‘Allow replies with messages’ menu.
- Stop your stories from being shared. You can’t stop someone from taking a screenshot of your stories, but you can share them directly from Instagram. Simply unplug all the options in the ‘Shared Content’ section.
Avoid being labeled in publications
Instagram allows anyone to tag users in other people’s posts, a lack of privacy by default that should be corrected, especially if you have followers who they usually put you in pictures that have nothing to do with you.
You can’t block the labeling completely, but you can put a door on it so that only the labels you previously approved appear. This is how it’s done:
- Go to the Instagram settings and enter the ‘Tags’ options.
- Check the ‘Approve labels manually’ selector: from that moment on nobody will be able to label you if you do not accept it first.
- Instagram will notify you of any pending labeling. To approve it you have to go to the ‘Pending tags’ option, within the tagging options (in privacy).
Block Activity Status
Just like WhatsApp, Instagram also shows the last time you logged on. If you don’t want to display that information, just do it:
- Enter the app settings and go to ‘Privacy’.
- Go to ‘Activity Status’.
- Disconnect the ‘Show activity status’ option.
Remember that if you don’t show your activity you’re also not going to see the last time your contacts connectedThe same is true for WhatsApp.
Block out the followers you don’t care about
Controlling who sees your posts and who doesn’t is vital to managing your privacy as you may not want to share anything with them. And it can be done easily with the account blocking.
To access this Instagram option you must do the following:
- Enter the settings and go to the ‘Privacy’ options.
- Go to ‘Blocked Accounts’.
- Select all followers you want to block from seeing what you do on Instagram. You can select as many accounts as you want.
- These accounts won’t see any notice that you’ve blocked them. You’ll simply stop showing up on their application. They can sense it if you’re used to posting frequently and suddenly they don’t see anything of you anymore. They can also find out if they send you direct messages and see that you don’t reply to them.
If you don’t want to apply a measure as drastic as blocking, you can also opt for silencing: the accounts you silence won’t see what you post, but they will be able to contact you. Just add the users from the ‘Silenced accounts’ option.
Another option that is somewhat more restrictive than silencing, and less than blocking, is restricting users. They will no longer have access to your posts, nor will they be able to comment on you publicly. The restriction of users is in ‘Restricted accounts’, within the privacy options.
Make your account private
That you want to prevent anyone from accessing your photographs, stories and personal information? You can make your public account private so that you have the key to your followers. This is what is popularly known as ‘locking’: only those who have your approval will see what is published.
To make the account private you must do the following.
- Go to Instagram settings and go to ‘Privacy’.
- Go to ‘Account Privacy’.
- Click on ‘Private Account’: no one will be able to see what you post unless they were already among your followers.
- Instagram will suggest that you check your followers to clean up those you don’t fully trust (only the first time you switch from public to private account). Show no mercy and remove all followers who are outside your circle of trust.