Here’s a breakdown of what Instagram advises its users to practice for a safe online experience.
Use two-factor authentication to log in to Instagram safely
Whenever you log in to your account from an unknown device, Instagram’s new two-factor authentication feature requires two elements to safely access your account. One is your username or password and the other your phone.
Choose who sees your posts with a private account
All you have to do is go to “Settings” and turn “Private Account” on. This allows you to approve or decline follow requests and ultimately have control over who can view your posts.
Block anyone who you don’t want to see your posts
Private account or not, the blocking tool is accessible to every user. At the upper-right corner of every Instagram profile is a “…” menu button. Select it for the option to “Block User.”
Control the comments you want to see
Instagram implemented a feature last year that gives users the power to filter trigger keywords. In addition to using this feature, Instagram advises users to delete unwanted comments or even disable all comments through “Advanced Settings.”
Pick a strong password and keep it safe
It sounds like a broken record, but creating a strong password is key to safety online. Instagram says to create a password with at least six numbers, letters, and symbols that are arranged in a unique combination. You should also avoid checking the “Remember Me” box when you log in and out.
Report any abuse, bullying, harassment or impersonation
Instagram strongly encourages users to report any activity that violates its Community Guidelines. Swipe left to report a comment. Tap the “…” menu to report a post. Or fill out Instagram’s online form if you suspect someone is impersonating you.
Support a friend in need
Always be alert for content that suggests self-injury or harm to anyone. Instagram says to alert law enforcement immediately. If threat is less immediate, select the “…” menu next to the post, select “It’s Inappropriate,” and “Self-Injury.”
In any case that you suspect a fellow user is in danger of self-harm, after alerting an authority, reach out to the individual in a private message or through whichever means you think they’d best respond to. More resources are available through the Instagram Help Center.
As the world’s online presence grows, so do resources for protection. Utilize these resources that networks and websites offer. You’ll be grateful you did.