If you want to learn anything about anything, visit Reddit. This is one platform where you’ll get expert opinions from different people all over the world. Each year, the popular discussion website gets over 82 billion page views, and this speaks volumes about its popularity.
Does Reddit Track Your Information?
Reddit has two settings – Free and Premium. The free Reddit will let you access content but with advertisements. Premium option is paid and was earlier called Reddit Gold. With the Premium option, you will get an ad-free experience that’s smoother.
No doubt, Premium is better, but what if you don’t want to spend money? You will have to see ads then. This advertising is based on your preferences and how you use their website. Do they sell your information to advertisers?
“We will not share, sell, or give away any of our users’ personal information to third parties, unless one of the following circumstances applies
Except as it relates to advertisers and our ad partners, we may share information with vendors, consultants, and other service providers who need access to such information to carry out work for us”
Should You Be Concerned?
Reddit is among the most visited websites in the world. This means that they have a lot of user information and this can be of much use to advertisers and marketers. And since users openly participate in discussions on Reddit, they reveal a lot of information about themselves.
This information isn’t found anywhere else. People openly express their views on various matters which gives a lot of valuable information to advertisers. If you’re concerned about your privacy when you visit websites, you might want to evaluate your preferences.
Additionally, a security breach that compromised the personal data of thousands of Reddit users reportedly took place in June 2018. Therefore, you should consider your online privacy and security whenever you do use Reddit.
What You Can Do
Reddit offers User Settings. In the new layout, you will find it in the top right corner, as a drop-down next to the Home button. While there aren’t many personalization choices on Reddit, but you can still see decent options there.
Visit the Privacy and Security tab under User Settings and you’ll see privacy options there. You can turn off search engine indexing and logging of outbound links.
Reddit lets search engines index your profile. So Google can show the posts on which you have commented along with the subreddits you participate in. If you don’t want this information to be visible to your friends, make sure you turn the search engine indexing off.
Also, when you click on a link to visit some other website through Reddit, it is recorded. If you don’t want it to be recorded, turn off the logging of outbound links.
You can also visit the Personalization settings to open new options. Here you’ll find options to turn off Reddit activity logging for relevant advertisements. There are some other options in the form of checkboxes. Uncheck all the boxes and you’ll have a higher degree of privacy on Reddit.
If you don’t like ads, you can use the Premium feature. While it does not show ads, there is no guarantee that they won’t log your data.
Reddit and Third Party Applications
Reddit has its own app for mobile platforms. There are also some third-party applications to visit Reddit. If you sign in using a third party application, you give permissions to that app to monitor your activities. If you’re worried about the permissions you have granted, you can visit the apps section on your phone and revoke the permissions for third-party applications.
While Reddit is a great platform to meet like-minded people, sometimes, some users can become a bit stalky. For this, Reddit offers you to change your messaging privacy. Select who can message you under the Privacy and Security tab in User Settings.
You can block or allow a small set of users or open the messaging to everyone. While Reddit might not have an extensive list of personalization options, it does offer a decent set of security settings.
Can You Be Really Secure?
While you can change some settings to protect your privacy, you’re not truly protected if your identity is revealed to a website. While you might not be much concerned about your identity, it becomes important to secure your personal details if you post on controversial topics.
There are two ways to be truly secure:
Don’t use your real name
Reddit users don’t generally use their real names on this platform. You can choose absolutely any moniker you like. This makes sure that your real identity is not revealed to others. If you do not wish to receive messages from others, you can change the message settings as discussed above.
Hide your IP
While your real name can be changed on Reddit, your IP will still be visible to the authorities. To make sure they cannot track your geographical location, hide your IP using a VPN. A VPN or a Virtual Private Network will pass your traffic through their special servers to hide your details from anyone who’s trying to spy on you. And this includes the websites you visit along with your ISP and the government.
With a new IP, Reddit will not be able to track your IP. And with the fake name, other users will not know your real identity. We’ve previously looked at the best VPNs for Reddit. So make sure to check that review out.
Almost all websites work on the new marketing model that logs your activities and creates a user map. This map is then sold to advertisers for more targeted ads. And Reddit is no exception. If you want your data to stay private, make sure you make some changes to the settings. Also, it’s always a wise idea to use a VPN.
When selecting a VPN, make sure you select a paid VPN because a free VPN just might throw ads your way and thus track your activities to make the ads more relevant. So basically, there’s no point in getting the VPN in the first place. Make sure you get a trusted VPN that doesn’t log your activities and provides reliable services. Here is a list of our most recommended VPNs. They will help you stay anonymous and will also protect you from hackers and snoopers.