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Your Privacy And Instagram: Here’s What You Need To Know

Instagram was started back in late 2010 as an app simply to share photos that you loved with fun filters, making them look professional. Since then, the app has exploded in popularity and it didn’t take long until it was acquired by Facebook (now Meta). Because of the acquisition and the controversy surrounding the topic of privacy on the Meta platform, there have been plenty of people questioning if their information is secure on Instagram, as well. This is a valid question, and Instagram has its own privacy policy. However, Instagram’s main policy still falls under the Meta platform.

Meta says first and foremost in its privacy policy that they collect information from what you do on social media and share that information with potential advertisers that make them revenue. The information that’s collected from your Instagram profile includes all of your activity and the information in your bio section. They’ll also collect your friends list, who follows you and how many people you can connect with in just one post. 

What might be more concerning, though, is what Instagram collects when you’re not even using the app. Instagram tracks what else you’re doing on your phone, such as looking for certain articles of clothing or what restaurant you want to try out this weekend. They’re able to tell which device belongs to which person and can track where you are through GPS and know what IP address you’re using. Pretty much everything related to your phone is obtained by Instagram, and it’s all used to shape the type of advertisements that you get on a daily basis.

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While it’s difficult to get Instagram and Meta to not obtain your information (which you consent to when signing up), you can still make your own profile private. When you set your profile to private (which is quick and easy to do), people will have to send you a request to follow your account. If you accept, people will be able to see your photographs and your extended bio, while those can only see your profile picture and Instagram name. 

You can also turn off comments for your Instagram posts and decide whether or not you want to share your posts directly to Facebook. There are many that want to keep the two as separate as possible, so it’s a nice feature to have. There’s several bells and whistles in terms of privacy that you can toy around with, but you’ll still have to adhere to the overall Meta platform privacy policy.

If you want to see specifically what data you’re sending to the Meta platform, there’s a way to do just that. Click on your profile picture and then the three lines (hamburger) tab. From there, you’ll be able to see your activity and account history. You can filter through this and remove what you don’t want to be there any longer. Instagram is also legally obliged to give you a copy of your data if you wish to have it downloaded to your computer. 

Just like any other social media platform, you have to be careful with what you post. Your data can be obtained by almost anyone for the right price. Still, Instagram has to follow laws so there isn’t really much to worry about. Protecting yourself from potentially harmful users and hacked accounts is the most important aspect of browsing Instagram.

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