Parental control and Instagram: 6 essential settings to protect your child

Instagram does not provide real parental controls. But the absence of this mode does not mean that it is not possible to configure an Instagram profile to be safer for your child. Here are six of the most important recommendations to follow.

The fight against school bullying is at the heart of the news at the end of November 2021. , more respite for young people who are victims of it. But there are tools, more or less elaborate, to limit the nuisances.

Parental control on Instagram: there are a few solutions

On Instagram, there are no parental controls over which a father or mother could have remote control of their child’s account. That said, this hole in the racket can be partially closed by implementing several options on the profile of its offspring, provided of course that you have access to them – which supposes discussing with him and convincing him of the advantage of activating some parameters.

The recommendations which recommend a limit: if it is a teenager, it will be complicated to access his smartphone and then his Instagram profile to apply the settings that you deem useful for his well-being . Lacking remote control, he or she is able to later access these same settings to reverse them. Inclusion in this approach therefore facilitates its acceptability.

What about a small child? We could obviously advise against putting a smartphone in their hands (and, then, to strongly advise against the use of Instagram for very young people). But it is not so much this question that we seek to resolve here: what is at issue is managing the current situation.

There are many settings in Instagram that help protect an account at different levels. The tips that follow are those that, once followed, last over time and are the most interesting to implement. This avoids having to regularly take your child’s smartphone to act, for example to block a particular profile – which is a one-time intervention.

All of these recommendations are leads, which it may be wise to complete with discussions with your child, but also an apprenticeship to show him how to block an account or remove a comment. And even if these tools may be insufficient in certain circumstances, it is good to know them and to activate them even if they are not the panacea.

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How to make your Instagram account private

By setting an account to private, only Internet users who are subscribed to it can see the photos and videos. Others who are not and who wish to see this content must make a request to be added to appear in the contact list, which can be refused.

If your child has a public account, you can fix this by going to settings:

  • Launch the app and tap on their avatar icon;
  • Press the menu at the top right, symbolized by three bars;
  • Select “Settings” then “Privacy”;
  • Activate “Private account” and confirm with “Switch to a private account”.

As for the removal of contacts, still in “Privacy”, find the line “Your account subscriptions”, go to the “Followers” tab and click on the “Withdraw” button for all the accounts you do not want not allow in your child’s subscriptions. They will be excluded from his contact list and therefore no longer have the possibility to see anything from him.

Set a daily reminder

Your teenager probably spends a lot of time on their smartphone, and an app like Instagram is known to grab a lot of attention. A sweet way to let your offspring know that they’ve been scrolling for a little too long looking for new photos? Show him concretely the time he has just spent on it, by allowing an alert after a certain period of time.

  • Launch the app and tap on their avatar icon;
  • Press the menu at the top right, symbolized by three bars;
  • Select the activity, then the “Privacy” tab;
  • Set the duration you think is adequate for the daily reminder.

You are free to determine a strict duration, but too much rigidity risks being counterproductive and not encouraging you to accept the proposed limit. Note also that this is only a reminder: it will not result in the inactivation of the Instagram account for the rest of the day. Under these conditions, it is better to succeed in convincing the teenager of the interest of music, rather than to go to the confrontation.

Disable likes

We know that likes can have some deleterious effects on the well-being of young people. In 2016, an article from the Washington Post mentioned the case of a young woman who only keeps a handful of photos on her account, and deletes the rest. Why ? Because she finds that Internet users do not always react well enough to her publications, which would be a sign that the photo is not cool or pretty.

Disabling likes has been possible since this spring, after several tests. The settings include not only disabling likes for other posts (you no longer see them), likes for posts in your child’s account, but also the number of views. The entire procedure is described in a dedicated paper, which you can find at this address.

Control identifications and mentions

Whether the account is private or public, it can be subject to tags and mentions: here again, Instagram provides tools to decide if you authorize them all, if you do not want to have only those of the people your child follows. or no one. These mentions relate to stories, comments, live videos and captions. They are triggered with the command “@pseudonym”.

  • Launch the app and tap on their avatar icon;
  • Press the menu at the top right, symbolized by three bars;
  • Select “Settings” then “Privacy”;
  • Go to the “Mentions” line and tick what you want;
  • Go to the “Publications” line and do the same.

Know that you have the opportunity to review posts in which there are already identifications of your child. Just go to “Controlled Posts”, then “Approve Tagging Manually”. You will see the list of photos concerned, but also an area grouping the identifications pending. An option for manually these markings is offered.

Limit comments

If you set your child’s account to private, comments will be restricted to people who have permission to follow them. But if he thinks it’s excessive and doesn’t want this option, an intermediate measure that could suit him is to limit comments – several levels exist: everyone, people you follow, those who will follow you…

  • Launch the app and tap on their avatar icon;
  • Press the menu at the top right, symbolized by three bars;
  • Select “Settings” then “Privacy”;
  • Click on “Comments”, then in “Controls”, go to the line “Allow comments from”.
Parental control and Instagram: 6 essential settings to protect your child

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Block words on Instagram

Instagram provides automatic tools to block offensive words and phrases. Several levers are available: hide aggressive comments in publications, reels, live videos and IGTV. You can also request advanced comment filtering to catch suspicious comments. Finally, you can also do the same for invitations by message.

  • Launch the app and tap on their avatar icon;
  • Press the menu at the top right, symbolized by three bars;
  • Select “Settings” then “Privacy”;
  • Go to “Hidden words” and activate the options you deem useful.

Note that Instagram also gives you the possibility to personalize this list by adding all the words and phases of which you consider the interception necessary. You have to go to the section a little further down, to “Custom words and phrases”. Click on “Manage list” and enter everything you think should be banned. Don’t forget to check the two options below.

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