Today, Instagram is the most popular social app for sharing photos with family, friends, and the whole world. Because of its popularity, Instagram has attracted online hackers, scammers which pose serious privacy and security risks. Hundreds of accounts have been hacked. Hacked user accounts are logged out of the app and never gain access again. Account protection is necessary to avoid account breaches.
Instagram has introduced several features to help keep user accounts safe from hackers and scammers. Most of these features are included in settings such as two-factor authentication, unfollow and block buttons. A user can also make use of VPNs and proxies to keep Instagram accounts secure. This blog post discusses ten ways to keep your Instagram safe and secure in 2023.
Ways to Keep Secure Your Account
1. Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication uses two forms of verification to give access to an account. The first form of identification is a password and the second form is a text containing a code usually sent to a smartphone.
Two-factor authentication helps ensure that your Instagram is secure by preventing access to your account without your authorization. This is done by ensuring a second form of authentication after a password is entered. A message is sent when you try to log in from an unknown device. This password code is sent through SMS to your phone or a trusted mail.
This code is required to log in. So even if a hacker has access to your password, they can’t still have access to your account without verification. It can be enabled by selecting the settings menu on Instagram, clicking the security icon. Finally clicking the two-factor authentication button. Instagram’s two-factor authentication can be set up through text messages or independent authenticators such as google-authenticator.
Two-factor authentication is an important security measure for any social media account. It adds a layer of protection to your account by requiring you to confirm your identity via a secondary medium. For Instagram users, two-factor authentication can be an especially important security measure, as the platform contains a wealth of personal information and photos. By using two factor authentication software, Instagram users can help to ensure that their account remains safe and secure.
2. Use Proxies and VPNs
In general, proxies are used to avoid getting the same IP address blocked. Say you are a social media manager who handles multiple accounts. There is a high possibility that your IP address will get blocked as your activity will be tagged as spam-like. So, social media managers and those that use multiple accounts usually make use of proxies to have multiple IP addresses.
Residential proxies like Blazing SEO residential proxies are the most commonly used for this purpose. This type of proxy assigns a legitimate IP address while pinning them from a different location. This way, users can access Instagram as much as they want while ensuring security from possible hacks.
Since the real IP address is masked, the chances of getting easily hacked by malicious attackers are lessened. An additional feature is it allows users to access geo-blocked content.
While a virtual private network (VPN) is also an easy and efficient way to protect internet traffic and conceal identities online. When connected to a secure VPN server, the internet traffic passes through an encrypted tunnel that is not visible to anyone like hackers, scammers, and bad actors.
3. Avoid Falling Prey to Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are a practice that involves sending out malicious information that appears to come from a reputable source. It is mostly done through emails. Bad actors try to steal sensitive information like passwords, usernames, and credit card information or try to install malware on the victim’s machine.
Phishing attacks are rampant on Instagram, it starts with someone trying to get access to your account by sending a link or suspicious message that asks for your personal information.
For example, a message that claims that a user account will be banned if the user doesn’t click on a certain link or fill a form. The link can also include a link to a fake Instagram login page which will capture user login details. It is also advisable not to click or open a suspicious mail telling you to fill in your information.
The emails from Instagram feature can allow anyone to check if an email claimed to have come from Instagram is genuine.
This feature can be found in settings, security, then emails from Instagram, where you can view all the emails that have been sent by Instagram for the past fourteen days. Another tab named other will show the remaining emails.
4. Unfollow Fishy Followers on a Timely Basis
Some fishy or suspicious followers are known to harass people and post inappropriate content. Fishy or fake Instagram followers can be spotted when such accounts have very limited profile information. Fishy accounts also have little or no post and no engagement rate. They also have an unbalanced ratio between the number of followers and the account they follow. Genuine followers are important for your Instagram account because it limits spamming on your account.
It is highly recommended to first report such followers, block, restrict and unfollow fishy followers. A fishy follower can be blocked by tapping the three dots on the icon close to the top right of the specific Instagram story.
After tapping the dot you are asked to fill a form. If Instagram finds that the specific content breaches its terms of service, the account or post is suspended. After reporting fishy users, then they should also be unfollowed. Instagram also introduced a new feature known as Restrict which hides posts and comments. Restrict features also prevent fishy followers from commenting on your posts. The restriction is done by going to settings, privacy then restricted accounts. Finally, fishy followers should also be blocked.
5. Have Control on Giving Access to Third-Party Apps and Services
Instagram has added some new features that give the user control over data shared with third-party apps. Third-party apps often have an option to import photos from Instagram. Some third-party allows you to easily get your Instagram photos to build a web application. After connecting it to your account, you need to grant the app access to your username and photos. There are a lot of third-party apps that require access to Instagram data. It is not advisable to agree to let any app have access to your data, because it is very likely that the information will be misused or stolen.
It is also very important to make sure that you grant access only to well-used and trusted third-party applications like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat. Etc. Instagram gives control to the user by providing specific features to control their access. This is done by first logging into Instagram with a phone or computer with a web browser. Then click the person icon at the top right corner. Then click the gear icon and then the authorized apps. Then you’ll see all the list apps that have been authorized to access Instagram. Then simply click revoke access.
6. Make your Account Private.
The Instagram standard default setting is public which means that anyone in the world can see your Instagram profile and any pictures or videos that are posted on it. It is recommended to make an account private to keep it secure and protect its content from the public.
Instagram privacy settings allow users to manage who can see your posts. Your account is kept safe by making your account completely private. This will allow you to only share photos with a selected group of people while it is hidden from every other person.
When an account is private, you will be able to approve new followers before they can view your photos or videos. Only your approved followers can find your content through search and post you liked. Private accounts keep your account secure by preventing google from indexing your photos to google images. The privacy setting can be enabled on Instagram by clicking settings, then privacy, and then turning on account privacy.
7. Using a Unique, Strong Password and Keeping a Secure Email
While two-factor authentication is enabled, it is also very important not to use weak passwords, scammers can guess these passwords and gain access to your accounts. A strong and unique password helps to keep your Instagram account safe. When picking a secure password it is important to keep it as strong as possible by using a minimum of ten characters. Also, use both uppercase and lowercase letters and use special characters.
Use a unique password that cannot be found on any other site. Make a password memorable, for example using music lyrics or movie phases with a mixture of numbers and symbols. Other best practices are not telling anyone your password and changing your password frequently, never re-using an old password.
It is also very important to keep email ID secure because it acts as a gateway to your account. If a scammer has access to your email ID, they can gain access to any applications associated with such an email ID. Therefore an email ID should be well secured along with a strong and unique password. To keep email secure it is also advisable to update your email address, so Instagram can allow you to recover your account with the mail.
8. Controlling Comments and Stories
A public Instagram is important for reaching a wider audience, but it exposes your posts and comments section to spam and offensive comments. This is also the same with Instagram stories, Instagram stories can last for up to twenty-four hours. Instagram provides the user full control over who can see and interact with your photos and videos. This can help secure your Instagram account by ensuring that scammers, bots, and hackers cannot comment on your post.
Users can also block specific content and set filters to hide offensive words or phrases. Users can also choose who can comment on their posts whether people they follow or their followers. This setting can be turned on by navigating to settings then privacy and comments. Stories can also be hidden from certain bot or suspicious accounts. You can also set message reply permissions and who can share your stories, this is done by clicking settings then privacy and story.
9. Checking Login Activity and Always Log Out
Instagram offers different features to help track login activities on your account, this can help detect suspicious logins and keep your account safe. For example, You can monitor login activities on a desktop to see a list of locations where you last logged in. If you don’t recognize these locations, you can then log out, change the password to a stronger password and enable two-factor authentication.
It is also highly recommended to log out from any device that is not yours. For example, when you log in on a friend’s phone, you must ensure to log out, this helps to keep your account safe. Logging out may not be a big deal if it is your device, however, it is still advisable to log out. Also, don’t check the remember-me option because it gives anyone access to your account from that device.
10. Disable Activity Status
Instagram makes it easier to chat with friends and family by showing when they are available to chat. Instagram activity status feature shows people that you have directly messaged when last you were online and if you are currently active on Instagram. The activity status is shown to other users with a green dot when you are online.
It is important to disable activity status so that your status is only shown to people you follow. So if a person follows you but you don’t follow back, they will not be able to view your status. This protects your account from hackers who try to snoop on your account by monitoring when last you were online
The increasing number of Instagram being hacked is becoming alarming. Each Instagram user is responsible for keeping his or her account safe. It is important to take the right steps to prevent your account from getting hacked.
Instagram has introduced new features that are intended to protect your account. Many options like restrict, block, unfollow, hide comments are available in the settings area, this can be used to control the account’s privacy. Some of the various ways to keep your Instagram safe and secure in 2023 were discussed in this post. Hence, Instagram users can adapt any of these ways to keep their accounts safe.