The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day is “Together for a better internet.” We couldn’t agree more, and want to do our part by making sure you know about all the tools available to keep yourself safe, and how to look out for one another on Instagram. For more information about each feature, visit Instagram’s Help Center.
What to do if you see something that shouldn’t be on Instagram
If you see something that shouldn’t be on Instagram, you can report it to us. Our team works 24/7 to quickly review and remove content that goes against our Community Guidelines. To report something, tap “…” on the top right corner of the post or profile, or swipe left on the comment. To report content in Stories, Live and IGTV, tap the “…” at the bottom of the screen.
You can also report things sent to you in Direct. Just press and hold the message and tap “Report.” Reporting on Instagram is always anonymous, so the person will not know the report came from you. And it only takes one report to have a photo, video, comment or message reviewed. If content is reported to us and violates our Community Guidelines, we will remove it.
What to do if someone is bullying or harassing you
Bullying and harassment are not allowed on Instagram, and we have tools to help protect you from negative experiences. You can block accounts that you don’t want to interact with, which means they won’t be able to see your profile or comment on your posts. When you block an account, they won’t be notified, and you can choose to unblock them at any time.
You can also control comments on your posts. You can stop people from commenting on your posts altogether. We also have filters that automatically hide comments with offensive words and phrases from your posts. These filters are on by default for our global community and can be disabled in the Comment Controls center in the app. You can also bolster these filters by using our manual filter, which allows you to add your own custom list of words or emojis that you consider offensive. You can also customize who can comment on your posts — or even block comments from specific users.
Go to your settings and select “Comment Controls” to access the above features.
How to protect your privacy
You’re in control of what you share on Instagram. You can choose to make your account private, which means you approve the people who follow you and can remove followers at any time. You can also choose who can comment on your posts, or turn off “Show Activity Status” so people can’t see when you’re online. To do this, visit the “Privacy and security” section of the settings menu.
If there’s a photo or video that you no longer want anyone else to see, you can delete it by tapping “Delete” above the post, or you can archive it.
Finally, for times when you only want to share your Stories with a few people, you have the option to make a close friends list on Stories and share with just the people you’ve added. To create a list, go to your profile and tap on “Close Friends” in the side menu.
How to keep your account safe
Losing access to your account can be a distressing experience, but there are steps you can take to protect your account from hacking.
First, pick a strong password. Use a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks (like ! and &), and do not re-use passwords that you use to log in to other services on the internet.
Once you have a strong password, make your account even more secure by turning on two-factor authentication. We suggest you use a third party app, such as DUO Mobile or Google Authenticator, to secure your account. You can find instructions to set up two-factor authentication here.
How to manage the amount of time you spend on Instagram
To keep track of how much time you spend on Instagram, we developed an activity dashboard. To access the dashboard, go to the settings page and tap “Your Activity.” At the top of the page, you’ll see a dashboard showing the average amount of time you spend on Instagram. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day.
Below the dashboard, you can set a daily reminder to send yourself an alert when you’ve reached the amount of time you want to spend on Instagram for that day. You can change or cancel the reminder at any time. You can also tap on “Notification Settings” to quickly access the new “Mute Push Notifications” setting.
How to look out for each other
If you’re worried about a post you see containing potential suicide or self-harm, you can anonymously report the post. The next time the person opens the app, they will see a message connecting them to support resources, such as talking to friend, contacting a helpline, or finding additional resources. These support tools also appear when a person searches for upsetting content on Instagram.
Starting this week, we will also be applying sensitivity screens to some content we review that contains self-harm. These images will not be immediately visible, which will make it more difficult for people to see them.
Depending on where someone is located, we have partnerships with over 40 helpline organizations around the world. If a friend or family member reports a person that they are concerned about, they’ll also be shown tips and resources to help.
For even more information about the features we have in place to keep you safe on Instagram, head here: https://wellbeing.instagram.com/. If you’re a parent and you’d like to learn about ways to talk to your teen about how to stay safe on Instagram, visit our Parents Guide.