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Instagram privacy settings to change ASAP
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How to change privacy settings on Instagram

Whether they are watching your activity and using it for their means or selling it to third parties, Big Tech is under the privacy microscope. In response, developers have added privacy settings to apps and devices. This primarily serves to better inform you of how you’re being tracked in some cases. In other situations, you have greater control of how you’re tracked.

Meta, in particular, has been embroiled in controversy over its invasive practices. It launched the Privacy Center for Facebook, which better informs users of how they’re tracked and offers settings to limit tracking. Tap or click here to check out some critical Facebook security settings.

Some Facebook privacy settings have made their way over to the Meta-owned Instagram. Let’s go over some of the biggest ones you should pay attention to.

Who can see your posts

You can control who sees your Instagram posts by setting your account to public or private. If your account is public, anyone can see your posts even if they don’t have an Instagram account.

If you set your account to private, your profile and posts can only be seen by people logged into Instagram who you’ve approved to follow you.

To make your account private on iPhone and Android:

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Tap your profile picture to go to your profile.
  • Tap the hamburger menu, then tap Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Toggle on the slider next to Private Account to the right to make your account private.

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Who can see you’re currently online

People you follow and those you exchange direct messages with can see when you were recently or currently active. You can switch this off so nobody can know when you’re online, but you also lose the ability to see when anyone else is online.

To change the visibility of your Activity Status on iPhone and Android:

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Tap your profile picture to go to your profile.
  • Tap the hamburger menu, then tap Settings.
  • Tap Privacy, then Activity Status.
  • Toggle the slider next to Show Activity Status to the right to make your status unavailable. If you change your mind, follow these steps and slide the toggle to the left to make your status available.

You may also like: Can people see the embarrassing things you like on social media? Tap or click here to find out.

Location tracking

Many people tag their location when posting to social media. This can be fun if you’re at a famous landmark, but it’s a risky practice. You’re not only letting people know where you are at any given time, but Instagram uses that information to target you with content from advertisers and other Instagram users.

You can restrict Instagram from knowing your location via your phone’s settings. Here’s how to do it from your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram > Never.

To turn off Instagram’s access to your location on Android:

  • Go to Settings > Location > App access to location > Instagram > Deny.
  • Depending on which Android phone you’re using, you may find Location settings under Permissions.

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Ad tracking/data sharing

Facebook gives users the option to limit the amount of information collected from Facebook and third-party apps. Instagram doesn’t have this option, but changing it in Facebook will apply the setting to Instagram. Either way, you’ll see the same amount of ads, but less of your activity will be used to target you.

To limit ad tracking and data sharing on Instagram, open the Facebook app on your iPhone or Android phone and follow these steps:

  • Tap the hamburger menu
  • Tap Settings & Privacy > Settings.
  • Scroll to the Permissions section and tap Ad preferences > Ad settings > Data About Your Activity From Partners.
  • Slide the toggle next to Not Allowed to the left to disable personalized ads.

RELATED: Social media makes for a great pool of potential victims for scammers. One method is to promise easy money and giveaways. Tap or click here for tips on spotting these scams and how to report them.

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