Instagram, like many other social media sites, is a great way to keep up with friends, family, and fans. Its simple layout lets you easily add photos, view other’s photos, and even see what your favorite celebrities are up to. The vast majority of Instagram users are just looking for a fun and easy way to stay in touch. If you’re not careful with what you’re putting out there, however, you could end up getting hacked. Take note of the following guidelines to make sure you are staying safe while still having fun on Instagram.
Use a Complex Password
So many people use the same password for everything. When you do that, if you get hacked one place, you’re easily susceptible to be hacked in others. Using symbols, numbers, and casual uppercase and lowercase letters (rather than words), as well as changing your password every few months, can help further secure your account.
Set the Privacy Controls
Not everyone has to see your photos. Under privacy controls (accessed by clicking on your profile, then settings) you can choose to have your profile visible to the public, or just to those who you have approved. Keep in mind that even if you change your settings to private, anything you post online has the risk of getting into the wrong hands, so never post anything compromising. Setting privacy controls ensures that individuals who are trying to get into your account do not have access to your personal information, which they can use to social engineer your email provider or other account providers to find their way into your Instagram account. These are all indirect ways that an individual can access your Instagram account: if a hacker finds your location, he or she can use that to find more information about you to reset your email account password and then gain access to your Instagram account. Stemming from this, we have the last point of leaving out your location.
Leave Out Your Location
When you post photos, you have the option of tagging their location. While many find this one of the most fun features on Instagram, it can dangerously expose your regular whereabouts, leaving a trail of your activities. Avoid revealing your location when unnecessary. On the same note, don’t show information such as how long you’ll be on vacation. This could be used by burglars as information on when to break into your home.