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Is Reddit safe?

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  • 5 min read

Reddit is among the most popular social media platforms, with over 400 million monthly active users worldwide.

Reddit is also known as ‘the front page of the internet’, often featuring breaking news and viral content before other platforms.

But is Reddit safe for online users? What are the precautions that you should take while on Reddit? In this article, we’ll focus our discussion on these questions, and hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a clear answer.

Also read: Is Etsy safe?


Analysing Reddit’s privacy policy

Let us analyse Reddit’s privacy policy to understand better how the platform collects and uses your data.

Here’s the information that Reddit collects automatically:

  • Log and usage data: This includes your IP address, user-agent string, browser type, operating system, device information and referral URLs. Leaving the IP address you used to create your Reddit account, the company will delete any other IP address after 100 days.
  • Cookies: Cookies are small files containing information that companies use to provide better customer service. This includes information about the preferred language and other settings. You can disable cookies on Reddit.
  • Location: When you log in on Reddit, your location is sent to the servers, which Reddit uses for personalised content delivery.

Apart from the information provided above, Reddit can also collect information from third-party sources and then combine that information with the above information to create a more thorough user profile.

The third-party sources can be other users, linked services that you authorised to access your Reddit account, Reddit integrations or embedded content, or when Reddit partners with any service providers to measure audience performance.


How will Reddit use this information?

Reddit uses this information to provide personalised ads and posts on your feed. Reddit also uses this information to research and develop new services and enhance the product’s user engagement.

Moreover, the information will also be used to send notices, updates, offers and promotions.

Reddit can share your information in the following cases:

  • With your consent.
  • With linked services.
  • With Reddit’s service providers.
  • To comply with the law.
  • In an emergency.
  • To enforce their policies and rights.
  • With their affiliates.

How does Reddit protect your information?

Reddit implements various safeguards to ensure the security of your information, guarding it against loss, theft, misuse, unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. For instance, during information transmission, Reddit employs HTTPS.

On your side, you can set up two-factor authentication (2FA) to further protect your account.

By analysing the privacy policy, we get an idea that Reddit is indeed a safe platform, at least from their end.

Now that you have understood Reddit’s privacy policy let us further explore the risks involved in using Reddit.

Also read: How to change your Reddit username?


What are the risks of using Reddit?

Reddit, like all other social media platforms, poses certain risks, such as:

  • Inappropriate or harmful content on your feed, such as violence, adult content, hate speech and misinformation, among other things. Although Reddit has guidelines and rules to prevent or remove such content, it is difficult to enforce them.
  • Some users may share their personal information on Reddit, which malicious actors can then use for identity theft, harassment, stalking, or other crimes. Moreover, the data collected by Reddit may be hacked by cybercriminals.
  • Consuming too much content can influence your opinion in positive and negative ways. Some subreddits have a strong bias towards certain topics, which may or may not be negatively inclined towards others’ beliefs.
  • Using too much social media can affect your mental health. Some subreddits can provide support and comfort for users struggling with a social issue. However, other subreddits may also trigger mental health problems, depression and anxiety.
  • Using too much social media can also make you addicted, and you may ignore other responsibilities.

In the next section, we’ll talk about how you can use Reddit safely.


How can you use Reddit safely and responsibly?

Here are some tips on how to use Reddit safely and responsibly:

  • Always be cautious about what you post on Reddit. Do not share any personal information that can reveal your identity. Do not post hurtful messages; it could violate Reddit’s rules or laws and get you banned.
  • Be respectful of other users on Reddit. Do not harass, insult, bully, or troll other users.
  • Be critical of what you watch or listen to on Reddit. People can use Reddit to share misinformation or propaganda.
  • Be balanced in how you use Reddit. Do not use Reddit too much or too little. Find a healthy balance between your online and offline lives. Use Reddit for positive and constructive purposes, such as learning, creating, connecting, and having fun.
  • Use a secured payment method on Reddit to protect your financial transactions.

That’s it. Using these general precautions, you can safely use Reddit and enjoy the platform to the fullest.

Also read: Is ChatGPT safe?

Kumar Hemant

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: kumarhemant@pm.me

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