5 Ways To Combat Instastalkers Who Invade Your Privacy
Are you dealing with an Instastalker?
There are few things better than attracting plenty of engaged followers for your Instagram account, but not all Insta-fans are created equal. An Instastalker is someone who constantly views your stories, pictures, and videos, often without any engagement.
These Instagram stalking pros look at profiles anonymously, and often make innocent Instagram users feel uncomfortable. So, how do you gain more control over who interacts with you online?
That’s what we’re here to discuss. Here are five ways that you can protect yourself against Instagram stalking activity.
1. Go Private
The best way to have full control over who can see your Instagram account is to switch your profile to private. Notably, when your account is private, no-one will be able to see what you share unless you approve their request to follow you first.
If you’re trying to gather as many followers as possible, going private might not be the best idea. However, if you want full privacy, this is the best route. Open up your Instagram app, go to your account and click on the menu in the top right corner. Then click on Settings.
Scroll to the Privacy section, tap that, and under Account Privacy, toggle the “Private Account” option to on.
Remember, you won’t be able to create a Private account if you’re using a Business profile on Instagram.
Having an Instagram private account means that you get full control over who can see the things you share. It’s a great way to reduce your risk of any Instastalker harming your privacy. Private accounts also mean that it’s much tougher for people to steal or repost your content.
However, it doesn’t hide your activity on public accounts. People will still be able to see your comments and activity elsewhere on Instagram. You’ll also have a harder time getting people to follow you if your account is Private unless you find ways to advertise yourself outside of Instagram.
2. Clean Out Your Followers
Once you switch to a Private account, anyone who was already following you still has access to your account. This means you’ll need to audit your existing followers.
To remove followers from your account, simply visit your profile and click where it says the number of followers you have. You should now see a list of everyone following you.
Next to each follower, you’ll see the word “remove,” allowing you to remove the follower you no longer want on your account. Hit remove and confirm that you don’t want that person to be able to follow you anymore. Once the follower is gone, they’ll need to request to see your profile again.
It’s a good idea to regularly clear out your followers on Instagram to remove anyone that you don’t know, or anyone who might use your account as a place to post spam.
If the person comes back and tries to follow you again, then you can either ignore their request, or block them. That takes us to our next suggestion.
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3. Block Any Instastalkers
If you know who your Instastalker is, you can reduce your chances of interacting with you again by blocking them. Blocking someone on Instagram is a good way to protect yourself from them ever requesting to follow you again. To block a person, go to their profile.
When you arrive on the user’s profile, you’ll see three dots in the top right corner, click that to bring up your list of options.
If you’re using the Instagram app, you’ll see restrict and block at the top of the list. It may be in a slightly different order if you’re using the desktop version of Instagram, but block will still be an option.
Click block and confirm that you want to block the follower when Instagram asks. You can also report the user if they’ve done anything that might have gone against Instagram’s terms of service.
Remember, you can always unblock the user if you decide you want to let them follow you again later. Go back to the account of your Instastalker and click the three-dot menu to choose unblock. You can also go into the Privacy section of your Settings and unblock someone there.
When you block someone on Instagram, their likes and comments disappear from your photos. Unblocking won’t make those interactions reappear. The people you blog will still be able to see your comments and likes on other public accounts. However, they won’t be able to mention your username or tag you – even if you change your name.
Blocking someone also means that you can’t message that person. Your message threads will still remain in your inbox, and if you’re in a group message, you’ll see a box asking if you want to stay in the chat.
4. Limit Your Story Viewers
Maybe you don’t mind someone seeing the pictures you share on your Instagram feed, but you’d rather they didn’t have a chance to check out your personal stories.
Instagram Stories can be a place to document your life and share meaningful experiences. Fortunately, you can limit the number of people who see your stories.
To hide your story from potential Instastalkers, go into your Settings, then Privacy, then Story. Choose the option Hide Story From, and you’ll see a list of followers. Just tap the word “hide” next to the name of the Instastalker you want to block to remove their access.
You will need to block the people you don’t want to see your Story every time you post a new one.
You can also stop people on your follower list from sharing your story. Go to the same page mentioned above and scroll down to the Sharing section. This is where you can flip the switch that turns Allow Sharing off. This will prevent people from directly sharing your Stories.
If you toggle the button next to “Allow Resharing to Stories,” you can also stop other people from adding your IGTV and feed posts to their own stories.
If you just want to make sure your closest friends can see your Story, there’s an option or that too. Instagram’s Close Friends feature means that you can share your content with just specific people. Go into your Story settings as we mentioned above and tap on Close Friends.
Add the people you want to be able to see your Story. This is a great way to give friends and loved ones private updates while ensuring that no-one else will be able to see what you’re talking about. You can change the people in your Close Friends list whenever you like.
Your followers won’t know if you add or remove them from your Close Friends list.
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5. Protect Your Activity And Visibility
Instagram offers a variety of ways for users to change their visibility and reduce access to their activity. If you’re worried about Instagram stalking, you can make yourself less visible on Instagram. Start by turning off the entry that Instagram has to your contact list.
Usually, when you download the Instagram app, you’ll automatically sync your contacts to Instagram to help you find friends that already had the app. However, this also means that Instagram gets to see all the contacts you have in your phone.
To turn off Contact Syncing, go into your Instagram Settings, then Account and Contacts Syncing.
Toggle the option to Sync Contacts off.
You can also ask Instagram to stop suggesting your account to other people. When someone on Instagram follows a new account, Instagram will usually display a list of “similar” accounts. This might include accounts of people with similar content or contacts. You can turn this setting off, but only on the Instagram website, not the mobile app.
Go to Instagram’s website and click on your profile, then select Edit Profile. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and uncheck the option for Similar Account Suggestions.
If you want to prevent followers from knowing when you’re online, you can turn off your Activity status. Remember, turning off Activity for Instagram also means that you won’t be able to see the activity of other people too.
On the Instagram app, go back to your Instagram Settings and click on Privacy. Underneath Interactions, you’ll see a section called Activity Status. Click on Activity Status and toggle the option to off.
Get Rid Of That Instastalker
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world for a reason. It’s a great location to share posts, videos, and images with friends loved ones and even consumers. However, there are always going to be a few bad apples on any social media environment.
Removing Instastalkers and fake Instagram followers from your account improves the quality of your Instagram community. It also means that you don’t have to worry about constantly protecting your privacy from certain people.
Good luck getting rid of your Instastalker once and for all!
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