As a parent working in cybersecurity, I am all too aware of the privacy and security risks that come from participating in social media apps, forums and online games. So much of our personally identifiable information ends up breached or leaked and in the hands of nefarious actors. I can't help but obsess over the level of sophistication and creativity future cybercrime campaigns will entail, and what younger generations can do now to circumvent falling victim to identity-based attacks.
Short of deleting the app, this article offers some tips and tricks to limit the data collected and they type of ads displayed. Though it doesn't solve the problem entirely, at least you can have some control over what is shared and leveraged by Facebook/Instagram.
First off – everything you do on Instagram is tracked. Almost every online service you use collects information about your actions. Every thumb scroll made through your feed provides it with information about your behavior. Instagram knows that you spent 20 minutes scrolling to the depths of your high-school crush’s profile at 2am. The data that Instagram collects isn’t just for advertising. The company uses your information – for instance, what device you use to login – to detect suspicious login attempts. Crash reports from your phone can help identify bugs in its code and parts of the app that nobody uses. Other than deleting the app completely there’s little you can do to stop Instagram tracking your behavior, but there are things you can do to limit some of the data collected and the types of adverts you see.