Reporter Malwarebytes Labs
Although sharing your day’s highlights in snapshots and videos on Instagram can be entertaining, some people claim to feel happier after deleting their accounts. Consuming media tailor-made to make other people's lifestyles appear alluring can be addictive for some and induce anxiety in others. Not only do people delete Instagram for their wellbeing, but they remove it for privacy concerns. Hackers, scammers, and stalkers can use the photo and video sharing social networking platform to target others, and Instagram is part of Facebook's advertising panopticon.
For any of these reasons, a number of Instagram users decide to take a break from the platform at some point, either temporarily or permanently. If you do, remember that you will lose the following data permanently when you delete your Instagram account:
You can sign up with the same username again after deleting your Instagram account. However, this won’t be possible if someone else has created an account with the same username. Hypothetically, someone could impersonate you after you leave by creating an account with the same username. That's why you may want to disable your account rather than delete it.
How do I disable my Instagram account temporarily?
To hide your account, profile, photos, comments, and likes, you can opt to disable your Instagram account instead of erasing it. Disabling it is easy and requires a web browser on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Unfortunately, you can’t use an Instagram app to disable Instagram.
- Log into your Instagram account from a web browser.
- Click your profile picture on the top right of the screen.
- Click Profile followed by Edit Profile.
- Find Temporarily disable my account on the bottom right after scrolling down.
- Pick an option from the drop-down menu that says Why are you disabling your account?
- Enter your password.
- Hit Temporarily Disable Account to hide your account until you’re ready to reactivate it.
How to download your Instagram data on a Computer, Android, or iPhone
You may want to back up your pictures, videos, and posts from Instagram before deleting your account. Once you delete your account, your media is irrecoverable. Here is how to get a copy of everything you’ve shared on Instagram:
- Click or tap your profile picture and then find Settings.
- Click Privacy and Security on a computer or tap Security on Android or iPhone.
- Click Request Download on a computer or tap Download Data on your mobile device.
- Enter your email address, Instagram account password and use the Request Download option.
- Wait for an email from Instagram titled Your Instagram Data. Instagram says that it can take up to 48 hours to send the email.
- Use the link in the email to download your data.
- You can contact Instagram directly if you’ve lost your username or password and need access to your data.
How do I delete my Instagram account on a computer?
Log into your Instagram account. Follow this link to get to the Delete your account page. Pick from one of the listed reasons explaining why you want to delete your account. Re-enter your password and delete your account for good.
How do I delete my Instagram account on my iPhone or Android device?
Deleting an Instagram account through a mobile app isn’t possible. You may find it easier to delete it on a computer and remove the mobile app. You can use the following steps, but they eventually lead you to a hyperlink on a web browser.
- Start the Instagram app on your phone.
- Tap the Profile icon.
- Go to the Profile page and tap Settings.
- Scroll down to Help Center and tap Basics.
- Hit Getting Started and then scroll through the options until you find Delete Your Account
- Select How do I delete my account and follow the hyperlink to your web browser.
- You may need to enter your Instagram password and choose a reason for deleting your account.
- Hit Permanently deactivate my account and then tap OK.
- Uninstall Instagram from your iPhone.
How do I make my Instagram account more secure?
While many users are concerned about scams on Instagram, or the threat of having their accounts hacked—they also don’t want to delete or deactivate their accounts. Thankfully, there is a compromise. Here are some measures that may help you improve your security and privacy on Instagram:
- Set a long, unique password.
- Enable two-factor authentication by clicking Security > Two-Factor Authentication > Get Started.
- Consider making your account private, so that only approved followers can see it. You can do this in your privacy settings by clicking Settings > Privacy > Account Privacy and toggling Private account.
- You may also want to visit the Comments or Story option under Settings > Privacy to manage how followers interact with your posts.
- Check the Add Automatically option under Privacy > Tags to stop tagged photos from being added to your profile.
- Check the authenticity of the accounts you follow by hitting the three-dot menu on a profile and selecting About this Account. Watch out for red flags like frequent username changes and more.
- Don’t hesitate to block, mute, restrict, or remove followers that affect your peace of mind or try to breach your account security.
- Use good antivirus/anti-malware software on whatever device you use to access your Instagram account. In case you accidentally click on something malicious, you’ll have protection for your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
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