The following data privacy tips apply to every social media platform, but we will zoom on “the little photo-sharing platform that could”!

On Instagram’s 11th anniversary this week, its 1.074 billion users worldwide continue to browse online shops, meet like-minded people, book a manicure, or even meet the love of their life.

Considering how many people access Instagram globally every day, experts from Kaspersky would like to remind instagrammers to avoid possible risks to their personal data security.

Here are seven key tips to help keep your personal data and account protected when enjoying the social media platform: 

  1. Account privacy level has to be set carefully, as it can prevent cybercriminals from getting hold of your personal information. A good option is to make your Instagram account private so your posts are visible only to approved followers.
  1. Check, control, and clean up your online footprints. For instance, remove information about payment methods from your Instagram account. Additionally, you can remove your phone number to prevent strangers from contacting you by this method.
  2. Secure your personal data: Firstly, remove synchronized contacts: keep in mind that Instagram uses them to suggest you follow accounts of people you know, or to show targeted ads to you. Tightening this gap can help to prevent potential data leaks and let you remain in control of the data you share with the platform. 
  1. Block third-party applications: Apps connected to your Instagram account (for example, for finding followers, counting likes, etc.) may have access to your profile information, images, and videos you have posted, and subscriber lists or subscriptions. By blocking such apps, you will eliminate unauthorized activity on your account and reduce the risk of data leakage.
  1. Do not use the same password for your Instagram account and other services, even if it is tempting. That way, if one of your accounts is stolen, the others will not be affected. If you find it difficult to memorize long and unique passwords, a reliable password manager can be used.
  1. ‘Trust but verify’ is the best practice to protect personal data and devices. Malicious links can be sent by your friends, colleague, or an online gaming partner whose accounts have been compromised in various ways. Therefore, do not forget to check the link from your friend before clicking on it—you can enter a web address directly into the web browser. If an email contains a link, instead of clicking it, first hover over the link to see if the URL that appears looks accurate. If in the slightest doubt, do not visit the website.
  1. Be very careful when you post any scans and photos, especially when it comes to IDs, tickets and billing documents. It is also a good idea to keep information about your whereabouts and traveling schedule to yourself. This info could be used to find out when you are away from home and rob you, or steal your sensitive data, such as banking credentials. Even the more innocuous little details of your habits posted over a period of time can be harvested by malicious people to build a profile of you that can be used in phishing and other unpleasant acts!

CybersecAsia would like to thank Kaspersky for their contribution.