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Parental monitoring guide: how safe is Instagram?

Parental monitoring guide

1. Introduction: What is Instagram and How old kids can use Instagram?


In less than five years, Instagram has transformed from the simple picture sharing app to one of the world’s most popular social media platform with teens and kids aged 8-12. And it has no time to slow down.

But is Instagram safe? It is a lovely app—but for adults.

The app is available for teens aged 13+. But here is some brutal honesty:

Instagram is a search engine for billions of photos. Your youngster can search for any photo –celebrity, dog cat, funny pictures, and at worst, adult photos.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a cyber-savvy parent. Instagram readily bypasses any adult content filter you add on your child’s phone or internet connection.

Even though the app has Instagram parental control tool that bans obvious explicit search terms, there are more obscure versions that the search filters cannot recognize. So, can you prevent your child from using the search feature on Instagram?

2. Which dangerous types of content can my kid see on Instagram?

Instagram is a whole new world of content. And the content your child can see on Instagram depends on who they follow. Suppose your kid follow only their friends, without using the search feature s/he will only picture of their friends.

However, that’s an ideal world. Most children are curious and will not limit their self to follow only people they know. They’ll most likely want to try something new. And out of curiosity, here a list of some danger of Instagram to kids:

I. Sexual Content

Instagram has over 400 million users, with an infinite stream of pictures. It is right to categorize Instagram as an unfiltered internet search engine. Just key in the keyword beginning with a # tag and tons of results will popup.

This opens a window to your kids to view content with sexual roles, violent porns, and nudes. The app has a massive collection of unfiltered pornography. A situation that leaves you wondering as a parent how safe is Instagram for your kid.

II. Drug Use


Young people experimenting with drugs act is not a new thing. However, social media networking site like Instagram offers new and dangerous opportunities to expose kids to drugs. And as kids are susceptible to peer influence, it is right to wonder if Instagram is for kids. And social media influence makes children to wrongly believe that it is appropriate to misuse drugs.

III. Violence

Instagram has integrated itself into society in many aspects. Several news reports of cyber bullying, criminal activity, gang violence or suicide surface on Instagram severally today.

Consistent exposure to violence can make a kid violent too.

While youth violence could stem from multiple factors, research suggests that exposure to media violence plays a significant factor in the formation and escalation of violent behavior.

IV. Subculture


The over 400 million users of Instagram present a whole new world of cultures with some that are inappropriate to your kids. Cultures like pageant-style beauty, anorexic, violence, and even more absurd cultures.

3. What are Rinsta and Finstas?

Rinsta is a combination of the words, real and Instagram. It defines a person’s public Instagram account. Most people use rinsta account to showcase part of their life—the one they want people to see.

On the flip side, finsta is a combination of the words fake and Instagram which refers to a person’s more private or fake Instagram account. Many times, people use finsta account that they might not want people to see. This account is accessible to selected few and includes few filters.

4. Why Instagram still doesn’t do enough to protect your kids?

As highlighted earlier, Instagram parental control does less to protect kids from adult content. The app bypasses any filter you apply on your child’s device on your computer network.

Besides, an Instagram account is public by default. Everyone on Instagram can follow your kid and leave a comment on his/her pictures. This opens a door for cyber bullying which most of the time is difficult for a kid to handle.

How Instagram protects kids and the limitation

I. Antibullying feature

After multiple bullying cases on Instagram, the tool introduced an antibullying feature to help identify bullying. While this appeared to be a mean-good, it has some fatal flaws.

The feature has limits of recognizing only 2 languages and has an accuracy of 1%. This means that even with the Instagram anti-bullying feature, your kid can still get bullied.

II. Ban of Adult Keyword Search

Instagram bans search of the obvious sexual explicit keywords like “boobs.” While might appear a well-intended move, teens generate more and more obscure terms to replace such terms. And when they key the new terms on the Instagram search feature, the filter cannot detect them.

It is easy to bypass Instagram’s explicit adult keyword filter giving you the right to wonder: is Instagram safe?

5. What Can Parents do to create safer Instagram for kids?

You can’t leave your child’s safety on the hands of a social network—they’re very unreliable. But that shouldn’t mean that Instagram is uncontrollable. There is a smarter way to monitor and control your child’s Instagram. With the right tool, you can get all the Instagram parental control.

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  • Web Filtering
  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker & App Activity Report
  • Screen Time Limit & Schedule
  • Explicit Content & Suspicious Photos Detection

a. Introducing FamiSafe


With all the good and bad things in life, the internet is no exception, especially when it comes to kids. But the right tool can help you make the internet better for your kids.

FamiSafe comes with a combination of utilities that gives you almost all the internet control of your kid device. It monitors nearly everything.

Out of the dozens of features, we’re going to focus only on the main feature that goes beyond Instagram parental control.

b. Main features

  • Track: Geofences, Location History, Real-time Location
  • Monitor: Browser History & Activity Report
  • Limit: Screen Time, Smart Schedule
  • Block: App Usage & Blocker, Web Filter,
  • Detect Suspicious Photos and Explicit Content Detection

I. Explicit Content and Suspicious Photos Detection

Utilize the non-oppressive detection of any inappropriate content on your kid’s device.

It doesn’t matter the source of the dangerous content, FamiSafe tracks it all. The tool traces and detects inappropriate content on SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Kik.

This App works as an eye-opener for you to see the content that your child is involved with. And it doesn’t stop there. FamiSafe works at all odds in presenting you with particular keyword settings and other warning signs to enable you to act sternly to bring back your child to the right track.

Browser History and Web Filter

Make use of not-easy-to-bypass web filter to keep a keener eye on your child’s web activity.

Check kids daily browse history regardless of whether they execute deletion or searched in the incognito mode. FamiSafe goes beyond daily data manipulation to get you all the data you need to remotely help kids keep away from online gamble, porn, violence or tons of potential risks by websites blocking or automatic web filter.

II. Screen Time and Smart Schedule

Help kids build focus during school or homework time.

FamiSafe presents the opportunity to offer your kids undistracted study or playtime. The tool gives you the authority to limiting screen time and setting a smart schedule in specific places and time.

III. Real-time Location Tracking & Geo-fencing & Location History

Regardless of how busy you are, know the precise location of where your kid is.

With location history and Geo-fences, the FamiSafe parental control tool lets even in the busiest parents to know their kid's whereabouts and gets them warning if they enter into the unsafe zone.

Better yet, suppose a kid gets lost parents could use the real-time location utility to track where their kid is.

IV. App Blocker & Phone Activity Monitor

Have a good grip of your kid’s daily app usage. The App Blocker feature ensures that your child popping habit does not go beyond what you don’t want him to see. Simply control the dangerous zones by blocking particular apps from your child’s phone.


So, is Instagram safe?

It depends on many factors. Theoretically, if your kid only follows his/her friends, and does not use the search feature, Instagram is safe. But children aren’t that way. They are curious and would test several things. And Instagram itself doesn’t guarantee protection from any dangerous content. You have to protect your child.

editor image

Ankhi Bhattacharya

contributor Editor