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How to Report a Stolen Instagram Photo

*Updated: August 10, 2022

The dreaded online thief. Hopefully, you’ve never encountered someone stealing one (or more) of your Instagram photos. It is annoying, anger-inducing, and frustrating, but the good news is this: There is a way to take action and report stolen photos. As part of your social media marketing, knowing how to protect your Instagram images is crucial. Here’s how to report a stolen Instagram photo along with some tips for preventing copyright issues in your online business.

masked thief on laptop | How to Report a Stolen Instagram Photo

How to Report a Stolen Instagram Photo

  1. File an Intellectual Property Theft claim with Instagram. Use this form to report content that you believe violates or infringes your copyright. Learn more about copyright and what it means to you.
  2. Things you will need to make an Instagram copyright report include: your contact info, a direct link to your stolen Instagram photos, and a link to your original image.
  3. That’s it! You wait for the image to be removed.

How to Report an Instagram Account for Copyright Infringement

What if you notice that an account is taking and using a large number of your photos? Do you have to report every photo individually?

In situations where there are a large number of photos to report on Instagram, you will use the same form as you would for reporting an individual image. Include several examples where you would normally highlight the URL of a single stolen image.

Under the ‘Additional Information’ section, indicate that you would like to report a page on Instagram instead of a single image. They will then look at the account as a whole.

Things You Can Do To Protect Images Online

In addition to learning how to report a stolen Instagram photo, we can also learn the steps available to prevent theft from happening. This will save you a lot of stress!

  1. Watermark your images. Yes, there are unscrupulous people who try (and succeed) in watermark removal using photo-editing software, but protecting yourself with a watermark is in your best interest.
  2. If you do not own photos you took, it’s best not to use a photo unless you have specific permission or a license/subscription.
  3. Embed metadata automatically on your DSLR camera. According to PictureCorrect.com, “Most DSLR cameras today will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu in your camera settings. This ensures that every shot made with your camera is injected into the digital thread of your image.”

Using images without ensuring that you have permission to do so can land you in big trouble. There are many stories of bloggers that have included a random picture off Google in one of their articles only to be contacted by the photographer later. The first contact is usually a takedown notice. But, that’s not always enough to make everyone happy. In many cases, the photographer will also ask for compensation for the picture used.

masked thief on laptop pin | How to Report a Stolen Instagram Photo

Don’t Stop Now: Employ These Online Safety Tactics

Learning how to report a stolen Instagram photo is essential, but it’s only one of many online safety tactics that you should be including in your regular routine as a blogger or online business owner. Failing to learn how to prevent these blogger nightmares can cost you a lot of time and money.

Pay careful attention to your password choices, creating secure and difficult-to-hack options that differ from account to account. This includes taking maintaining different email inboxes to boost your email security. Finally, make sure to always take steps to backup your website in case you need to take more drastic measures to address hacking and malicious attacks.

Have you ever discovered that your photos were stolen on Instagram? If so, we invite you to share your experience in the comments!


Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality, and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®


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