Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Instagram is for everyone who wants to be a star. Glossier-than-life pictures, snazzy taglines, and loads of ‘likes’ give Insta users a high. Compare this to creating an almost hidden, fake Insta account visible to just a select few, and you might think it’s an oxymoron.

Why then do people (especially youngsters) create these ‘alter ego’ accounts called Finstagrams or Fake Insta?

Enter the world of teenagers and young adults who create Finstagrams to show their not-so-attractive, politically incorrect and candid-to-the-bone side to people in their closest circle. Even more dubious is the world of Finstagram users whose purpose is to stalk, bully, write inappropriate comments and cause harm anonymously on the net.

Finstagram users have even coined another reference to Instagram, as an antonym to Instagram – Rinstagram (Real Insta)!

Instagram Tests ‘favorites’ to End Finstagrams

Instagram has been observing the increasing number of Finstagrams recently and has devised a new Favorites feature to give people an option to choose who sees which picture of theirs. Simply put, those who use Finstagrams no longer need to do so; instead, they can post all their pictures to their real account, and make their candid pictures visible to their closest group only.

Your Insta contacts will not be notified if you exclude them from your favorites list. All who you remove from the favorites list will no longer be able to see your private pictures, including the once they were able to see when they were in your favorites list. Also, one cannot send a request to be added to a person’s favorites list.

You can identify people on your favorites list through a green ‘favorites’ badge on their profile, and all posts you share with your favorites will appear in a separate profile tab to help you keep track of private posts.

This feature is currently being tested, and hopefully, will be launched soon.

Still, Stay Cautious of Snitches, and Undercover Bullies

 As we mentioned earlier, it’s not only the ones seeking privacy that create Finstagrams. There are others who hide their identity with ulterior motives. Even after Instagram launches its favorites feature, we have reason to believe that the creepy ones will still fake accounts for no good.

The idea isn’t to scare; we just recommend you make doubly sure that people you add in your contacts list are for real. You can ensure this by not adding unknown people to your contacts, and if you receive a request from a profile that looks like your friend’s, share a screenshot of the request with your friend to confirm if the ID truly belongs to him.

Yes, it sounds like a bit of work, but this effort will ensure you are safe, and none of your information is inappropriately used by a fake user.