Are you a victim of cyber bullying? Has someone created a fake profile in your name? Are you afraid of posting pictures on Instagram or Facebook, as your pictures have been misused? If you have faced the above-stated problems or similar other problems, chances are you would want to read this article.
Let us face it; the internet is not as friendly a place, as it used to be. The increasing accessibility of everyone to the World Wide Web has resulted in some people and organizations using it for all the wrong reasons. The advent of Social Media has ensured that more and more people are vulnerable to cyber-crimes, cyber bullying, and a host of other problems.
It is not as though Billion Dollar Social Media Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and others, are not worried about your safety on their platforms. Of course, they are. These companies invest millions of dollars in finding out tools, developing safeguards, innovating on tech products and software that will help increase safety and security on platforms and work towards building confidence and trust.
However, as individuals and consumers on Social Media platforms, we need to realize the fact that companies can only do so much. It is also an individual responsibility to try to be safe on the internet. In order to be safe, we need to follow certain guidelines and best practices that are evolved by companies by conducting thorough research and investigation. Today, we look at ways in which you can be safe on Instagram.
1. Do ‘Wrong/Illegal/Obscene Posts and Stories’ appear on your Instagram Feed?
After its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram started working stringently on evolving strict ‘Community Guidelines.’ Instagram is very strict when it comes to content on violence, nudity, pornography, abuse, obscenity, and other similar items.
The Instagram Community Guidelines Team works 24×7 reviewing and removing thousands of posts, stories, videos that have been reported by users. If such reports do not match Instagram’s guidelines, they are immediately removed from the platform.
The first thing that you should do when you see a post, story, profile or any other irregularities in your feed is to report the same to Instagram. Instagram makes it a point to add a burger menu (three dots), on every post and profile, with a Report tab on it. Reporting is anonymous, so the person who is reported will never have an idea about the fact that you have reported them.
2. Have you faced Cyber Bullying or Harassment on Instagram?
According to Instagram, the most often reported crime on its platform is related to cyber bullying and harassment. To curb such practices, Instagram has evolved numerous guidelines and asked its users to follow them. In addition to reporting the said page or individual profile, there are certain tools that users have at their disposal to help them or prevent them from becoming victims of cyber bullying on Instagram.
Instagram’s ‘Blocking’ feature is fast, efficient, and very easy to use. Users can directly block people by clicking on a tab notification that appears right at the top right-hand side of the profile that needs to be blocked.
In addition to blocking individual profiles and pages, users can also control who posts comments on their pages, and who cannot post comments, or engage in any way. From its backend, Instagram has identified a set of words and phrases that it automatically crawls and retracts from posting. Individuals can go to their settings section and click on ‘Comments Control’ to change the comments control.
3. Your Privacy is in your hands:
In terms of giving you the right to protect your personal privacy, Instagram gives you the right to close your account to outsiders, meaning you can make your profile, either a Public one or a Private one. Once people request you access, you can verify whether it is your friend, colleague, relative or someone who you would want to share access with.
Instagram also allows you the capability of showing whether you are active or not, or your last seen, much like WhatsApp (WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are all owned by Mark Zuckerberg!). If you have a huge following but want to restrict people who can view your personal story, you can create a ‘List’ of Close Friends. There are many elements and tools that will help you control the privacy of your Instagram account.
4. Password and Two-Step Authentication to boost safety:
Instagram advice you to choose a password that is strong. In other words, a password that contains upper case, down the case, numbers and special characters. Many people make the error of using their names, their birthdays, and year of birth as passwords. Please choose a password that does not contain your name, or your birthday to prevent your account from being hacked.
Instagram also allows for two-step authentication by using Google Authenticator. You can go to your account settings and use this to make your account safe and secure.
5. How much time do you spend on Instagram?
Many social media brands will encourage you to spend as much time, and consume as much content on social media pages as possible. That adds to their revenue. However, Instagram understands how social media can have a detrimental effect on an individual if it is being used incessantly.
Instagram has come up with a setting that is neatly tucked in your activity settings. You can monitor how much time you spend on the App daily, and you can even set reminders that the App will give you if you have gone overboard with regard to your set time limit. This is a unique feature, and of all the people we had asked, literally no one knows about this.
The Final Word:
At the end of the day, humans and tech will ultimately shape a better and mutually beneficial world for both. Instagram has surely come up with a number of innovative and friendly features that will increase the safety parameters on its platform. Nevertheless, we as consumers should also stay well aware of how we use information on the platform. Problems and security issues might arise but knowing how committed Instagram is to them definitely allays some of our fears.