Life today without social media feels incomplete. Be it the constant need to update your buddies about your daily activities or just posting pictures from your trip overseas. This whole exercise not only gives us that extra dose of dopamine but also help us stay connected with other people online.

However, the drawback of being a citizen of the social media community is that you have to find ways to deal with some of the bad actors that plague the platform, with a focus on the photo-sharing app Instagram. It could be a stalker, someone who is harassing you or maybe even someone you just don’t want as a part of your online circle.

So, how to make sure that your online activity on Instagram is safe from prying eyes and how to avoid pesky rogues flooding your DM with unwanted content? Here are some tips for you.

Make your account ‘Private’

Making your account private is one of the best ways to make sure that random people don’t get to see what you are posting on Instagram. If you only wish to interact with the people you know and the ones who follow, you can set your account to ‘Private’ by going to the app’s Settings>Privacy>Account Privacy and then toggle the Private Account option on.

Instagram Safety Tips A

When your account is private, you will have to approve new followers before they can view your photos and videos. Also, only approved followers will be able to send you messages via DMs. Also, with the Private Account option on, Google will not index your photos and videos to Google Images.

Disable Activity Status

Instagram comes with a feature that shows other users when you are active on the app. This is indicated by a green dot next to the friend’s profile picture in the DM section. This tells us that a friend is online and available to reply.

Instagram Safety Tips B

Though it is a good feature to have on the app it might come across as intrusive to many users. To turn off the Activity Status option, go to the app’s Settings>Privacy>Activity Status and toggle the option off.

Block, restrict or report accounts

You always have the option of blocking, reporting or restricting certain users who are harassing you or posting inappropriate content. You can do that by directly going to the person’s Instagram page and tapping the three-dot hamburger menu on the top-right corner. You can also report a profile by tapping the three-dot option on the user’s story.

Instagram Safety Tips 5

To report or remove a comment, long tap on the particular comment and tap the exclamation icon on the top-right corner. This will give you the option to Report, Mute, Restrict, Unfollow and Block the same account.

The Restrict feature on the app hide’s a particular user’s comments and notifications if you wish to stop seeing their posts without unfollowing or blocking them. To enable this feature, go to Setting>Privacy>Restricted Accounts and add the account there.

Monitor comments and stories

Instagram gives you control over who can and cannot view your stories. You can also turn off commenting and interactions on your posts by tapping on the three-dot menu on the top-right corner and selecting the ‘Turn Off Commenting’ option.

You can also block specific accounts, set content filters and even get the option of hiding certain phrases. If your account is public, you also have the option of choosing who can comment and who can’t. To toggle these options, go to Settings > Privacy > Comments. 

Also, in Settings, you also get the option of hiding your stories from specific users and also determine who can share your stories.

Mute accounts

When you mute an account, you stop seeing their updates on your timeline which is a more subtle way of restricting their content rather than toggling the Restrict option. Also, Instagram will not notify users you have muted.

Instagram Safety Tips C

You can mute an account by tapping the three-dot menu on an account. Also, in Direct Messages, tap the information icon (i) on the top right, where you can opt to mute messages and/or video chats of the person who is messaging you.

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