One of the scariest things about the digital era is how "out there" your personal information is all the time. From ads to online surveys, third party apps can use your information to help make themselves more appealing to users just like you. And if you're worried about how much of your information is being used, Instagram's new feature has got you and your data covered. You can use the app's updated security settings to keep your Instagram data private and block other apps from sharing it too.
The new security feature mirrors Facebook's in that it will ask you for permission before allowing third-party apps to use your information, Mashable reports. These third-party apps are often photo-printing apps or ones used to organize your Instagram feed. Now, Instagram will prompt you with an authorization screen that lets you see what information any third-app is asking for. And then, you can decide if you want the apps to access your information or not. If you don't have the feature yet, don't worry — it'll gradually become available to everyone over the next six months.
"It’s essential that we protect the data people share with us," Instagram said in an Oct. 15 press release. "We also want to give people more control over the data they share with other apps and services." And as you take more control of what apps you grant access to, Instagram will also allow you to keep track of which apps are tapping into your data on a more regular basis. If you click on Settings and then Security, the new Apps and Websites section will show you which apps are using your information and when that access was granted. You can also use the "Remove" button next to each app to stop them from using your information at any time. The Instagram Help page has been updated with an explainer if you're wondering why you're being asked permission before using third-party apps in the first place.
This new Instagram update is one of many that have been rolling out in the past few months. On top of deleting its Following Activity tab to make the platform simpler and keep others from tracking your activity, Instagram has also incorporated another security feature that lets you check to make sure your emails from Instagram are legit and not a phishing scam. Aside from security updates, the social media app has also demonstrated a dedication to anti-bullying efforts with its new "Restrict" feature that lets users hide certain messages without alerting its authors that it's been hidden. And last but not least, Instagram now has its own Dark Mode, joining a handful of other social media apps. You can activate it by simply putting your iPhone in Dark Mode.
From security to aesthetics, there's a lot going on with Instagram right now, and with this latest feature, you have one less thing to worry about on social media.