Did you know that Instagram has more than 2.35 billion monthly users? Crazy, right? We know. But as popular as it is, concerns about its safety are also growing. As an Instagram user, you need to be extremely careful when using this platform because hackers are always seeking new ways to steal your data. If they’re successful, you can become a victim of identity theft.
Following effective safety tips can help protect your account, saving you the stress associated with negative outcomes.
How to protect yourself on Instagram?
Adjust your privacy settings
If you’re like most people, you probably use Instagram to share your feelings, thoughts, and activities with followers through photos and videos. But if you don’t configure your privacy settings to choose who can see your posts, send you direct messages, and follow you, you may find yourself in an undesirable situation.
If you’re not careful with what you post, run background checks on new followers on Nuwber to determine which of them need to be removed or even blocked. Only approved followers should be allowed to see your content.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is a security process that uses two authentication factors for users to verify themselves–firstly a password, and then either a phone number or alternate email address, usually on different devices. After entering your username and password, you’ll be asked to provide a verification code that will be sent to your alternate email or phone number. This added layer of verification offers a higher level of security and protects both your credentials and the resources you can access.
Be mindful of what you share
Think carefully about what you’re putting in your captions, comments, and posts so that you don’t compromise your security or that of your followers. Never disclose any sensitive personal information. Sharing a photo of a credit card in a purse, posting a picture of a street sign that shows your home address, or even just announcing where you currently are are all easy ways to violate privacy online. It might not seem like much at first, but if you post a series of thoughtless omissions, you might end up giving away too much private information.
Use a unique and strong password
Select a password that is both unique and difficult to guess by using a mix of at least six different types of characters—letters, numbers, and symbols—none of which should include your name or date of birth. Be sure to change your passwords frequently and never use the same for different accounts.
Your password should never be posted publicly or shared with an untrusted program or person. If your Instagram account fails an automated security check, you will be prompted to change your password. If this happens to you, change your Instagram password as soon as you see the message. Always log out of the app and uncheck Remember Me before using a shared computer or device. Ensure that there is a lock on your phone as well so that if it’s lost, no one will be able to access your account.
Exercise caution when linking third-party apps to your account
You should use caution while connecting your Instagram account to third-party applications and services. Only use reliable and recognized applications that have a valid reason to have access to your page. If you provide your login credentials, either through an access token or by disclosing your username and password, these applications can have unrestricted access to your account.
The ability to access personal communications, gather information about acquaintances, and potentially disseminate unsolicited or malicious content on your profile are among the risks associated with unauthorized access to your personal account.
Keep an eye on what happens with your account
Review your account activities on a regular basis, including your login history and any recent posts. Take prompt action, like reporting the matter to Instagram and changing your password, if you become aware of any potentially malicious or unauthorized activity.
Stay alert for phishing scams
Instagram phishing occurs when an attacker sends a user a message with a link that looks legitimate but actually attempts to steal their login credentials. Your account may be threatened with deletion or suspension if you do not comply with the instructions in these communications. If scammers gain access to it, they may start sending out unwanted messages from your account to your friends and other users. You need to remain vigilant against phishing attempts. Don’t click on random links, visit questionable websites, or give out sensitive information to strangers.
Regularly update the app
You should always use the most recent version of the app since it includes the most recent security and bug fixes. This helps defend against exploitable flaws in the system. These flaws, often known as software vulnerabilities, are a hacker’s best friends.
Vulnerabilities in computer programs or operating systems are potential entry points for malicious actors. Hackers who create programs specifically to exploit the vulnerability can take advantage of it. Sometimes, all you have to do to get infected with an exploit is to visit a malicious website, click on a link from a phished email, or open a malicious file. Malware can encrypt your files, give an attacker full access to your account, and take data from it.
Check location settings
Instagram users can access publicly available stories within a specified geographical region by conducting a search using a location associated with the said area. This not only discloses your geographical position to a global audience but also enables viewers acquainted with the vicinity to ascertain the exact place. It’s better to post a photo with a certain location only after leaving the place.
Instagram’s rapidly growing popularity is noticeable, whether you use it to share your own creativity, connect with others, or reach out to your favorite stars. Knowing how to protect your account is even more crucial given the increased risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime when so many people view your posts.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.