5 Instagram Threats You Should Know About & How to Avoid Them

March 19, 2024 Business, Marketing

Are you an Instagram enthusiast who loves sharing your life’s moments with friends and followers? You’re certainly not alone! 

As of January 2023, Instagram had over two billion monthly active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms out there. But with great popularity comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to safeguarding your online presence.

Understanding the common threats can help you avoid them to continue enjoying the platform safely and securely.

In this article, we’ll explore 5 Instagram threats that every user should be aware of and, more importantly, how to avoid falling victim to them. 

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have evolved from your typical email scam to a more sophisticated and pervasive threat on Instagram. 

Hackers create fake login pages or profiles that look almost identical to the real thing. They may send you a message or a link claiming to be from Instagram or a popular brand, asking you to verify your account or providing enticing offers. 

Falling for these scams can lead to compromised accounts and personal data theft.

How to avoid it:

  • Always double-check the web address or profile before entering your login information.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited messages, especially those with suspicious links.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
  • Get the best VPN service and encrypt your online activity and accounts. 

2. Fake Accounts & Catfishing

Fake accounts are a common menace on Instagram, and they often have the sinister motive of catfishing or identity theft. These accounts use stolen or misleading photos to trick users into forming connections or sharing personal information. 

According to research, in 2022, 13% of Americans had communicated with a catfish. As of January 2022, 17% felt there was a high chance they had interacted with a catfish, 15% were oblivious, and 38% were absolutely certain they had never communicated with one. 

It’s important to be vigilant, as these fake profiles can exploit your trust and manipulate you emotionally.

How to avoid it:

  • Be skeptical of accounts with limited or no posts and a small number of followers.
  • Don’t share personal or sensitive information with strangers on the platform.
  • Use reverse image search tools to check the authenticity of profile pictures.

3. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a growing concern on Instagram, with users being targeted via hurtful comments, direct messages, or even manipulated content. 

In fact, Instagram is the social media site where most young people have reported cyberbullying, with 42% of those surveyed experiencing harassment on the platform.

This abuse can lead to emotional distress and can damage your mental well-being, so it’s essential to recognize and combat this behavior.

How to avoid it:

  • Report abusive or harassing accounts to Instagram.
  • Block/mute/report users who engage in cyberbullying – even if it’s not aimed at you.
  • Reach out to friends, family, or professionals for support if you’re a victim of cyberbullying.

4. Malware & Scam Links

Scammers try to trick you into clicking on links that promise giveaways or exclusive content, which actually contain malware or lead to phishing sites, putting your device’s security and personal data at risk.

How to avoid it:

  • Be cautious of links in comments, direct messages, and suspicious posts.
  • Avoid downloading apps or files from unverified sources.
  • Keep your software and antivirus up to date.

5. Privacy Concerns

Your privacy on Instagram is crucial, so it’s important to understand that your information and content can be accessed. Even if your account is set to “private,” always be cautious about what you share and who can see it.

How to avoid it:

  • Review your privacy settings and limit who can see your stuff.
  • Be mindful of disclosing personal information in your posts.
  • Regularly audit your followers and remove any suspicious or unwanted accounts.


In the age of social media, staying safe on all platforms – including Instagram – is vital. While the channel offers endless opportunities for connection and self-expression, it’s also a breeding ground for cyberthreats and misuse.

Remember, an informed user is a protected user. Stay informed about phishing scams, fake accounts, cyberbullying, malware, and privacy concerns, and you can enjoy Instagram without compromising your security.