Digital Security Guide

Is Reddit Safe?

Reddit is a great place to form a community and get involved in discussions, but what are the security risks?

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Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated Apr 25, 2024
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Apr 25, 2024

Are you thinking of asking a question or creating an account on Reddit, but you have safety concerns? As experienced Reddit users and online security experts, we have found that using Reddit with a bit of caution has kept our personal digital security intact while browsing and sometimes participating.

Reddit truly is a gem consisting of aggregated news and incredibly entertaining discussions. We’ve been guilty of getting lost in threads for far too long. Luckily that has led us to some important discoveries about the platform’s privacy policy, data collection, security practices, and even scams. Keep reading to learn how to stay safe and have fun when using Reddit.

Pro Tip: Some people use Reddit in hopes of keeping their search data private or off Google. Read our guide to DuckDuckGo safety to see why it may be better for search privacy.

The Facts About Reddit

Who owns Reddit? Reddit was co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman.
When was the platform founded? Reddit was founded in 2005.
How many users are on Reddit? As of 2024, Reddit has around 70 million daily active users and about 850 million individuals who use it at least once a month.1
How much revenue does it make? According to Business of Apps, Reddit made a revenue of $810 million in 2023.

Reddit Security Practices

Security practices and Reddit may seem odd to pair in the same sentence, but we’re going to do it anyway — mostly because the brains behind Reddit really do employ security measures to keep the trolls at bay and maintain your data privacy.2 It’s our job to notice the security level of a platform or online tool, after all, and here’s what we noticed about Reddit’s safety protocols.

  • Transparency. Reddit is excellent at informing its users about how the platform is managed. We consider that a security practice because Reddit’s transparency includes quarterly community updates regarding safety, security efforts, and the subreddit r/redditsecurity. When users know what’s going on, they have a better chance to stay protected.
  • Content moderation. Content on Reddit gets moderated through a community-driven approach. It’s done in a way that resembles a democracy, where a community can make decisions together, has a set of rules in place, and is able to vote. That keeps content accessible and safe for the general public.

Did You Know: In addition to posts and comments, Reddit also has its own chat feature where users can send direct messages to each other. Unfortunately, the content sent through direct message isn’t subject to much moderation. Make sure you’re on alert to avoid phishing text messages, called smishing, in your DMs.

  • Moderators. Reddit moderators are users who have the ability to develop and govern communities on the platform. Moderators help maintain control within communities, ensure the topic at hand is discussed, and always uphold Reddit’s content policy. Reddit’s safety teams work with the moderators at scale to ensure they have the resources to keep violence and harmful content — such as the 10 most dangerous online challenges — at bay.
  • Mod tooling. To better support its moderators, Reddit focuses on continuously integrating and enhancing new tools that support safety. The tools help moderators detect hate speech, spam, malicious users, and ban evasion. Some of the latest tools Reddit has launched include a harassment filter, ban-evasion filter, mature-content filter, contributor quality score to detect spam, and a safety guide on mod tools for moderators.
  • Partnerships. Reddit partners with third parties to ensure security standards are met on the platform.
  • Bug bounty program. Reddit’s bug bounty program provides a dedicated way to identify and mitigate security issues.3 The program’s primary focus is to safeguard user data, identities, and accounts.

Risks of Using Reddit

Reddit is a pot of gold when it comes to all the information, community engagement, and entertainment it hosts. One minute you may be reading the latest political headlines and then suddenly find yourself in the r/zillowgonewild subreddit. That may sound fun, but excessive use can lead to addictive scrolling. That’s just one of several risks we think you should consider. Without further ado, below is our take on the risks associated with Reddit.

>> Learn More: Is TikTok Safe? Here’s What to Know

Inappropriate Content

There are moderators in place to manage hate speech and malicious content, but there is still a wide range of content that may not be suitable for everyone. Spend enough time on Reddit and you may come across graphic images, NSFW material, and sensitive discussions.

Scams and Phishing

Other things Reddit is not immune to include scammers, phishing attempts, and fraud. We know it may be tempting to click the link that promises funny cat videos, but be sure to only click on links you can trust and learn to recognize phishing attempts. Caution and skepticism may just prevent you from becoming a scammer’s victim.


Like most public forums and social media platforms, Reddit is not exempt from cyberbullying, trolls, abuse, and harassment. The platform does what it can to stop that behavior, but there’s always a risk of encountering toxic engagement within communities.

FYI: If you know where to look, there are tons of resources to help you protect your kids from cyberbullying and keep yourself safe. We compiled an entire list of cyberbullying resources, from podcasts to organizations.

Misinformation and Echo Chambers

Reddit acts like a democracy and is a platform open to public contribution. With that comes a lot of room for misinformation, false information, conspiracies, and rumors. We suggest you verify information and cross-check with reliable sources to avoid falling for false information campaigns.

Each subreddit acts as its own democracy on what posts to promote, so it also creates echo chambers within communities. If you’re unfamiliar, echo chambers are environments in which an individual’s beliefs are reinforced due to no refuting opinions or disapproval. On Reddit, those communities are abundant due to the way the upvoting and downvoting system works. It’s nice that you can find communities to fit your opinions and ideologies, but it can also cause polarization and lead to biases or further misinformation.

Excessive Exposure

Like other social media platforms, Reddit can be addictive. The seemingly endless content and communities can lead to excessive or prolonged use. Some people we surveyed even feel like social media is ruining their life because it’s so addictive. Remember to take a break now and then. Balance is healthy.

Pro Tip: Using Reddit on your hotspot? Read our safety guide on mobile hotspots to find out why that may not be the best idea.

Reddit’s Privacy Policy

The best way to know if a platform cares about your security — and is safe to navigate — is through its privacy policy. We know they can be a bit dry and long. Reddit’s privacy policy is a testament to how much it cares about safeguarding its users’ information.4

As we read it in its entirety, we learned that Reddit takes confidentiality very seriously even though it’s a public forum and platform. Reddit collects only minimal data and is very transparent about how it’s used — to personalize ads and enhance its service.

Overall, Reddit’s privacy policy wasn’t full of enigmatic language, but instead began with the infamous “TLDR; version” to avoid confusion. As individuals who take security seriously, we appreciate the accessibility and clarity the policy displayed.

Does Reddit Collect Your Data?

In this day and age, is it really all that shocking to say Reddit collects your data? We didn’t think so. Our goal as cybersecurity experts is to keep you safe, no matter what online tool, service, or platform you use. Understanding how your data is collected and used is integral to maintaining your privacy both online and offline.

FYI: The information companies collect from you may be shocking. Our guide to the data that big tech companies have on you can help you keep your information private and protected.

As we used and researched how Reddit functions, we figured out the different pieces of information it collects to personalize your experience, ads, and its services. Here’s the data Reddit gathers whenever you use it.

Account information When you sign up for Reddit, it collects details including your email address, avatar, username, and password. That’s why we recommend using a username that doesn’t contain any personal information.
Communications and content details As a Reddit user, the platform will collect information on the posts you like, comments made, drafts, messages, chats, and your modmail.
Activity and usage Slightly different from your communication details, Reddit also collects data about your actions when using the platform. That includes reporting, hiding, saving, voting, following users, communities you join, subreddits you visit, and any subscriptions. Your login details, IP information, browser type, device type, and operating system are also collected.
Transactions Not many people know this, but Reddit allows individuals to buy and sell goods or services as part of specific communities or through special integrations. If you make any purchases on the platform, they will collect your payment information, address, payment type, purchase details, and full legal name.
Location This is something you can choose to share or hide. If you decide to share it, Reddit will get your location from your mobile device or IP address. We recommend keeping this off since there’s actually a lot that someone can do if they get your IP address.
Information from cookies The forum uses cookies and tracking technology to collect details such as your language settings, browsing preferences and behavior, and interactions on the platform. It’s then used to personalize ads.
Third-party data Reddit may also receive data such as demographic information from its advertising partners to further personalize ads and content.

How to Stay Safe When Using Reddit

When used properly, Reddit can be really fun and entertaining. It can also be incredibly informative. There is, however, a lot of room for encountering risk, toxicity, and harm on the platform. With us as your security experts, you don’t have to worry about that too much. Here is how we stay safe when using Reddit.

  • Use a strong password. The first line of defense online is your password. If you’ve used a birthday or pet’s name, it’s time for a password upgrade. Create a unique one using capital and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers, or consider using our password generator for added security. Then use our password strength checker to make sure it’s secure.
  • Be aware of scams. We can’t cover this one enough. Scams are a real threat across Reddit. The platform has various security measures and protocols for fighting scammers, but there are still plenty out there. Be vigilant and stay cautious when navigating subreddits.

Did You Know: There are multiple ways you can protect yourself from getting scammed. Read our guide to avoiding scams to stay ten steps ahead of fraudsters.

  • Don’t share personal information. Don’t be an oversharer. It won’t get you more upvotes — or it might, but that’s not the point. We want to keep you safe, so our best advice is to keep your name, number, financial information, and other sensitive details private. The internet is forever and the information you share in comments, posts, and private messages is not inherently safe. Basically, take all the usual steps to remain anonymous online.
  • Verify links before clicking. Phishing scams are still prominent in 2024, so be wary when clicking links or downloading files shared on a subreddit. They’re so prominent that we made a complete guide to avoiding phishing attempts.
  • Stay informed. Knowledge is power. Staying informed and updated on Reddit’s latest policies will keep you and your data safe. By reviewing its security standards, you’ll know how to protect yourself and limit your data that is shared with the public.

Recap: Is Reddit Safe to Use?

As seasoned Reddit professionals and cybersecurity experts, we know a thing or two about the platform and its safety. Reddit is a trove of entertainment, information, and engaging discussions and debates. Take it from us: We love to use Reddit for multiple reasons, but we always have safety in mind.

What we’ve gathered is that navigating the social media platform doesn’t have to be scary, intimidating, or unsafe. From its privacy policies and security practices to how it moderates harmful content and spam, we figured out how to securely enjoy Reddit.

Keep your navigating private and your identity confidential by remaining vigilant about scams, keeping sensitive information private, avoiding clicking weird links, and staying updated with Reddit’s policies. Following those tips gets you all the upvotes from us.


  • Does Reddit keep your information confidential?

    Reddit takes confidentiality seriously. Its privacy policy states that it never sells your data and never works with data brokers, but the platform does collect and use some of your information to provide its services and personalize ads.

  • Can anyone make a Reddit account?

    In the U.S., anyone under the age of 13 cannot create a Reddit account or partake in its services. Those outside the U.S. must adhere to their country’s local age requirements to use the platform.

  • What are subreddits?

    A subreddit is a community that is formed within a larger platform. Subreddits are typically more focused and specific about the topics and interests discussed.

  • What is karma on Reddit?

    Karma is the community point system used on Reddit. It’s earned whenever an individual’s posts or comments get upvotes from others. Some communities require a minimum karma level to post in an attempt to prevent ban evasions.

  • How do I report inappropriate content on Reddit?

    To report inappropriate content, including harassment, spam, and content violations, simply click the “report” button closest to a comment or post. Rest assured, a moderator will review the report and take immediate action, whether it’s erasing the content or removing the user altogether.

  1. Business of Apps. (2024). Reddit Revenue and Usage Statistics.

  2. Reddit. (2024). Keeping Our Platform Safe.

  3. Reddit. (2021). Keeping Our Platform Safe.

  4. Reddit. (2024). Reddit Privacy Policy.