How to Keep Your Child Safe on Instagram Using Parental Controls

How to Keep Your Child Safe on Instagram Using Parental Controls

Instagram is a great app to connect with your loved ones and stay entertained, but it also comes with issues that would worry most parents. Cyberbullying, harassment, shopping scams, racism, and body shaming are all present on Instagram, the same way they are on most websites and apps these days.

Fortunately for parents, Instagram has a solid set of parental controls designed to keep your kids safe without the need to stop them using the app altogether. In this article, we’ll show you how to set up and use Instagram’s parental controls, allowing you to keep your child relatively safe from harm.

How to Set Up and Use Parental Controls on Instagram

Instagram comes with multiple features to help you make it a safe(r) space for your offspring. The following are the parental controls you should make use of to keep your kid(s) safe while using Instagram.

Make Your Child’s Instagram Account Private

Once your kid is 13 or older, you can allow them to make an Instagram account, but be sure to keep the account private. Instagram accounts are set to be public by default. Therefore, it is essential to switch the account to private. A private account means not everyone can see what they’re posting.

Related: The Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone

To switch an Instagram account from public to private:

  1. Go to your child’s Instagram Profile page.
  2. Select the three lines in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap on Settings.
  4. Navigate to Privacy.
  5. Swipe the Private Account button to activate it.


Turn Off Geotagging

Geotagging allows you to update your location and add your coordinates to the app. It then enables people to see precisely where you are. Which is obviously not ideal when it comes to kids.

Thankfully, geotags can be removed from Instagram with a few basic steps. All you need to do is:

  1. Select Settings on your phone.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Navigate to Instagram.
  4. In the Permissions option, tap on Location and change its permission settings to “Deny”.

Once geotagging is disabled, your kid’s profile won’t be visible on the map.

Block Unwanted Contacts

Some teenagers have an unhealthy obsession with becoming popular on social media. Which can draw unwanted attention to their Instagram profiles.

Ideally, kids should only interact with people whom they know personally. If you suspect any uninvited guests of hanging out on your child’s Instagram account, the best thing to do is remove them from their list of followers.

Select the followers on their profile. There will be a button to remove them from the list. Tap that button to confirm.

Before you allow your kids to sign up for Instagram, it is ideal to sit them down and discuss the importance of keeping their Instagram limited to people they actually know in real life.

To block a contact on Instagram:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and select Followers.
  2. Click on the contact that you wish to block.
  3. Select the 3 dots on the top of their profile.
  4. Choose Block from the menu.

Keep Personal Details to a Minimum

Every Instagram profile comes with an option to add a bio. Some people will add lots of personal information, including their hometown, phone number, and profession. However, while this is fine for most adults, it’s not something kids should be doing on Instagram.

So, instead, encourage your kids to write an intriguing bio featuring quotes, something funny, or a few simple lines to describe who they are rather than including any personal details.

Related: How to Hide Photos on Instagram Without Deleting Them

Unfollow Inappropriate Content

There are many types of content available on Instagram, some of which might not be suitable for your kid to watch. With time, Instagram is adding more viewing options in the feed, some of which might not be the type of content you want your children to watch. As a parent, it is essential to keep tabs on the pages that your children are following.

If you see anything unwanted or inappropriate, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page.
  2. Select Following.
  3. Tap the Following button in front of the user you want to unfollow.
  4. Select Unfollow from the displayed options.
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Hide Stories or Limit Them to Close Friends

Instagram comes with a feature to hide stories from one or more people. They won’t see it in their News Feed or get notifications about it. Hiding stories that might be offensive from a particular audience is a great way to maintain good relationships while keeping your freedom.

However, as a parent, you must have access to the account to keep tabs on what your child is posting. Hiding stories is also an excellent way to make your kid understand that what you post on your profile is not meant to be seen by everyone out there. To hide a story on Instagram:

  1. Go to the Profile page.
  2. Select the three lines in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap on Settings.
  4. Navigate to Privacy.
  5. Select Story.
  6. Add users you want to customize from or create a Close Friends list.

Add Restrictions for Limited Interactions

This relatively new feature allows users to restrict users to performing certain actions. As a parent, you can also add restrictions on your child’s Instagram profile so that certain people can no longer comment, DM, or share their content. You can also turn off message requests to avoid any unwanted interactions.

Internet trolls are no joke, and cyberbullying can lead to mental health issues like depression and low self-esteem. It is essential to limit interaction for the sake of your child’s mental health.

Related: Instagram Block vs. Restrict: When You Should Use Each Privacy Option

Let Your Child Enjoy Instagram Safely

We’ve laid out how to set up and use Instagram’s parental controls on your child’s account. Kids over 13 are a suitable audience for Instagram. However, you need to ensure that they are browsing through different profiles safely without falling victim to an online scam, cyberbullying, or catfishing.

It is essential to keep tabs on your kid’s social media use by knowing their Instagram password, adding their friends, and taking an active interest in their profile.

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