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How to Set Privacy Controls on Instagram

January 23, 2013

By Katherine McClosky :: 10:05 PM

How to set privacy on InstagramWith the recent changes to the terms of service for photo sharing social site Instagram, many people are wondering how protected and private their images really are. This is of greater concern now that Instagram has opened up a web portal for viewing users’ photographs, and in the wake of the acquisition of the service by Facebook, a company well known for its transgressions against user privacy.

The good news is that, for the most part, Instagram users have fairly good control over who can view their photos on the service. All privacy settings and controls are set within the mobile application itself, both on the iPhone platform and on the Android platform.

By default, anyone can view your account profile on Instagram. If you would like to change the setting so that only your approved followers can see your profile, follow these steps:

  • Go to your profile by selecting the far right address card icon at the bottom of the Instagram app
  • Tap the settings icon in the upper right
  • On Apple iOS, scroll down to “Photos are private” and flip the switch to ON to turn on privacy. On Android, tap on “Photo privacy” then tap within box to enable profile privacy

Once you turn on this privacy setting, anyone who wants to see your photos, followers, or who you are following, will need to send you request. To approve or deny a request to follow you, just tap on the username that appears in the request. You will then be directed to that person’s profile page, and have the option to approve the follow request, or ignore it.

Instagram has also taken steps to limit the amount and type of private personal information shared on their service. It is a violation of their terms of service to post private and confidential information. Instagram considers private and confidential information to be credit card information, social security numbers, private address and/or location information, non-public phone numbers, and non-public email addresses. For reporting such privacy breaches, Instagram has made a comment form available on their website.