Teens use Instagram to connect to friends, develop their passions and discover new communities to help them explore and grow. As a parent, you want to keep them safe and ensure that their interactions on Instagram are positive and have a healthy influence in their lives. We want that too, and we’re here to help.
On this page, you’ll find an overview of how Instagram works, and the many safety features available for teens to control their Instagram experience, such as who can see their photos and videos.
If your teens are using Instagram, the best way for you to learn about how it works is to ask them. Asking them about Instagram is not only a great way to learn about the app itself but also about how your children interact with their friends in social media. If you want general information about using and staying safe on Instagram, you can find out more below:
Instagram is an app that lets you connect with people through sharing photos and videos. You can explore your passions, discover new communities and follow people who share photos and videos you find interesting. You can comment on people’s posts, as well as have private conversations with our Direct messaging features. The app is available on Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone and on the web.
Teens love sharing with their friends. Instagram is a simple, fun and engaging way for them to share photos and videos — in the moment or after the fact — with their friends and followers. In addition, Instagram is about socializing, having conversations and interacting with one another.
Yes. It’s 13, in compliance with our age policy.
If your child is younger than 13 and created an account on Instagram, you can show them how to delete their account. If you’d like to report an account belonging to someone under 13 or if you believe someone is impersonating your child who’s under 13, please fill out this form so that we can investigate.
Parents typically worry about the same things online as offline: mean behavior among peers and inappropriate behavior or content that can hurt a child’s reputation or attract the wrong kind of attention. Parents are also concerned that people their kids don’t know can reach out to them directly. Keep reading to learn more about how to manage these risks on Instagram.
For many teens, part of the fun of Instagram is developing a big following — and this is a good thing for parents and their children to talk about. Having a public account on Instagram means anyone can follow you. A private account means that you have to approve anyone you want to follow you. Many parents — and teens themselves — choose to have their teens start using Instagram with a private account. While this doesn’t directly prevent friends posting pictures of your child, it will prevent any unwanted followers.
As with all social media, respecting ourselves and others makes us safer. Your child's posts and comments reflect on their public image. Helping your child learn to be respectful on Instagram helps to foster a positive environment for everyone. Additionally, Instagram offers many tools that can help to keep your child safe. Learn more about them in the next section, “Safety Basics.”
Instagram has a number of tools and resources to ensure that we remain a safe and welcoming community. From advanced account security to comment tools, we have many features that can help keep your teen safe.
Two-factor authentication is a security feature that helps safeguard your teen’s account by requiring something they know (their account username and password) and something they have (their mobile phone) every time they log into their Instagram account from an unknown device. Meaning, if someone has your child's password but does not have your their phone, they cannot access your child's account. Here are step-by-step instructions.
Unless you choose to have a private account, each Instagram account is visible to the entire community. If you’d like to make sure that only approved followers can see your child’s posts, we suggest setting your posts to private. Setting your account to private is simple: Navigate to the “Settings” gear from your profile page, and then toggle “Private Account” to the on position. From there, you will need to approve every follow request moving forward. Once you set your posts to private, anyone who wants to see your child’s posts will have to send your child a follower request, which they can then approve or ignore.
With a private account, you can also remove followers without blocking them.
Your child can also remove followers and block people on Instagram. When they block someone, that person can’t view their photos/videos or search for their Instagram account. The blocked person can still mention your child’s username on Instagram, but your child won’t be notified about it. If your child changes their username after they block them, they won’t be able to mention your child unless they know the new username. People aren’t notified when they’re blocked. Learn more about blocking people.
To block an account, navigate to that account’s profile, open the “…” menu in the upper right corner and tap “Block User.”
It’s important for your teen to feel comfortable with the comments on their posts. Comment filters automatically hide offensive comments, manually chosen keywords or default keywords we have identified. Check out how to filter comments here. A few more tips:
We want to ensure all content on Instagram is lawful and follows our Community Guidelines. If your child sees something questionable or a post they believe violates our guidelines, then they should report it.
Lastly, if you believe someone is impersonating you or someone you know on Instagram, fill out this form.
If you see something that you think may violate any of our guidelines, please help us by using our built-in reporting option.
Instagram has a global team that reviews these reports and works as quickly as possible to remove any content that doesn’t meet our guidelines. These teams are based across five locations worldwide in order to give coverage to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Even if you or someone you know doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can still file a report. When you complete the report, try to provide as much information as possible, such as links, usernames and descriptions of the content, so we can find and review it quickly.
It is our policy to remove content that violates our community guidelines. We may remove entire posts if either the imagery or associated captions violate our guidelines. We also may disable entire accounts for violations of our Community Guidelines.
We may work with law enforcement, including when we believe that there’s risk of physical harm or threat to public safety.
For more information, visit our full section here or view the full guidelines on our Help Center.
Instagram is just one of many apps that teens use to extend their “real world” social lives. It’s also a way for them to explore the things they’re interested in and discover new communities. Instagram can help them expand their worlds and support their real-life relationships, allowing them to connect with their friends in the in-between moments, after school and on weekends.
It’s important to talk to your children about privacy, safety, reputation and time management when using social media. We have tools to help them keep their accounts private and control who can see, comment on and interact with the things they post.
We’re proud of the fact that people use Instagram to build stronger relationships, discover and connect with communities around shared interests and give and get support when going through difficult times. But we also believe in the importance of living your life offline. That’s why we support the concept of balance when using social media and phones, and understand that sometimes you might need to take a break.
As with all social media, respecting ourselves and others makes us safer. Your child's posts and comments reflect on their public image. Helping your child learn to be respectful on Instagram reduces the risk of hurting someone else -- and their online image. While most teens are smart about this, parents can help by reviewing their child's account periodically to be sure teens aren't posting provocative images or having inappropriate interactions with people they don't know.
When Kevin Systrom (@kevin) and Mike Krieger (@mikeyk) first created Instagram, they wanted it to be a welcoming community where people could share their lives. Since then, the community has grown to 800 million, and people have shared stories from every corner of the world. With this growth, we are committed to maintaining what has kept Instagram a positive and safe place for self-expression. As a result, Instagram has become the home for visual storytelling for everyone.
Discover a few of our most inspiring community members who capture and share their moments and message on Instagram.
Amaiya is an amateur boxer who embodies determination and discipline. She is Muslimah and covers her body and hair, which challenges boxing's traditional uniform. She has faced adversity and stereotyping but has not let that stop her. She uses Instagram to inspire others and herself.
Haile is a health activist, CEO, speaker, and vegan foodie who loves bringing nourishing and delicious recipes and discussion about real life moments to her IG community, with the intention of empowering others to fuel their bodies and potential.
Harry Hambly is the artist behind @ketnipz, a popular Instagram cartoon series featuring Bean, a relatable character who struggles with day-to-day ordeals everyone can relate to. His work promotes positive messages and raises awareness of mental health issues and the importance of self-care. Harry hopes Bean reminds people that, no matter what hardship they are going through, they are not alone. Harry has recently branched out into the world of fashion and clothing design, translating the aesthetic and ideas of Ketnipz into interesting everyday wear.
Luis is a socially responsible creative whose art and design emphasizes mental health, gender diversity, positive social impact and empowerment for survivors of abuse. His passions include interaction and digital media design, social justice, and educating through entertainment. He encourages empathy and solidarity through his illustrative and mixed media work and strives to create an inclusive and positive community.
Olivia hosts a consciously active account with topics ranging from politics, diversity, women empowerment, film, to community engagement. She has recently been featured in the new book The Confidence Code for Girls, and is a leader in the #captureconfidence movement.
Tolly is an ethical and sustainable fashion blogger who has been running her slice of the internet since she was just 11-years-old. From learning more about the way her clothes were made, she has transformed her blog and online presence into a space that focuses on raising awareness of issues within the fashion industry, inspiring her followers to make changes no matter how small they may be, while still experimenting with style and championing self-expression along the way.