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Beware! Instagram followers know where you live

by Alex Snell, on May 19, 2015

What is a geo-tag? An automatic tag which marks your geographical location on social media.

Geo-tags can be a great thing for a business on social media. Highlighting a location of a snap or video, can be a fantastic way to promote your local business to others. Your followers love to see new visual content, but what happens when your app has a secretive way of keeping tabs on you?

Local businesses beware - Instagram followers know your home address!

Much to the surprise of a local photographer, Danielle from Make Way Media, this tagging system had even been pin-pointing her uploads from home!

She explained her worry at the discovery, "On closer inspection it (Instagram) was plotting all my locations on posts all the time, on a map...

I thought that's not so bad! On zooming in I found it was plotting everywhere I go! My house, my friends' houses, even where I work! To the exact location on the street. Not cool at all."

In fact, many of us like to think we’re tech savvy enough to have the control over this type of privacy. For a business, however, this type of slip through the net situation could be disastrous.

Danielle commented, "I also work from home on my event photography business, and it's scary that so many potential strangers could easily find where I live."

Instagram privacy for businesses

instagram followersWith location mapping enabled for iOS, the Instagram app ‘lets you optionally share where you took your photos and videos.’ However, there are cases where iPhone 6 users have disabled location settings altogether, and still have their whereabouts tagged for all to see.

How can we protect ourselves from this sneaky tagging?

One option is to delete your Instagram account altogether. However, for businesses that have built up loyal followers – that’s quite a loss.

A less dramatic option would be to check over your profile. In order to see what you’ve been sharing with the world, click the small place marker tab, second to the right. If this tab is greyed out and you are unable to click it – this is a good sign!

Unfortunately, if it’s clickable, a map will appear showing all your photos and the locations they were uploaded or taken at.

Note: This tutorial is for iOS owners.

It's time to delete those geo-tags. Head into the tab from the last step, (the one that shows your photo-mapping!) Select ‘edit’ in the upper right corner of the screen. You’ll see your photos change from blue to green at this point.

Tip: You can zoom out to select a cluster of photos

Next you will see a grid of all your photographs. You’ll be presented with two buttons, the options given are:

  • Select All
  • Deselect All

Press the Deselect All button and you’ll be asked to confirm that you wish to remove your geotags!

Click confirm and they’ll be wiped.


Click the place marker tab, you should now have a message that reads, ‘There are no geotagged posts.’ Your secret location mapping record is now cleared.

Ensure your privacy

In iOS, you can actually disable the settings to be extra secure. To start your photo mapping on an iPhone with a clean slate:

Navigate to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Instagram

Simply select, ‘Never’, under ‘Allow Location Access.’

You could also make your Instagram account private. Neither solution is perfect for a business, it seems the privacy settings around Instagram can be a little vague.

Find out more about controlling your visibility on Instagram.

Images from Instagram can also work really well on Twitter

Boost your company's profile by using this social media platform as well.

Did you know? So far in 2015, Twitter has an average of 236 million monthly active users. That's a lot of potential leads you could be missing out on.

Read more helpful blog posts on using Twitter for a business OR

Download our FREE Twitter E-Book below:

Don't be a twit on twitter download simple tips for absolute beginners

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Topics:social mediaHow To/TipsSocial Media For BusinessInstagram

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