Instagrammer’s alert! Avoid data theft, scams

Instagram

Instagram is the world’s most powerful platform used for photo and video sharing. There are over all one billion users on Instagram, out of which 30% are in the 18–24 age group and 32% are in the 25–32 age group. Today’s generation needs instant access to the retail world. Shoppers want visual content to help them make buying decisions.

There are many benefits to Instagram. (a) It’s a Sales Booster – It raises brand awareness, generates leads, and builds customer loyalty. (b) Showcasing Our Products and Services – The quickest way to reach your fans or customers is to share an image or video. (c) Developing customer relationships – Because current generation customers require a lot of attention, we should continue to post quality content, ask questions, provide feedback, and acknowledge your customers. (d) Drive traffic to your website – It’s a means of promotion to turn followers into website visitors to shop for our products or services. (e) Advertising Campaigns – Create advertising campaigns to increase visibility and attract new customers.

Being safe on Instagram:

  • Stalking – (a) Never publish your contact or address details on your social media as it could be harvested and processed for commercial and social engineering purposes. (b) Be sure the access privileges given to Apps are truly required for you (c) Delete unwanted apps and followers on a periodic basis.
  • Privacy – (a) Set your GPS, Bluetooth, Set passwords and PINs on your phone. (b) Download only apps from App Store or Play Store only. (c) Consent/Expressions should be treated the same way for both offline and online Interactions
  • Photo / Video – (a) To keep your personal life safe, it is important to ensure no personal stories, no expression of opinions, no swimsuits etc, are added as you could be trolled. (b) Use watermarks on all your posts. (c) Be private and be visible to only friends and family members.
  • Set Boundaries – (a) Never share personal stories that could shame you in future (b) Never post that could hurt their feelings. (c) Avoid racist, political and religious comments.
  • Protecting Your Data – (a) Use paid applications, they usually blocks malware and trackers. (b) Use two factory authentication to protects passwords, email and payments

Being Private on Instagram:

In today’s world life without social media is incomplete, having said there is a drawback of being on social media platforms because of the bad actors and it’s important to find ways to deal with those bad actors.

  • Make your account Private. Settings -> Privacy -> Account Privacy.)
  • Disable Activity Status. (Settings-> Privacy -> Activity Status.
  • Block, restrict or report accounts. (Setting-> Privacy-> Restricted Accounts.)
  • Monitor comments and stories (Settings -> Privacy -> Comments.)
  • Mute accounts. (Account -> … -> Mute.)
  • Location Privileges. (Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Instagram -> Never.
  • Limit Posts – Settings -> Privacy -> Switch on the Private Account toggle.
  • Less Personal Advs. – Settings -> Ads -> Data About Your Activity From Partners -> Switch the toggles off for all the accounts listed.
  • Two factor authentication – Security -> Two-Factor Authentication -> Get Started.
  • Who Can Message You – Settings -> Privacy > Messages-> List the contacts
  • Stop Syncing Your Contacts – Settings -> Account -> Contacts Syncing -> Switch the toggle off.

Scams on Instagram:

It’s easy to create fake accounts and publish fake advertisements. For scammers, it has become a blessing in disguise. They steal all the product related photos from legitimate brands and come up with their fake ads up and running in just a couple of minutes after creating an account.

Instagram is mainly used to drive traffic to fake/replica/second copy websites. Instead of selling their products directly through Instagram, they lead prospective buyers to their fake websites, of which the buyer is not aware. The majority of the Instagram users do realise that the products are not original and they are OK with cloned or copied electronic items. When the buyer tries to buy the product, they don’t even get the copy/replica product, and it turns out to be a scam.

Modus operandi of shopping scam : –

  • Victims Search for Big Branded Mobiles and Watches on Instagram.
  • They usually end up in accounts with cloned or replica products.
  • These scammers usually respond almost instantly with invoices and send images/videos of that product.
  • Victims pay a 25% advance as a booking amount.
  • Scammers share fake screenshots of bookings and provide tracking IDs.
  • They will request that the remaining amount be transferred on delivery day.
  • On delivery day, you get a message like “you have to pay the remaining amount and will provide an OTP” that you have to share with the delivery guy.
  • After paying the total amount, some scammers deliver low quality replica products, and some scammers don’t even deliver and block all your contacts.

Reporting on Instagram:

National Cyber Reporting Portal:

If you have experienced any cyber crime, you may register your complaint with national cyber crime reporting portal on https://www.cybercrime.gov.in or alternatively dial the toll free number 1930, police authorities shall guide you through the entire process of registering the complaint.

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