Risk Score
Medium - High

App Details

Instagram is an app where the user can share personal photos and videos to friends, family and the larger online community. The user can also direct message, share stories, create live videos, and follow celebrities and companies for the latest gossip or news.

Why is it a risk?

As with many social networking sites there is a real potential for users on Instagram to stumble upon inappropriate content: such as violence, hatred and bullying, mature sexual themes, pornography and sexual imagery. The user's profile information, images, location details and phone number are available to view by strangers in the public arena, unless privacy restrictions are correctly applied. Instagram has raised concerns in relation to predators using fake profiles to gain access to users' pictures and information - so it is important to teach your child that people may not be who they say they are online. Further, there is a concern that the superficial nature of Instagram (filtered images portraying idealised lifestyles) can lead to low self esteem and depression for vulnerable users.

8.12.2019 Instagram Adds Age Checks for New Accounts, New Options to Restrict Messaging. Social Media Today article here

8.12.19 Instagram Publishes New Guides for Parents and Teens on Safe Use of the App. Social Media Today article here

7.10.2019 Our in-house safeguarding expert came across this Instagram profile. In her opinion, this account is typical of those used by people to ensnare children into illegal activities such as "County Lines' (drug running). If you see that your child is following or is followed by accounts such as this, we would urge extreme caution.


4.10.2019 Instagram launches Restrict anti-bullying feature, article here.

15.9.2016 "...Instagram posts telling young people...they will get a £10,000 cheque in their bank, a gift amount that does not have to be declared to HMRC, and they get to keep about £3,000." Guardian article here.

29.9.2019 Rise of the Playground Money Launderers, Times article (paywall) here.

9.7.2019 Instagram is taking cyberbullying seriously, introduces 'shadow ban' here.

20.6.2019 We were alerted to this article today which was published 14th June and which explains how children's personal contact details can be displayed publicly and used to contact themn outside of Instagram.

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