In the past years, Instagram has received a lot of backlash from the netizens due to their lack of effort to protect underage users from online crimes like bullying and sexual perpetrators. In light of this, Instagram recently rolled out the significant changes they have implemented on the platform to protect underage users. Specifically, they want to give young users a dynamic Instagram experience while ensuring their safety and security.
Since young adults are more likely to be victims of online crimes, Instagram will be making accounts of teens under 16 (under 18 for some countries) private as default upon their sign-up. According to Instagram, a private account is, by far, their best option to isolate them from any suspicious users.
With a private account, teenagers can access and control the list of people who can see and interact with their posts, stories, and reels. Additionally, their account and contents will be kept hidden on the Explore and Search page. This gives them the freedom to enjoy the platform without fear of being intruded on by a stranger.
In terms of young users who already have a public account, Instagram will send them a notification about the benefits of a private account and explain how they can change their privacy settings. On the other hand, having a default private account doesn't mean teens can not switch to a public account. They still have the freedom to change their account privacy to public.
Though defaulting young adults' private accounts is already a significant initiative, Instagram takes it further in terms of teens' safety. They also implemented another innovative feature that will stop suspicious adult accounts from interacting with young users. Instagram will detect suspicious accounts through a set of premises. For example, if an account is reported or blocked by a young adult user, Instagram will mark it as a potential suspicious account.
Through this innovation, young adult’s accounts will not show up on these suspicious accounts’ Explore and Search page. If they find young users’ accounts by searching their usernames, a suspicious account will be restricted from following and viewing their contents. Moreso, suspicious accounts cannot send messages to young teens’ accounts unless they follow each other.
Furthermore, Instagram also implemented another helpful feature when it comes to protecting the security of young adults. Teenagers will now receive a precautionary notification whenever they have a conversation with a suspicious adult they are already connected with. For example, suppose an adult account sends a message to a large number of underage users. In that case, Instagram will send the underage recipients a precautionary notification and options to end the conversation or block the user.
To reduce the problematic advertisements targeted to teens, Instagram changed its advertising policy as part of its effort to protect teen users. With this change, advertisers can no longer target their ads to young adults’ accounts based on their activities. This means that they can no longer access young adults’ activities. However, they can still access young adult’s information like age, gender, and location.
Notably, as they turn 18 (or older for some countries), young adults will receive a notification explaining the target options advertisers can use to reach them through ads. However, they still can choose to disable receiving targeted ads base on activities by personalizing their ads setting.
Instagram is committed to providing users with a diverse and meaningful experience without compromising their privacy and security. They ensure that they will never stop learning how to improve the platform to protect the users' privacy and security. Moreover, Instagram aims to make the platform safe for young adults and trusted by parents.
In addition, Instagram also stated in a blog post that they would be making further improvements on their work, specifically in identifying the actual age of the users. Instagram states that most teens lie about their age so they can make an account on the platform. Teens are also improving their depression by buying Instagram followers to show success and popularity – which is measured by follower counts. To address this, Instagram is already working on artificial intelligence and learning machine that will keep young adults safe and appropriate to their age group.
Undoubtedly, Instagram is a great platform to share every moment in the vast world of the internet. However, it also poses security and privacy risks to the users. However, you can stay safe and secure while making the most Instagram has to offer. Several options can keep you safe and secure from any potential online risks. Here are some simple ways you can do to keep your privacy and security safe.
Date: September 21, 2021 / Categories: News, / Author: Joy P