A guide to restricting creeps from your Instagram profile

Not to be cynical, but let’s face it: As long as Instagram and other social media platforms exist, there will always be creeps skulking around on them. Commenting weird things on your posts. Sending you intrusive messages. And just generally making you uncomfortable if only by taking up space in your digital circle.

Thankfully, there are more than a few tools you can use to curb the creeps on Instagram. From blocking accounts to limiting who can DM you to reporting an account and more, we’ll take you through a set of Instagram features you can use to keep yourself safer online.

For many of the sections in this guide, you’ll start by performing these four steps:

1. Go to your profile page.

2. Tap the menu icon in the top right corner.

3. Tap “Settings” in the popup menu.

Find your profile settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

4. Tap “Privacy.”

Tap “Privacy” to access your privacy settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

We’ll pick each new section up from there.

How to change your activity status

Steps 1—4

5. Tap “Activity Status” toward the bottom.

Find “Activity Status” in your privacy settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

6. Toggle your activity status on or off.

When your activity status is off, nobody will be able to see when you were last active or when you’re currently active.

How to limit who can message you

Steps 1—4

5. Tap “Messages” toward the bottom.

Find “Messages” in your privacy settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

6. Under “Potential Connections,” toggle whether you will receive message requests or not.

7. Under “Other People,” toggle whether you will receive message requests or not.

Message requests toggled on will make it so that message requests will be delivered to your “Message Requests” folder. Having this feature toggled off will make it so that you don’t receive message requests. Maybe you want this feature toggled on for your followers because you know and trust them, but you want it toggled off for other people so you won’t get messages from strangers.

How to restrict accounts

1. Go to the account you want to restrict.

2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner.

3. Tap “Restrict” in the popup menu.

Tap “Restrict” in the popup menu after tapping the three dots in the top right corner.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

4. Read the message that pops up, and then tap “Restrict Account.”

As the message says, restricting the account will:

Limit unwanted interactions without having to block or unfollow someone you know.

You’ll control if others can see their new comments on your posts or their replies to stickers in your stories.

Their chat will be moved to your Message Requests, so they won’t see when you’ve read it.

You can also find the “Restrict” feature by tapping the drop-down arrow next to where it says “Following” underneath the account’s display name and bio.

You can view your restricted accounts back in your privacy settings.

How to block accounts

1. Go to the account you want to block.

2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner.

3. Tap “Block.”

Tap “Block” after tapping the three dots in the top right corner.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

4. Choose an option between blocking that one specific account and blocking that account as well as new accounts they may create. To be safest, we suggest the latter.

5. Tap “Block.”

How to control who can comment on your posts

Steps 1—4

5. Tap “Comments” toward the top.

Find “Comments” in your privacy settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

6. Set your comment controls however you want.

Choose who to allow comments from (everyone, people you follow and your followers, just people you follow, just your followers).

Choose who to block comments from by typing an account name in the search bar and tapping “Block” to the right of it. You can block comments from anyone, not just people who follow you.

How to control who can mention you

Steps 1—4

5. Tap “Mentions.”

Find “Mentions” in your privacy settings.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

6. Choose whether to allow mentions from everyone, just people you follow, or no one.

Having this set to “Everyone” will make it so you get a notification when someone “mentions” you on Instagram, like, for example, if someone tags you in a comment section.

How to report an account

1. Go to the account you want to report.

2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner of their profile.

3. Tap “Report.”

Tap “Report” after tapping the three dots in the top right corner of the profile.
Credit: screenshot: instagram

4. Tap “Report Account.”

5. Tap the reason you’re reporting the account, and complete the steps that follow depending on which option you choose.

6. If you choose “It’s posting content that shouldn’t be on Instagram,” selecting an option from the list that follows may send the report instantly.

How to make your account private

Steps 1—4

5. At the very top of the Privacy menu, tap the switch next to “Private Account” to toggle it on or off.

6. You may see a popup telling you what switching to a private account entails. After you read it, tap “Switch to Private” to make your account private.

Toggle the “Private Account” switch at the top of your privacy settings, then tap “Switch to Private.”
Credit: screenshot: instagram

As the popup message says, switching to a private account will make it so only your followers will be able to see your posts. It will not change who can message, tag, or mention you.

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