Taking Control: A Comprehensive Guide on Preventing Instagram and Facebook from Tracking Your Internet Activity



In the age of digital connectivity, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become integral parts of our daily lives. However, the increasing concern over privacy has prompted users to seek ways to limit or stop the tracking of their internet activity by these platforms. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into various strategies and settings to help you regain control over your online privacy by preventing Instagram and Facebook from tracking your internet activity.

Understanding Tracking and Privacy Concerns:

  1. Data Collection by Social Media Platforms:
    • Instagram and Facebook employ sophisticated algorithms to collect user data, including internet activity, to enhance user experience and deliver targeted advertisements.
  2. Privacy Implications:
    • The extensive tracking of internet activity raises privacy concerns as users may feel uneasy about the platforms having access to their browsing habits and personal preferences.

Preventive Measures for Instagram:

1. Adjusting Ad Preferences:

  1. Open Instagram Settings:
    • Launch the Instagram app on your mobile device and navigate to your profile.
  2. Access Ad Preferences:
    • Tap on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, go to “Settings,” then select “Ads.” Here, you can view and adjust your ad preferences.
  3. Manage Ad Topics:
    • Under “Ad Interests,” you can remove topics that Instagram has identified based on your activity.
  4. Hide Advertisements:
    • Tap on an ad, select “Hide Ad,” and choose the reason for hiding it. This action helps Instagram understand your preferences better.

2. Limiting Data Collection:

  1. Disable Ad Personalization:
    • In the “Ad Settings,” turn off “Ad Personalization.” This prevents Instagram from using your information to personalize ads.
  2. Clear Search History:
    • Regularly clear your search history by going to “Settings,” selecting “Security,” and choosing “Clear Search History.”

Preventive Measures for Facebook:

1. Adjusting Ad Preferences:

  1. Access Facebook Settings:
    • Open the Facebook app and tap on the three horizontal lines. Scroll down to “Settings & Privacy” and select “Settings.”
  2. Navigate to Ad Preferences:
    • Choose “Ad Preferences” and explore the topics and interests Facebook has identified.
  3. Adjust Interests:
    • Remove or adjust interests based on your preferences. This helps in curating the type of ads you see.

2. Limiting Data Collection:

  1. Disable Off-Facebook Activity:
    • In Facebook settings, select “Settings & Privacy,” then go to “Settings.” Under “Your Facebook Information,” choose “Off-Facebook Activity” and disable it to limit data collection.
  2. Clear Browsing History:
    • Regularly clear your Facebook browsing history by going to “Settings,” selecting “Your Facebook Information,” and choosing “Clear Browsing History.”

Additional Privacy Measures:

1. Use Private Browsing Mode:

  1. Activate Incognito Mode (Chrome):
    • If using a browser, activate incognito mode to prevent tracking. On Chrome, tap the three dots, select “New incognito tab,” and browse privately.
  2. Enable Private Browsing (Safari):
    • On Safari, open the tabs view, tap “Private,” and start a new private browsing session.

2. Review App Permissions:

  1. Check App Permissions:
    • Regularly review the permissions granted to Instagram and Facebook. Limit access to location, camera, and other sensitive data unless necessary.
  2. Adjust Mobile Settings:
    • On mobile devices, go to settings, select “Apps” or “Application Manager,” choose the respective app, and adjust permissions.

3. Utilize a VPN:

  1. Install a VPN:
    • Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and mask your IP address, preventing Instagram and Facebook from tracking your location.
  2. VPN Settings:
    • Configure the VPN settings on your device and connect to a server to enhance your online privacy.

4. Explore Privacy-Focused Browsers:

  1. Use Privacy-Focused Browsers:
    • Consider browsers like DuckDuckGo, which prioritize user privacy by minimizing data collection and blocking trackers.
  2. Install Browser Extensions:
    • Add browser extensions like Privacy Badger or uBlock Origin to enhance privacy by blocking unwanted tracking elements.

Constant Vigilance and Updates:

  1. Regularly Check Settings:
    • Stay informed about updates and changes to Instagram and Facebook settings. Regularly check and adjust your privacy preferences.
  2. Educate Yourself:
    • Stay informed about privacy policies and settings by reviewing official documentation and staying updated on changes made by the platforms.


Protecting your privacy on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook is a proactive and ongoing process. By taking control of ad preferences, limiting data collection, utilizing privacy-focused tools, and staying vigilant about your online activities, you can create a more secure and personalized online experience. Remember that online privacy is a personal choice, and by implementing the strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can reclaim control over how much information you share with these platforms.

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