The 4 settings to change on Instagram to protect your data

The apps we use track us in multiple ways, sometimes without our realizing it. Here are the steps you can take to protect your data as much as possible while using Instagram.

Everyone knows it: Instagram is one of the most popular apps in the world. We count over 1.39 billion active usersand it is estimated that there would be 22 million users in France alone. What few people know, however, is exactly how the app uses user data and how advertisers target users.

There are options in your Instagram account settings that allow you to change what you’ll see in terms of ads and opt out of being targeted by certain advertisers. Here’s how.

Here are the settings to change on Instagram. // Source: Canva

How to protect your data (as much as possible) on Instagram

It is not possible to completely prevent the app from collecting your data. Likewise, changing the settings will not change the number of ads you will see. However, you can choose, in part, how it will be used and what you will see.

To get started, go to the “Advertising” tab.

  • Go to your profile, then click on the top right on the three lines to access the menu.
  • Click on “Settings”, and go to “Ads”
The steps to follow. // Source: Numerama screenshot

Once in the tab, two options are available to you in “Advertising Preferences”: first click on “Ad Topics”.

In this part, you will see the list of advertising topics that you see in your feed. These are based on your activity on Instagram and Facebook (the list is very long, and may seem surprising). By clicking on these themes, you will be able to choose the option “see less”, which will allow you to have less publicity on this or that subject – above all, ” advertisers will no longer be able to target you based on your interest in this topic “.

Follow the steps. // Source: Numerama screenshot

Then go to “Data from your activity shared by our partners”, and uncheck the option “Use data from partners” if it is activated. Disabling this option will have the following effect: Instagram will no longer be able to use data collected by other sites or advertisers about you and show you advertising based on it. However, it is important to specify that disabling this option will not change the number of advertisements you will see: they will just be less “relevant” for you.

Follow the steps. // Source: Numerama screenshot

In the “General information” section, if you select the “Advertising interests” option, you will be able to see the entire list of interests that Instagram has compiled about you. These are the topics with which advertisers can target you. You can’t change anything about this list: it is nevertheless instructive to know that it exists, and it can be fun to examine it. The list is very, very long, sometimes rather realistic, but also sometimes completely off the mark.

How to protect your privacy on Instagram

It’s not just advertising data that you can act on. To protect your privacy, you can set your Instagram profile to private.

  • To do this, go to your profile, and click on the menu at the top right.
  • Select “Settings”, then “Privacy”.
  • Activate the “Private account” option by clicking on the button.
Screenshot 2022-08-04 at 16.37.33
To set your account to private, follow the steps. // Source: Numerama screenshot

In this part of the settings, you can also find all kinds of settings, to limit the people who can interact with you on Instagram. We advise you to restrict everything as much as possible.

Also know that if you ever get tired of Instagram, but don’t want your photos and information to stay online, you can easily deactivate your account, or delete your Instagram account permanently.

All our practical guides in the How to section

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