How to Avoid Getting Doxxed on Instagram
Doxxing on Instagram is very common as it is so easy to access photos & trace locations. Take these steps to stay safe and avoid getting doxxed.
When Instagram was launched in 2010, no one knew it would become so popular among social media users. Today, Instagram has over 800 million active users, including random people and celebrities. All of them use Instagram to keep the world updated about their everyday lives.
While these keep the users excited, it also puts them at the risk of getting doxxed. In 2019, data from 49 billion Instagram users was exposed online. This included their profile pictures, their locations, and much more. Such breaches have made doxxing on Instagram very common. Hence, cyberbullying attacks have increased a lot.
One such attack on privacy happened with a healthcare worker. The Singaporean clinician posted on Instagram wishing for the death of all Indians. The post offended many people and resulted in her Instagram getting doxxed. All her personal pictures and information was spread across social media. The result was death threats from everyone around the globe.
There is no one reason why people doxx on Instagram. Some malicious people do it for fun and others to take revenge. To avoid getting doxxed on Instagram, one needs to take the following measures.
Keep Your Profile Private
One of the easiest tips to avoid doxxing on Instagram is keeping it private. If you are not a celebrity or influencer, make your Instagram account private. This way, you can share and post whatever you desire. That too, without the fear of strangers accessing your photos and information. You can become a part of all those heated debates happening in the comments section. Without worrying about getting abused by random people.
Beware Of Fake Accounts
Doxxing of private Instagram accounts usually takes place because of fake Instagram accounts they end up adding. Make sure that all those who follow you are people you know personally. When adding a stranger, scrutinize their profile for anything suspicious. Now, you must be thinking about how you can assure someone is legit or not. Well, it's pretty simple.
Before adding an unknown account check the mutuals. How many of your friends know them? Check if they post anything and also their number of following and followers. Accounts with very few posts and followers but a lot of following should be deleted. A.S.A.P because such accounts are usually fake.
Keep An Eye On Your Login Activity
In some cases, people's Instagram accounts get hacked and they do not have any knowledge of it. That is until their private pictures get posted on some creepy pages with weird captions. Fortunately, Instagram gives you a simple solution to this problem. If you feel like there's something fishy going on with your account, check your login activity.
Log in from any unusual device means a breach of privacy. To avoid getting doxxed, change your password immediately.
Use Different Codes And Identifications
Studies show that around 53 percent of people use the same password for different social media handles. That means, 53 percent of people willingly risk their privacy. Why? Well, simply because they are too lazy to come up with new passwords. If you are amongst this 53 percent, it's time to change your habits. Doxxing on Instagram won't be an issue for you if you have a unique username and password.
Changing Password To Avoid Doxxing
The occurrence of data breaches has become very frequent these days. It doesn't take long for even the most unique username and passwords to get leaked out. While you can not change that, you can change one thing. That is your Instagram password.
To reduce the risk of doxxing on Instagram, change your password often. You can make your password strong by adding twelve characters. Using upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special keyboard characters is a plus.
Use Two-factor Authentication
Instagram is one of those apps that truly cares about your privacy and safety. You can avoid doxxing on Instagram with the help of two-factor authentication.
When logging into a new device, this feature asks for your basic password along with a special code. This code is either sent to your WhatsApp or phone number. So hackers won't only need your Instagram password but also your WhatsApp. To make it even more secure, you can use a password manager to generate strong codes and passwords for you.
Audit Your Posts
Sometimes, Instagram posts reveal a lot more information than is necessary. For example, you might post a picture of you randomly smiling at the camera. Sounds harmless until you zoom into that picture and see your credit card lying on the table for anyone to see. Things like these put you at the risk of getting doxxed. To avoid such issues, go through your account every few weeks. Any post or comment that you believe is revealing too much information must be deleted.
Avoid Taking Random Quizzes And Surveys
There are a lot of quizzes and surveys that we take just for fun. One such example is, take a quiz to find out what Disney character you are. These quizzes seem harmless but you end up giving answers to common security questions. Attackers can use this information to get into your Google or Facebook. Next, they get into your Instagram, and viola! You're done for good.
Avoid Accessing Your Instagram Account On Public Devices
If you use public library computers daily, you need to know that your personal information is at risk. When using public devices it is best to not log in to Instagram or any other social media account through it. Since anyone can use these public devices, your information can fall into the wrong hands. This can result in you getting abused due to doxxing of your Instagram
Don't use the Login with Instagram/Facebook pop-ups
There are a lot of random forums and apps that give you the option to log in through your Facebook or Instagram. That surely sounds better than typing in an email and password, but guess what? The more sites you access this way, the more you put your data at risk of breach. That gives hackers a chance to get hands-on this personal information saved on Instagram accounts. These include your phone number, address, and much more.
Remember that you can't do anything once your privacy has been breached. What you can do is take these simple steps to stay safe from doxxing of your Instagram.