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Is Reddit safe?

A vast network of knowledge, where everyone can interact and freely share their opinions; it’s called Reddit. Millions of users visit this site every day, but it’s not without its flaws. So how does Reddit work? And is it safe to use?

Paul Black

Paul Black

Jun 15, 2021 · 3 min read

Is Reddit safe?

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a massively popular social news aggregation and discussion platform. It’s like a classic online forum, but operating on a much larger scale. Registered users submit their content, which can be voted up or down by other members. For better navigation, posts are organized in various subcategories and user boards.

Reddit is the 18th most visited site in the world, and is especially popular among young adults. It's not unlike an alternate society with its own internal rules and customs. But what about Reddit’s security?

Is Reddit safe to use?

With its millions of discussions across various topics and communities, Reddit can bring interesting, like-minded people together and start exciting conversations. But is it safe to use?

Well, we should progress cautiously here, as with other social media platforms. Reddit is a large business operation similar to Google or Facebook, so you will likely have some privacy concerns. They have tons of user data, and it’s not always clear what they use it for. Moreover, back in 2016, Reddit deleted its surveillance warrant canary, which means that authorities and government agencies now ask the platform to provide them with customer data.

There is also a chance that Reddit can pass your data to third parties for marketing purposes. Advertising is a primary revenue source for Reddit, so your data will also be used for ad-targeting.

Reddit has a few other issues:

  • Corporate ownership. The Conde Nast corporation owns Reddit, so they most likely collect your data and may even pass it to third parties. Like many social platforms, you can’t be sure where your data will end up;
  • Reddit has suffered data breaches before. The site has seen several massive data breaches. There’s no way to be certain it won’t happen again;
  • Inappropriate content. While Reddit is a free and open space for discussion, it is also full of inappropriate content, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and fake news. Radical groups, including various far-right activists, use Reddit as their communication channel;
  • Reddit can also be dangerous for kids, young adults, and other people with less online awareness. Due to its anonymous nature, predators and cyberbullies can exploit the platform for their own purposes.

How to use Reddit safely

Reddit can be a useful and entertaining site, if used properly. Here are five tips for enjoying the site safely:

  1. Don’t share your personal details. You never know who you are talking to on Reddit, so don’t share your personal information there;
  2. Use strong passwords. You don’t want your account to be compromised, so make sure you use strong passwords and change them often. Check our NordPass tool to help generate and store strong passwords;
  3. Report harassment and other inappropriate behavior or content, to the site or to forum moderators;
  4. Don’t click on suspicious links, ads and attachments as they can be a potential source of malware;
  5. Use a VPN. While it won’t directly protect you from Reddit’s bullies, trolls, predators and data hoarding, it will encrypt your traffic, hide your IP, and enhance your privacy and safety online. You can also unblock Reddit by using a VPN in case it’s restricted in your location.

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