My Instagram profile probably reveals more personal details about me than any other social media site. As a result, I started to get the creeps when I realized how many people I actually didn’t know were following me.
Locking down your privacy on Instagram can be as simple as setting your profile to private. But you can get much more detailed, and there are a number of other protections you can put in place. You can keep your account public but protect it a little better or even add stricter protections than simply flipping the switch to make your profile private.
If you really want to protect your account, here’s what you can do.
SET YOUR ACCOUNT TO PRIVATE
Making your account private is the easiest thing you can do to get your profile locked. This means that in the future no one will be able to see your photos or stories unless you approve them.
Once your account is private, new people who visit your profile will only see your name and profile picture. From there, they can request to follow you, and you’ll need to confirm their request before they can see your photos or stories.
To set your account to private:
Go to Instagram’s settings menu. It’s hidden on your profile page behind the hamburger button in the top-right corner. This will open a side menu with several choices. You can access your settings from the cog wheel that appears at the very bottom.
From there, go to “Privacy” > “Account Privacy” and turn on the “Private Account” setting.
One important caveat: anyone who is already following you when you change your account to private will continue to follow you. That means if you want to deny someone access, you need to remove them from your followers list.
To remove someone following you:
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Go to your profile and tap on your follower count
Scroll through your list and tap the big “Remove” button next to the name of the person you want to remove.
PROTECT YOUR STORIES
With Instagram, you can limit who sees your stories (the roll of images that disappear after 24 hours) and prevent people from sharing them any further.
To hide your story from specific people:
Go to Settings > Privacy > Story
Select Hide Story From. A list of your followers will open. Tap the circle next to their name to pause access.
You can also prevent people from sharing your story:
Go to the same page (Settings > Privacy > Story). Scroll down where there is a section labeled “Share”.
You will see an option that says “Allow Sharing”. Turning this off will prevent people from sending your stories to others.
You can also turn off “Allow re-sharing to Stories” to prevent people from adding your posts to their Stories.
To prevent your stories from being shared on Facebook, turn off Share Your Story to Facebook. That means they only post on Instagram.
Finally, you can use Instagram’s Close Friends feature to limit the reach of your stories to specific people.
To set who belongs to this group of people, go to Settings > Privacy > Story.
Tap under Close friends and add people. People will not be notified when they are added (or removed) to this group.
BLOCK PEOPLE FROM SEEING YOUR FEED
When it comes to protecting the photos and videos posted to your feed, it’s a lot more of an all-or-nothing scenario than it is with stories.
If you don’t want to go private, you can still block individual users:
To block someone, you must first go to their account. On the profile page, tap the three dots menu in the top right corner.
Click on “Block”