Instagram privacy settings on Android: Relaxed level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on Instagram using Android. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Relaxed level protection.
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How to keep your account from getting hacked

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Set a strong password

What for: so you don’t get hacked.

If you use a short and simple password for your Instagram account, cybercriminals can guess it and hijack your account. The complex and longer the password, the stronger it is. Use a strong password that:

  • Consists of 8-20 characters.
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, etc.).
  • Is not an actual word or easy-to-guess phrase.
  • Is not the same as your passwords for any other accounts.
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name etc. or those of your relatives and friends).

To change your password:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Open Settings;
  3. Go to the Security section;
  4. Select Password;
  5. If the system sends you a message to the e-mail address linked to the account, open it, tap the button, and set a new password;
  6. If the form for changing the password opens, enter the old password and then enter the new password twice;
  7. Tap the confirmation icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: so you definitely don’t get hacked.

Instagram can prompt you to enter an additional one-time code when you log into the account. Even if cybercriminals find out your login and password, they will not be able to use them without this code. The code can be received via a text message or using an authentication app.

Keep in mind that Instagram can use the phone number you specified for one-time codes for its own purposes, for example to show you targeted ads.

To enable two-factor authentication:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Open Settings;
  3. Go to the Security section;
  4. Select Two-Factor Authentication;
  5. Tap Get Started and choose a method for receiving the one-time code:
  6. text message to phone.
  7. Instagram will send a code to the phone number linked to the account. Enter it in the window that opens and tap Next.
  8. A code generated by another app, such as Google Authenticator.
  9. Start the app you have chosen for two-factor authentication and follow the on-screen instructions.

It is considered that it is safer to use an authentication app for two-factor authentication. A text message with the code can be intercepted by infecting the smartphone with malware or by exploiting a communication protocol vulnerability.


How to hide from Big Brother

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Stop Instagram from accessing your contacts

What for: so Instagram does not know more than it needs to.

Instagram requests the contact list of your phone to help you locate the people you know on the social network. The service also collects information about your contacts to generate targeted ads and form the news feed. Since such data is passed on to others, including third parties, there is an increased risk of data leaks.

To stop Instagram from using your contact list:

  1. Open Settings on the device;
  2. Go to the Apps & notifications section;
  3. Tap See all apps and select Instagram in the list;
  4. Select Permissions;
  5. Tap Contacts;
  6. Select Deny.

Downside: without access to the contact list, Instagram will no longer be able to advise you to follow the accounts of your friends in your contact list.

If such apps as Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp, which are owned by Facebook, have access to the contact list, this information can still be used by the social network.

Keep in mind that you have to disable access to contacts on all your devices with contact lists.

You can check which contacts are already uploaded to your accounts and remove any unwanted information here:


Limit access to location data

What for: so Instagram does not know where you go to.

Instagram tracks your location in order to suggest geotags for your posts, generate targeted ads, and suggest hangouts. Transmission of such data compromises your privacy, increases traffic usage and drains the battery. You can stop Instagram from accessing GPS data of the device.

To stop Instagram from tracking your location:

  1. Open Settings on your device;
  2. Go to the Apps & notifications section;
  3. Tap See all apps and select Instagram in the list;
  4. Tap Permissions;
  5. Tap Location;
  6. Select Deny.


How to defeat spammers and trolls

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Limit the ability to comment on your posts

What for: to remove irrelevant comments.

By default, all Instagram users can leave comments under your posts, which is often abused by spammers and trolls.

To limit comments on all future posts:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Open Settings;
  3. Go to the Privacy section;
  4. Select Comments;
  5. Open the Allow Comments From menu and select who can comment on your posts:
  6. Everyone
  7. People You Follow and Your Followers
  8. People You Follow
  9. Your Followers
  10. You can also stop specific users from commenting on your posts. Open the Block Comments From menu and select users you don’t wish to receive comments from.

If you have a private account, only approved followers can comment on your posts.

You can also stop users from commenting on existing posts or specific new posts.

To do so:

  1. When creating a new post, tap Advanced Settings;
  2. Enable the Turn Off Commenting option.

To disable comments under a post that has been already published:

  1. Go to your profile;
  2. Open the relevant post;
  3. Tap the three dots icon next to your name;
  4. Select Turn Off Commenting.

Get rid of offensive comments under your posts

What for: so as not to waste time and brain cells on cleaning up comments.

By default, Instagram blocks potentially offensive comments using a built-in filter. However, you can add a custom list of forbidden words, phrases, numbers, or smiley faces.

To do so:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Open Settings;
  3. Go to the Privacy section;
  4. Select Comments;
  5. Enable the options:
  6. Hide Offensive Comments — to enable the built-in Instagram filter.
  7. Manual Filter — to add to the filter a custom list of words and symbols.
  8. Filter Most Reported Words (this item appears after you activate Manual Filter) — to add to your filter the words and symbols that are blocked most often by other users.

Privacy level
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Relaxed

Basic privacy settings, maximum convenience.


Medium

A golden mean respecting privacy matters but preserving convenience.


Tight

A choice of security over convenience; instructions contain a lot of details.

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