Category Archives: Online Scams

Information about online scams.

How To Set Instagram Privacy And Security Settings

How To Set Instagram Privacy And Security Settings

Instagram, one of the MOST popular social media apps in the world, now has many different settings to control what you see, and what others see about you. Instagram, owned by Facebook is a 13+ rated social media photography based app, used extensively by teens and adults. Many teens are very good at moderating their feeds and setting privacy settings, but there is more to do! Instagram accounts sometimes get hacked. It is also vital that ordinary non-commercial users of Instagram have privacy settings enabled to prevent their personal posts being seen by strangers, or being stolen for use elsewhere.

Hacking Is On The Rise!

At any school I visit when I ask for a “hands up” about hacked Instagram accounts, I get more students than you would expect reporting, and am sometimes approached by parents who have a child with a hacked account. It can be that the teen has previously shared a password, or set a too easy to guess password, or fallen for some scam that has stolen their login details.

New App Based Two Factor Authentication

Instagram now have what is known as “Two Factor Authentication”, they previously required your phone number to set this extra security setting up, so that you would receive a 6 digit code sent via SMS to your phone to verify that it was you, the genuine account holder logging in. Recently Instagram have followed other online platforms to allow the safer App based Two Factor method to get verification codes via an Authentication App that resides on your phone or mobile device, such as Google Authenticator, which when installed on your phone, and linked with your social media accounts give you much better security to prevent a hacker accessing your account. So rather than receiving an SMS code, you simply open the Authenticator app on your mobile device when prompted and choose the corresponding code for your account that changes every minute or so to reveal a new code. Keeping your phone number offline is incredibly important these days with the rise of Phone Porting Scams and Identity theft, that is also on the rise. With the new App based method, you can have the extra security, without the need to store your phone number in your online accounts.

What Happens If Your Account Is Hacked?

If your Instagram account is hacked a hacker can block your access to your account, by changing the password, or sabotaging your account in some way. They may also use it to scam your followers, or humiliate you in some way by posting objectionable content. Getting your account back after it has been hacked can be very difficult, and there is no guarantee that the hacker won’t use the information they find in your account to steal more from you, or they may sabotage your account by deleting followers or removing your account completely. In fact some very high profile Instagramers have recently had their accounts hacked, and then have been asked by the hackers to pay a ransom to get their accounts back without the account being vandalised. Reporting to Instagram that your account is hacked can take some time to get a response so prevention is better than cure.

Instagram Is NOT For Children Under 13+

Please Note: Instagram is an adult app rated 13+, with explicit adult content easily found through the search menu. This may be in the form of pornography, violence, swearing, nudity, and drug use. A simple search using obvious adult terms will bring up examples of these.  There are no adult content filters available that work to filter out adult content within Instagram. Along with the issues around stranger contact and the social and bullying side of Instagram, it is entirely unsuitable for underage users.

Step By Step Help

Below is my step by step video leading you though what the settings are in Instagram in the Privacy and Security tab, and what they mean and how to set them. Make sure your Teens have security and privacy set on their accounts to protect them from prying eyes and someone trying to take advantage of them online.

There are more settings like these in my Cyber Safety Manual “Keeping Kids Safe Online” at my website

How To Hide Your Facebook Friends List From Scammers

How To Hide Your Facebook Friends List From Scammers

My No1 tip for safety on Facebook from scammers or not so nice “Friends” is to hide your Facebook Friend List. Updated 2019 Why Hide Your Friends List? If your Facebook friends list is public (able to be seen by anyone) you will be more of a target for scammers, and so will your Facebook… Continue Reading

Ashely Madison Hack, Schadenfreude or Sympathy?

Ashely Madison Hack, Schadenfreude or Sympathy?

There are more qualified security experts than I who can tell you the “How, Why and the What To Do” in regards to the Ashley Madison website hack. But, as I’m constantly banging on about privacy and online safety I can’t ignore this train wreck of an online crime, which is what it is. It is… Continue Reading

Latest Advanced Facebook Privacy Settings!

Here is the latest “Advanced Facebook Privacy Settings” 2015. Step By Step Video. If you want to protect your privacy from non-friends which might include scammers, acquaintances, work mates or snoopers! This is the easy way for you to set up all those complicated settings. I also explain how to set some other settings which… Continue Reading