How to Stay Secure on Instagram


A recent Symantec Intelligence Report showed a shocking rise in malicious activity on the popular photography application, Instagram. With the 100 million user benchmark recently being reached, it’s all the more important to maintain website security when using the app. While honest users utilise Instagram to take pictures to document their lives, a growing number of profiles are there purely to attack unsuspecting followers.

With a little know how and help from Symantec website security solutions, you can be sure that you won’t succumb to malware. Spammers use many different methods to try and entice users into clicking their links and, in turn, increasing their chances of being on the receiving end of phishing scams. Be on the lookout for:

  • Comments on your photos from profiles you don’t recognise
  • Comments on your photos that aren’t related to your photo. These comments often try to encourage you to visit their profile, which may be littered by “click here” URLs that may also include monetary rewards. Don’t click on them – it’s obviously spam.
  • Dodgy links that reside in the profile rather than just the spam comment. This could be done to avoid URL monitoring that Instagram will undoubtedly employ

Help prevent this sort of victimisation by increasing the level of website security. Top tips include:

  • Ensuring your profile and photos are private rather than publicly viewable. This is particularly important if your photos are personally identifiable
  • Don’t follow arbitrary people, especially ones that don’t seem to have any photos on their Instagram account, as they’re likely to be spammers. Some people are an exception – i.e. those who you know, who just don’t like taking photos
  • Ignoring shortened URLs unless you know what they are; even if they’re on profiles you know. Just like emails, they may have been compromised
  • Report anything that you may feel is suspicious and block anyone who you think is a spammer.
    Website security is important wherever you surf online, including Instagram. Pay attention to Symantec website security solutions and avoid being a victim

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