Nine tips to help you use ChatGPT safely and securely

Want to use ChatGPT safely and securely? Here are nine best practices you need to adopt.

ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, has captivated the digital world with its rapid user growth and integration into daily tasks like email drafting, content creation, and coding. 

However, despite its practicality and popularity, there are some safety and security concerns everyone should be aware of.

Alain Vartanian, a Search Engine Optimization expert at Customer Service Number, shares nine best practices for navigating ChatGPT in a safe and secure way.

1) Only use ChatGPT through its official website and apps 

Any trending applications present opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit the unaware.

Be cautious about any lookalike apps and extensions related to ChatGPT. Just because an app or extension appears under a familiar name doesn’t mean it’s an official one.

Lookalike versions can deceive users and, when not verified for authenticity, expose devices and companies to malware and related threats.

Only use ChatGPT by visiting the original website or by downloading the official ChatGPT apps on Android and Apple stores.

2) Be cautious of fake ChatGPT browser extensions 

Certain browser extensions promising ChatGPT functionality may collect your data. Always research before installing them on your device.

If you search for “ChatGPT” on the Chrome Web Store, you’ll find many extensions with different features. Despite the differences, their purpose is the same: integrating ChatGPT into specific websites.

For example, one extension might offer help with Gmail replies, while another could summarize web pages. However, the majority simply use ChatGPT API for their tasks. Results across these extensions will be similar since the technology is the same.

At worst, these extensions could potentially direct you to phishing sites and collect your information. 

3) Don’t feed the ChatGPT chatbot with personal information 

Avoid including sensitive or personal information when using ChatGPT. For instance, if you have a confidential medical report and intend to create a summary using ChatGPT, do not upload it.

If you do this, it could store the information on the ChatGPT server which will potentially expose confidential information of your medical report to other users’ queries.

Hackers attempt to exploit ChatGPT code vulnerabilities to steal user information and find ways to steal information from the app as well, as was the case in May when ChatGPT suffered a data breach. 

4) Keep your company name or customers out of ChatGPT

You should exercise caution when using ChatGPT not only for personal purposes but also professional ones.

To do this, you can use data anonymization techniques when using ChatGPT such as data pseudonymization and data masking in order to protect individual privacy and maintain dataset insights. 

For example, if you’re working on something for your clients, you could replace their real names record with pseudonyms like “Client001,” and “Client002”.

This helps prevent any potential identification of individuals, whether directly or indirectly. 

5) Don’t save your chat history

To keep things private, don’t save your chat history. By default, ChatGPT keeps all your interactions to help improve its system and for moderation checks.

Account moderation, though essential for following OpenAI’s rules, can make users vulnerable to security issues. Major companies like Apple and Amazon have prohibited their staff from using ChatGPT, due to concerns about potential leaks of sensitive information.

Here’s how to turn off chat history:

  • Click on the three dots next to your ChatGPT account name
  • Select “Settings”
  • Go to “Data controls”
  • Switch off “Chat history & training”

Keep in mind that even if this setting is on, conversations are kept for 30 days, allowing moderators to review them for misuse before being permanently deleted. However, turning off chat history remains a good practice for ChatGPT users.

6) Delete conversations 

A major concern with OpenAI’s ChatGPT is the risk of potential data breaches. The ChatGPT outage, leading to a Federal Trade Commission investigation, underscores the potential risks associated with using ChatGPT.

Deleting your conversations is a good way to keep your information safe. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Click on the three dots next to your ChatGPT account name
  • Select “Settings”
  • In the “General” section, click “Clear” to delete all chats

Alternatively, you can choose to delete individual conversations if you want to retain certain chats. Just click on the specific chat in the conversation list and then select the trash icon to remove that particular data.

7) Be careful if you use AI photo editors

Uploading a photo to create a cartoon can be fun, but it could unintentionally expose valuable personal information to the AI software, including your image, location data, and metadata. 

There are also concerns within the cybersecurity community about companies using these uploaded photos to train facial recognition software. Exercise caution when uploading any content, even images, to AI apps.

8) Use a nickname and register with a private email 

Rather than using your real name, consider using a nickname or pseudonym when using ChatGPT. This can help reduce the connections between your interactions and your actual identity.

In addition, while it may seem convenient to sign up with your Google or Microsoft account, it’s not the best idea for your privacy. To protect your information, it’s better to create a new account using an email preferably through secure and encrypted email services.

9) Stay updated with ChatGPT developments

AI technology is constantly evolving. Stay informed about updates to use AI tools like ChatGPT effectively and safely. Check reliable sources like OpenAI’s website or trusted tech news for insights on new features, capabilities, and potential issues related to AI.

In the ever-changing landscape of AI, remaining up-to-date is key. By staying informed, you empower yourself to make informed decisions and leverage the potential of ChatGPT and any AI tools for your endeavors.