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Is ChatGPT safe?

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  • 5 min read
Photo: Tada Images/

Photo: Tada Images/

ChatGPT is a chatbot system that uses a deep learning model called GPT-3 to generate natural and engaging responses.

But how safe is ChatGPT? Is there a threat to your data and the information that you have fed the chatbot?

In this article, we’ll answer some of these questions so that you can use ChatGPT without tension and apprehension. But before that, let us understand in brief how ChatGPT works.

How ChatGPT works?

ChatGPT works by taking the user’s input and generating a response based on the conversation’s context and goal.

This user input is also known as a ‘prompt’ and is now a new buzzword in the tech world. Tech companies are willing to shed hundreds of thousands of dollars for ‘Prompt Engineers’ that can further help train these models.

ChatGPT can also use several sources from the internet to further enrich its response and provide more accurate and useful information.

Also read: ChatGPT FAQs: 15 Talking Points

Is ChatGPT safe to use?

Yes, ChatGPT is perfectly safe to use. Millions of users worldwide already use it to enhance their productivity and content creation process.

OpenAI complies with GDPR and CCPA regulations, is evaluated by a third-party security auditor, and is SOC 2 Type 2 compliant.

OpenAI’s security measures include the following examples, as outlined on their security page:

  • Encryption: ChatGPT servers employ encryption while data is at rest and in transit. This safeguards user data against unauthorised access by encrypting it when stored and during system transfer.
  • Access controls: OpenAI enforces stringent access controls to ensure that only authorised personnel can access sensitive user data. Authentication, authorisation protocols, and role-based access controls are used to maintain data security.
  • External security audits: The OpenAI API undergoes annual external security audits by third parties. These audits identify and address potential system vulnerabilities, ensuring security measures remain current and effectively safeguarding user data.
  • Bug Bounty Program: OpenAI has established a Bug Bounty Program to encourage ethical hackers, security researchers, and technology enthusiasts to discover and report security vulnerabilities. This proactive approach enhances the identification and resolution of potential threats.
  • Incident response plans: OpenAI has developed incident response plans to manage and communicate security breaches if they occur effectively. These plans minimise the impact of breaches and facilitate swift resolution.

That being said, no platform can be 100% secure. This is the case with ChatGPT as well. In March, it was reported that a Redis bug briefly expose ChatGPT’s customer data.

As if this was not enough, ChatGPT suffered a massive leak of over 100,000 accounts. All this shows that however dedicated a company may be to protecting its customer’s data, there will always be some faultlines left open.

How OpenAI manages data for ChatGPT?

OpenAI offers many security options to its customers with regard to their data.

Users can turn off chat history allowing them to choose which conversations they want to help train the model.

Also, OpenAI doesn’t train on API customer data by default.

But does ChatGPT saves your data? Yes, your data is stored on the servers of OpenAI. However, you can always choose to delete your chat history.

Moreover, the developers always keep a tab on the conversations and can ban you if you violate the Terms of Use of OpenAI. This makes the application much safer for kids and other vulnerable populations.

What kind of personal information does ChatGPT record?

As per OpenAI’s privacy policy, when you create your account, you automatically provide the following personal information to the company:

  • Account information
  • User content
  • Communication information
  • Social media information (when you interact on the social media pages of OpenAI, the company can collect personal information that you have willingly provided there).

Here is a list of information that you provide when you interact with any product of OpenAI:

  • Log data
  • Usage data
  • Device information
  • Cookies
  • Analytics

However, you can always turn off the chat history by going to Settings > Data Controls and turning off the toggle in front of Chat history and training.

Does ChatGPT provide reliable information?

No. Although ChatGPT is trained on vast amounts of data, you cannot fully rely on it. There have been instances where ChatGPT has confidently provided wrong information.

So, use your common sense and do additional research before using any data from ChatGPT or any other generative AI.

Also read: Can’t login to ChatGPT: Quick Fix

How to use ChatGPT safely and responsibly?

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can enhance your productivity and thinking. However, you must learn to use it safely and responsibly.

Here are some tips that will help you to do that:

  • Do not share your personal or confidential information with ChatGPT or other users.
  • Do not trust everything that ChatGPT says or suggests without verifying it from other sources.
  • Do not use ChatGPT for illegal or unethical purposes or to harm others.
  • Do not engage in argumentative or abusive conversations with ChatGPT as it may get you banned.
  • Do not take ChatGPT’s responses too seriously or personally.
  • Beware of several ChatGPT-themed scams on the internet. Also, use two-factor authentication to protect your account.

Always remember that ChatGPT is a tool that has been trained on millions of web pages and responses across the web. Use it wisely and this tool will definitely help you take your work to another level.

Also read: How to check if ChatGPT is down right now?


Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]