Experts warn: Fake Instagram accounts aren't as private as teens think

Secret accounts don't have user's real name
Posted at 4:33 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 17:33:20-04

If your teen is on social media, chances are they have an account you don't know about.

"Instagram is really the big one," says 15-year-old Ben Hinkle.

It's not uncommon for them to have more than one account on the photo-sharing app, often referred to as "finsta".

"Finstagram is a combination of fake and Instagram, it's a secondary account people use to share more privately," explains Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious.

The secret accounts often don't have the user's real name or picture in the profile.

"They don't necessarily want to share the information they have on their finsta account with their parents," Kantra said.

That's because the extra account could be home to inappropriate images.

Teens we talked to say it's more about connecting them with a tighter circle of friends without meeting the standards of a public post, where the number of likes and comments can become a measure of self worth.

"I do feel kind of pressured or overwhelmed, I feel like there's a standard," says 14-year-old Grace Sorrells.

Experts say it's important for parents to stay aware, and remind them that no account is truly private.

"Anything that you put online is potentially made public," Kantra said.

Each Instagram account must have a unique email address, so that can be another way to find multiple accounts.

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