3 Ways to Protect Your Privacy in Instagram

Let's begin with a simple fact - Instagram is all about sharing.

Every photo you post, the hi's and hello's you give - they all become a part of the wild-wild web. As app continues to etch the history of iPhoneography (and now bound to grow even bigger as it comes to Android), you need to make sure you're not exposing too much of your personal life that could get you into trouble.

Here are a few important things to remember:

Don't Geotag Your House

Don't let the universe know where you live.

By all means, geotag the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, or the wonderful beach you've been to - but your address? Well, that's unless you want to tell the rest of the world where you live, and while at it, conveniently give everybody a map.

Seriously, experts and security advocates have repeatedly warned about the dangers of geotagging. Small seemingly harmless details about your daily activities, when connected, could paint a dreadfully clear picture of your life pattern - and expose you to danger.

Refrain From Using Your Full Name

Stop right there. Open a new tab and google your IG username. Chances are you'd be surprised by how many results it returns. Instagram has a public API - meaning anybody could pull data from Instagram's servers and use them to develop a supplementary service. Famous examples are webstagr.am, statigr.am, copygr.am (and a lot of other grams), along with the new apps InstaFrManager and InstaPad.

The widespread use of IG data exposes your Instagram activity to the entire internet. These external parties also have the power to cache data. So even if you rename your nick now, or delete your entire feed, the photos and comments could still lurk in other locations.

You can use a pseudonym or a garbled version of your name. Unless you're planning to make a name as a commercial photographer, you'd be better off hiding your real identity. Folks don't need that to appreciate your pics.

Watch What You Comment
Be careful with your comments.
It would be very tough to trace them back.

Be especially careful when commenting on others' photos. If you accidentally slip sensitive personal info when commenting on your own photo, it's easy to track it. However, what if you left it on a friend's photo 3 months back and he already added about a hundred new ones?

Dropping a comment in the popular page is like dropping a coin in the middle of a lake. Go to the popular page - type in any random comment like "I'm the King of the World". Come back after an hour. Now, where's that comment?

Instagram lacks an activity history feature. Currently, there's no way track comments you leave on other's pics. Be aware of that. When things start getting personal, take it offline. Make use of third party chat utilities.

Instagram is a happy place and in happy places, people tend to lose their guard. Don't.

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