What exactly is Instagram all about? It’s more than a phone app for fiddling with the colours and effects of your photos with its many stylish features.
In fact, Instagram is a picture-sharing platform first and foremost. It’s designed to let you share your favourite photos with friends, relatives, other users, and just about anybody in the world.
What if you’re not thrilled about the idea of waving your snapshots in the face of a very public, very random crowd of strangers? Don’t worry! Instagram includes some excellent controls for managing the accessibility of your favourite digital photos.
Show them off to the entire Internet or just your chosen friends – the choice is entirely up to you.
To learn how to manage Instagram’s privacy settings, just take a moment to review the following newbie-friendly tips for getting the most out of the app.
When you snap a picture with Instagram, you’re not just tucking that file away for your own use later. By default, the app is going to post that picture on your photo feed – and that feed is completely public if you haven’t changed your privacy settings.
How To Make Your Instagram Account Private
If you’d rather not share your Instagram photos with random strangers, you’re going to want to set your feed to private. Turning on private mode will make your feed a private club where only selected followers get access to your photos.
To get started, tap the profile button in the lower left corner of the Instagram interface. (It should look like a silhouette.) From here, tap the settings button. In iOS, this button looks like a gear. On Android phones, it’s a button with three dots on it.
You should see a setting called “Private Account” in the menu the settings button brings up. Flip the switch next to it to the on position.
Congratulations! You’ve just closed the doors to your Instagram gallery and prevented random users from peeking at your pics. (They won’t be accessible through searches, either.)
Remember that your security gets a lot more complicated if you link your Instagram account to other social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter). Take a moment to review your social sharing settings on the confirmation page that appears before you share photos.
Instagram and Facebook are two giants in the social media world, so they’ve made it as easy as could be for users to get them to work together. If you do hit the button to send your Instagram photos to Facebook when you share them, exactly who is going to be able to see them later? Don’t leave this question unanswered!
You need to take a closer look at your Facebook privacy settings. Log in to your Facebook account and click the Privacy Shortcuts link in the upper right corner of your page. (It should look like a padlock.) Click the “Privacy Checkup” link and then click the blue button labelled “Next Steps.”
You have a section of apps that are connected to your Facebook account; you’ll find Instagram here if you’ve already linked your accounts together. This page will show you the current privacy level for any pics your post via Instagram. Options range from “Public” to “Only Me.” Use the pull-down menu to select the privacy level that feels right to you.
Instagram is like many other social platforms (e.g. Twitter) in that it lets any user follow any other user. The exception to this rule is users with private profiles; nobody is allowed to follow them without permission – so even an Instagram web viewer won’t work.
If you didn’t set your profile to private right away, your followers list might contain a few people you don’t know or don’t want to share with. Don’t worry, getting rid of them is a breeze.
Start by tapping the profile button at the lower right corner of the Instagram interface. Tap your number of followers to access a complete list of users following your account. Tapping an individual name here will take you to a follower’s profile page. Just tap the menu button (it looks like three dots) in the upper-right corner.
Among the options that will appear in a menu when you do this is “Block User.” As soon as you tap that, the unwanted follower is gone forever.
Unless they already know you from somewhere else, Instagram users can’t learn anything about you that isn’t listed on your profile. You have total control over what you do and do not put on your profile; a user name is the only piece of data that’s absolutely required.
Get started by hitting the profile button in the lower right corner of the main interface and tapping “Edit Your Profile.” Here you can add (or remove) whatever details you want.
Whenever you share a photo with Instagram, it pins it to a photo map that other users can access through your profile. If you, for example, go on a photo-sharing spree at the Smithsonian, other users will see your latest pictures pop up on a map of Washington, DC.
If this prospect doesn’t exactly thrill you, you may want to clear out the photos that Instagram has already pinned to your map. Does the whole world need to know exactly where your home is, for instance? Thankfully, it’s not hard to purge pics from the photo map.
For a start, look for the “Add to your Photo Map” option that appears on the confirmation page before you share a new photo. You’ll want to make this decision on a case by case basis with your future shots. What about the old ones?
Tap the photo map tab you’ll find in your profile (it’s shaped like a teardrop) to access your map. You want to hit the Edit button that appears in the upper right-hand corner. From here you can select individual photos on your map and purge them from public view. You can also handle batches of pictures at the same time. To do this, you’ll need to hit the grid button at the bottom of the screen on Apple phones or the three-dot menu button at the top of Android devices. Select “View All” to get a list of all the photos that are currently pinned to your map.
Note: If your Instagram account is currently set to private, your photo map is no longer publically accessible. In fact, not even your followers can see it!