The trend of taking photos, particularly selfie, and sharing them on social media has become very common lately. This is one of the reasons why Instagram, a photo and video sharing social networking website has grown up to 23 percent within the last few years. In the digital world, what matters most is not the nature of your content, but its amount. This is why teens are somewhat obsessed with feeding their Instagram account latest updates, even if they are not worth sharing. This may lead to serious consequences as what goes online stays there forever, even if you remove it from your account. Keeping this in mind, we have created a guide for teens to stay safe on Instagram. If you’re a parent, be sure to share this information with your teen.
Check Privacy Settings
Like all other social networking websites, Instagram sets your profile to public by default. This means that anyone can get access to your private photos and videos. Doesn’t that sound scary? If you are a newbie at Instagram or you have not yet altered the privacy settings of your account, then chances are everything you share is visible to public. You have to manually change the privacy settings to make sure only your hand-picked followers can get access to your private photos, videos, and social networking activities. This can be done by switching your profile to private mode. It will keep you safe from online predators and stalkers as it lets you allow only a selective number of people to follow you.
Turn Off Location Tagging
Instagram allows you to add the location to a photo of where it was taken. Telling people where you went for holidays, which places you have visited, and where you are right now sounds fun, but it is very dangerous. Cyberbullies and stalkers use Instagram location feature to know more about their target, like the places they visit frequently, their home and school address, etc. You must switch this feature off in order to make sure no one gets to know about your whereabouts except your family and friends.
Keep a Limited Social Circle
Instagram is a good place to share your photos and videos with friends and family, but it is also a perfect place for cyberbullying, stalking, harassing, and other online crimes. This is why you need to be careful while using this platform. Do not allow unknown people to follow you as it will give them access to whatever you share or post. Keep a small social circle consisting of people you know and trust. A large number of predators exploit unsuspecting kids by becoming a part of their social circle through a fake account. The smart girl you became friend with last week may be a 50 years old person looking for his next victim.
In addition to following the aforementioned tips, you must also keep your parents in the loop so that they can guide you about what to share and what not to share on Instagram. Do not hesitate to seek help from them in case you find yourself stuck in a sticky online situation.