Tracking Through Instagram: How To?

Here’s how to track someone through Instagram:

The easiest way to track someone through Instagram is to look at the location tags they provide on their posts.

You can also find personal information on a person’s Instagram profile.

Beyond that, it is possible to use Instagram to find someone’s IP address and then track them via information tied to that address.

So if you want to learn all about tracking someone using Instagram, and how you can stop someone from tracking you, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Tracking Through Instagram: How To? (All the Info)

Why Are You Trying to Track Someone Using Instagram?

Man holding smartphone using instagram application.

Ok. Let’s all take a moment.

The question of the day is how to track someone through Instagram.

Before I get into that explanation, I need to go over a bit of a disclaimer.

After all, do you want random strangers to use this as a guide to track you through Instagram?

Before you look into tracking people, understand that cybersecurity laws do exist.

They vary by country, but if you go all-out trying to track someone online, it’s possible that you can violate those laws.

So, before we get into it, it’s important to establish two things.

First, I am not advocating for cybercrime.

You are responsible for knowing the laws and making decisions about your own behavior.

Second, it’s important to review why you want to track someone.

There are legitimate reasons to do these things.

Primarily, I’m going to address two reasons for going through all of this information.

The first is so you know how tracking works.

You can then use that information to better protect yourself if you don’t want to be tracked.

Beyond that, there are times when getting information about an online harasser could help you identify them to the authorities in order to stop that harassment.

Those are the only motivations I’m going to be discussing.

If your plans exist outside of these ideas, that’s all up to you.

With all of that said, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of all of this.

How Do You Track Someone Using Instagram? (3 Tools)

I can break the idea of tracking someone through Instagram into two categories.

You can use Instagram features to do it, or you can roll up your sleeves and go beyond Instagram services.

The latter idea will be in a later section.

I’m going to begin with the easy stuff.

Instagram has tools that help users find and track each other.

It’s actually part of the platform.

So, if you pay attention to them, you can see where your friends are when they post.

You can also carefully think about how much trackable information you want to share when you use Instagram.

#1 Public Account Info

The easiest thing to understand is public account information.

Instagram allows you to set your account to private or public.

A public account makes your profile information accessible to anyone who tries to use it.

A private account limits that access to friends (or other settings that you can pick).

The first thing you should know is that Instagram accounts are public by default.

So, unless the settings are changed, anyone can view posts and the profile.

So, if you’re trying to track someone, this is the logical starting point.

You can view the individual’s posts and account and learn anything they have willingly shared.

They might include where they live or work, where they are from, or even what they are up to at a given moment.

There’s no hard rule as to what you’ll see on a public profile.

It’s up to each user.

But, someone who publicizes a lot of their personal life will probably be easy to find.

#2 Geotags

Among all of that data is something known as a geotag (formally called “locations” by Instagram).

The idea is pretty simple.

If you upload a picture, you can tag the location.

Presumably, that’s where you took the photo. 

The same goes for videos, and as Instagram integrates with Facebook, any post can have a location tag.

So when you’re trying to find someone, looking for geotags will help.

As long as the person in question is willingly sharing their location through these tags, you can follow the tags to track where they are or have been.

Keep in mind how this works in reverse. If you have a public profile and regularly tag locations, someone can physically find you pretty easily.

#3 Third-Party Apps

There’s a concept that I need to address specifically.

Outside of Instagram features and services, there are third-party apps and services that claim they can track people via Instagram (and other social media). 

For ethical reasons, I haven’t used any of them.

Reading about them leaves mixed results.

That means that ultimately, I can’t confirm whether or not they actually work.

It’s possible that they do, but you’re on your own if you want to explore that avenue.

I wanted to take a moment to address the existence of these apps and clarify why I’m not recommending them.

Instead, the best way to track someone outside of Instagram features is probably through their IP address.

How to Find IP Addresses Through Instagram? (4 Steps)

As it turns out, you can use Instagram as a means to get a hold of someone’s IP address.

For those unfamiliar, the IP address is the designation that internet devices use to map traffic across distances.

Basically, the internet is complicated.

In order for an iPhone and an Instagram server to communicate (just as an example), they have to physically send data to and from each other.

But the internet is huge, so how do they know where to send that data?

IP addresses hold the answer.

Conceptually, they work a lot like mailing addresses.

IP addresses actually correspond to the physical location of the device, so if you know a device’s IP address, you can conceivably find the device itself.

Now, there are a lot of complications attached to these ideas, and I’m going to have to gloss over a lot of them for brevity.

The real focus is this: if you can find someone’s IP address, you can potentially track them with it.

So, how do you actually get an IP address with Instagram?

It boils down to a few steps.

Step #1

Go to the profile of the person in question.

You can click or tap on the three dots next to the user name.

This will reveal the profile URL. Copy that URL.

Step #2

Go to a website that can trace IP addresses (such as IP Logger), and create an IP logging link, using the profile URL when asked.

Step #3

Start a chat with the person on Instagram and send them the link you generated.

Step #4

When they follow the link, the IP logging resource will collect their IP address.

That’s how you or someone else can get an IP address using Instagram.

It’s indirect, but Instagram can serve as an avenue for this process.

Look Up the IP Address

Once you have an IP address, there are a lot of things you can do.

I already told you that I won’t go into nefarious options, but if someone is harassing you, here’s how knowing their IP address can help.

You can report them to the authorities.

It’s the easiest and most direct solution.

In fact, stopbullying.gov is a directory of resources you can use to try to stop someone from harassing you online.

Following those resources, you can let the authorities know who is harassing you and how.

The IP address is a useful bit of information, but the more you tell them, the more they can do to try to help. 

Limitations of IP Addresses

Keep in mind that none of this is foolproof.

There are things someone can do to mask their IP address.

So even after all of that work, you might not have a real IP address for the person harassing you, and these methods won’t overcome pretty standard techniques for hiding an IP address.

VPNs can potentially hide your IP address, and a proxy definitely can.

If the other person’s IP address is masked, then the thing you look up will not actually tell you anything about them.

It could even be a spoofed IP address—meaning the address you see really belongs to an innocent third party.

That’s why extra information is so important when you try to shut down cyberbullying or harassment.

How Can You Keep Someone From Tracking You on Instagram? (3 Ways)

Ok. That’s the bulk of what I can tell you about how to track people without getting into legal gray areas (or worse).

The truth is that with computers, there are always a lot of ways to do things, but as you get deeper into the topic, you’ll come up against more and more regulations and laws.

So, we’re going to skip all of that.

Besides, that’s plenty for me to explain to you the fundamentals of how you can prevent other people from tracking you through Instagram.

#1 Keep Private Info Private

I already explained how Instagram separates accounts into public and private designations.

If you don’t want to be tracked, one of the most important things for you to do is make your account private.

That’s not an ultimate solution, but it’s an important step.

You can also comb through your settings to make sure you clarify control over who can see your information.

If you prevent randoms and strangers from seeing your Instagram information, you’ve already taken a major step towards privacy.

#2 Don’t Tag Yourself

Tagging is also important.

You can control who sees your tags in the settings I linked above.

But, if you tag yourself, you are attaching geographical information to the post.

One way or another, people can potentially find that tag and learn more about where you are.

Some people are fine with this.

If you feel comfortable, do your thing.

But for those who feel uncomfortable with location tags, the best solution is to avoid them.

If you don’t create the location data, then it can’t be stolen.

It’s kind of an abstinence approach to online privacy.

#3 Be Wary of Links

Lastly, and hopefully, this is a clear lesson you learned reading through the parts above, don’t take links from strangers.

Unknown links are the windowless vans of the internet.

Maybe there’s nothing bad behind the link. Maybe there is.

The only way to know for sure is to take the risk, and if you unwittingly give away your IP address, people can use it to make you miserable.