Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything

Illustration for article titled Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything

Instagram's new web profiles are beautiful—the most beautiful part of Facebook mixed with the lushness of your favorite photo app. A fine pair. The only downside is that now anyone can look at all of your uploads.

Advertisement

But wait, you say to your computer, sneering—my photos were already public on Instagram. Who cares? That's true. And if your account is already set to private, you have nothing to worry about here. You can stop reading this post and go to another Gizmodo™ post. But before now, the only way to access Instagram shots from other people was to scroll, tediously, through your phone. They might tweet them, but there was no way to browse in bulk without slogging through the app.

That changed this week. Now all it takes is going to Instagram.com/[INSERT USER NAME OF PERSON], and kablooey—all of their uploads are yours for the peeping. It used to be a chore for people to go back, way back, all the way back into your Instagram archive. Stuff you forgot you uploaded. Now it's a cinch.


Illustration for article titled Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything

Say, for instance, you want to check out the public private life of this friend of mine. Just plug in her name after Instagram.com (hint! People tend to use the same handle as their Twitter account).

Illustration for article titled Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything
Advertisement

Now you're looking at her friends, family, and drinking habit, spread neatly across your computer screen. Plus the account names of anyone who left a comment.

Illustration for article titled Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything
Advertisement

Maybe these friends right here might not want a photo of them doing... this, on the Internet. Too late! Now it's there, and you're looking at it.

Illustration for article titled Creepy Danger Alert: Lock Your Instagram If You Don't Want Strangers Looking at Everything
Advertisement

Here's how to fix this. Go into your app, click the gear settings icon, and switch your photos to private. It'll keep people from gawking at you on the web. Done. Easy—but now you won't be able to get new followers, and the accompanying endorphin rush that goes with seeing an increasing number. Popularity or privacy? Tradeoff. Follow your heart.

DISCUSSION

1Kirk
1Kirk

Yeah, instagram is just what the world was crying out for-a system for taking a perfectly nice photo with a phone camera, cropping it square, making it grainy, and destroying the color balance and contrast. Why, it's almost as good as looking at faded junk snapshots that were left out in the garage for twenty years. Voila! A return of the Kodak Brownie Starflash and cheap, quickly fading film. Hooray! I was beginning to HATE digital photography, but now, it's almost as good as the stuff our grandparents used-only more expensive.