Is your Instagram account private? If so, you’re off to a solid start. If your content is public, however, you might want to take a serious look at your Instagram Stories privacy settings.
Instagram Stories is one of the more fun, carefree social media features. Stories offers a perfect space to share visual snippets of your life and creative, engaging content with followers — everything from photos and videos to songs you love and personal polls. But have you ever stopped to think about the safety of your Stories and who exactly can see and share them?
Recently, while rewatching one of my own Instagram Stories and scrolling through the lengthy lineup of friends, colleagues, and family members who had viewed it, I noticed a few complete strangers and several spam accounts had made the list. A twinge of panic coursed through my body and a series of questions ran through my mind. Who were these people? How did they find my profile? Did someone send them my story? How long have randos been getting a behind-the-scenes look at my life?
For some context, my Instagram account is public and I have 580 followers. It isn’t a huge following by any means, but it’s significantly more people than the number of friends, co-workers, and family members I’d consider close. I have loose acquaintances from high school and college following me, former colleagues, people I’ve never met who started following me after reading an article I wrote, and a number of other random connections. I have no problem with any of these people seeing the content I share to my Instagram feed, but the thought of strangers seeing the personal, casual, oftentimes goofy, occasionally vulnerable content I post on Stories makes me feel uncomfortable and exposed.
In search of a solution I clicked the three lines in the upper righthand corner of my Instagram profile, explored the platform’s easily forgotten Settings tab, navigated to Privacy, and selected Story. There, I found a number of easy-to-implement ways to make my Instagram Stories more secure. If you’re a Stories aficionado like me who’s paid little attention to Instagram privacy settings in the past, here are six safety steps to consider taking.
1. Set up a Close Friends list
After realizing that several strange accounts had viewed my Stories I started individually blocking users I didn’t recognize. For a while, I stopped posting public Stories all together and started relying on Instagram’s Close Friends feature — the only Story posting that truly makes me feel safe.
When people think of securing their Instagram Stories, creating a Close Friends list is probably the first thing that comes to mind. For those who aren’t aware or just haven’t tried it out yet, Instagram launched the Close Friends feature in 2018. Close Friends gives users the ability to curate a list of trusted followers who they can share their Stories with privately, rather than posting Stories for all followers to see.
To make or edit your Close Friends list:
- Click the three lines in the upper righthand corner of your Instagram profile
- Select “Close Friends”
- There, you can browse a list of all of your followers (or search for specific people by name) and choose which users to add
No one you add or remove from the list will be alerted, and nobody but you is able to see your Close Friends list. If someone is given permission to view your Close Friends content, they’ll know thanks to a little green label that appears in the upper righthand corner of your Close Friends Stories.
2. Hide specific people from seeing your Stories
While the Close Friends feature is fairly popular among users, a less widely known safety precaution worth taking is choosing to hide your Instagram Stories from specific followers.
If your account is public you’ll likely be surprised at the sheer number of random users who have followed you over the years without your knowledge. While recently browsing my follower list I learned that a number of local businesses, random influencers, and several people I’m just not comfortable sharing personal updates with had the ability to see any public Stories I posted.
The realization made me incredibly anxious, so one day I set aside a few minutes, made my way to Settings > Privacy > Story, and clicked the “Hide Story From” feature. The feature gives you the opportunity to review a list of all your followers and manually select people who you don’t want seeing your Stories or live videos. Like Close Friends, the people on your “Hide Story From” list won’t receive an alert that they’ve been added. They just won’t see any future content you post on Instagram unless it’s uploaded to your main feed or you remove them from the list…Read more>>
Source : mashableShare: