Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 11: Instagram, and Bad Security Assumptions

Insta-what? In Chapter 9, I began to mention Instagram, which is not someone’s idea of a quickie breakfast food. It is a photo-handling app, which gives you a lot of photo editing and sharing options – too many to list here, but have fun exploring. The service was recently bought by Facebook.

Why the funny name? Instagraph may have made more sense, but that name was apparently taken. Anyway, per the developers, the name Instagram comes from “instant camera” and “telegram”.

After you’ve done your profile setup and added some followers & followees, when you first click on the app, the Home Screen looks something like this:

Instagram Home Screen

The controls at screen bottom are as follows:

  • House – Home Screen
  • Magnifying Glass – Search
  • Circle in Square – Access the camera
  • Heart – Activity
  • Person – All about you

Clicking on the Person brings up your personal stuff (see the screen shot below), including all the pictures that you’ve posted, and your profile information. To add or change your profile picture, you tap the profile picture itself (or a placeholder if you don’t have one yet) for a menu of photo options. Otherwise, you click the Edit Your Profile button, or the three vertical dots at upper-right for more options.

Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-18

Now for the bad security assumption. Just because Company A owns Company B does NOT imply that the security on apps owned by Company A automatically transfer to apps owned by Company B. In particular, your Facebook security does not transfer over to Instagram! Like most of you, I have Friends security on Facebook, so I assumed I had Followers security on Instagram. Wrong – the “assume” = “ass” of “u” and “me” rule applies here. Found that out when someone I know who was not following me saw a picture that was intended for followers only.

To change this, you must make your Instagram account Private to limit to followers and people you approve. You do this by clicking on the three vertical dots to bring up the Options screen, then swiping the Private Account button to the right – here’s the Before and After:

Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-33Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-54

Hope you enjoy Instagram, and again, please note the security differences between Instagram and Facebook.

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Cross-Pollination

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