Is ChatGPT Safe?

calendar Jun 29, 2023
author Written by Artur Glukhovskyy

man taking care of cybersecurity treats

We’ve officially entered the era of human-like AI. We’re referring to ChatGPT of course, the stupendously popular AI chatbot that’s been busy sending the internet into overload. Why?

Since OpenAI released its advanced large language model to the public in November 2022, over 100 million users have been asking it questions, solving math problems, writing essays and pretty much everything else you can think of.

But the AI’s tremendous capabilities give rise to a pertinent question - is ChatGPT safe?

Let's discover it in this article. But first, here is an overview of what you'll find. 


TABLE OF CONTENT

1. What is ChatGPT? 

2. How Does ChatGPT Get Its Answers? 

3. Are ChatGPT Answers Reliable? 

4. Is ChatGPT Safe?

5. AI Crash Course For Business 

6. FAQs

 

 

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an advanced language model (LLM) that generates human-like conversations to user prompts.

We delve into the nuts and bolts of it all here but for the time being, we’ll keep it simple.

ChatGPT was trained on a massive dataset of text, websites, articles, books etc. to enable it to identify patterns in humans language.

ChatGPT works like a supercharged search engine but rather than simply displaying results, it’s extracting information for you and creating a response.

ChatGPT responses can be used for a wide variety of tasks including:

  • Answering questions
  • Transcribing audio
  • Translating language
  • Creating content and texts for blogs, poems, stories, essays etc
  • Writing and debugging code
  • Summarising text
  • Researching topics
  • Solving math problems
  • Breaking down complex concepts
  • Assisting in tasks
  • Recommendations on personal finances, travel, health and well-being etc

How Does ChatGPT Get its Answers?

When a user asks the AI chatbot to do something, whether that’s asking a question or creating something, ChatGPT pulls from its vast database and formulates an answer that reads in a conventional tone, akin to how humans speak.

The process is further refined using two AI training methods called “supervised learning” and “reinforcement learning from human feedback” or RLHF.

The latter is what makes ChatGPT stand head and shoulders above previous large language models.

 

Are ChatGPT Answers Reliable?

Yes and no. If you’re using ChatGPT to answer simple and straightforward queries then there’s a reasonable level of certainty that the responses will be accurate and truthful.

But users are encouraged to exercise discretion when using ChatGPT for academic purposes.

Even OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT have explicitly stated that:

ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or "nonsensical answers" and can display “biases” due to the training data.

 

Users should be aware that much like all information sourced from the internet or third parties, a bit of fact-checking goes a long way!

It really comes down to the complexity of the query and the reliability of the available information already present online.

In short, don't ask ChatGPT to complete neuroscience essays for you. All that matters in the end is a correct prompt

Screenshot (525)

Is ChatGPT Safe?

Now that we understand what ChatGPT is, and have a background on how it works and its limitations we can address the elephant in the room - is ChatGPT safe?

Again, there is no absolute answer to this question, it depends on the intent.

For example, on a technical level, there is no risk to registering and using ChatGPT.

Your device won’t get infected by a virus and the OpenAI servers are heavily encrypted and secure meaning you don't have any Privacy Risks from the chatbot itself.

And It uses your data only to provide the services stated in its privacy policy. You can check it out in any moment. 

But, like any online product or website that requires credentials, your information is at risk from cybersecurity threats and security breaches.

 

In fact, in one incident in March 2023, which saw ChatGPT's service go down for several hours, some users of the AI chatbot could view other people's chat history, which could have included personal information that they didn't want to be seen. There wasn't any malicious intent, but such a bug can be a problem for our privacy. 

Source: aiforfolks.com

 

These are admittedly rare but remain a possibility for any company operating online and chatGPT users. It’s part of the gig.

The more prevalent and real risk for ChatGPT is the widespread use of misinformation, propaganda, or its use in facilitating illegal activities such as identity theft and phishing scams.

While OpenAI is making every effort to make the AI model refuse inappropriate requests, they recognize that ChatGPT:

 

Will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior. We’re using the Moderation API to warn or block certain types of unsafe content, but we expect it to have some false negatives or positives for now. We’re eager to collect user feedback to aid our ongoing work to improve this system.

 

And this is the thing that’s important to remember.

While ChatGPT is a highly-advanced AI chatbot - it is still a computer, it’s not infallible and is in an experimental phase.

It will take some time and plenty of user feedback to iron out the kinks. Speaking of kinks, these are the main cyber security concerns ChatGPT poses:

 

1. Malware: A report by Recorded Future claims to have identified 1,582 references on the dark web linking to the development of malware code using ChatGPT.

Their concerns are clear. The sophistication of ChatGPT means it lowers the barrier to entry for threat actors with limited programming knowledge.

This could open the door to increases in cyber attacks like phishing scams, hacktivists and credit card fraudsters.

 

2. Phishing Scams: ChatGPT’s ability to generate almost human-like responses that appear as if they could have been made by a real person also opens the door for convincing emails and thus phishing email scams.

These are emails designed to dupe recipients into giving sensitive personal details that can be used to hack them or commit fraud.

And although ChatGPT might flag the prompt and deny a response, it has been known to respond to the user request after the prompt has been reworded a few times.

 

3. Spreading misinformation or propaganda: It’s important to verify and fact-check any information you receive from ChatGPT due to its inherent fragility. A fake news can be generated after any user input. 

After all, the chatbot gets its data from the Internet, which can sometimes be inaccurate. And remember that the ChatGPT alternatives (Bing Chat, Bard, ...) are not immune to this either.

When we apply ChatGPT to giving medical, political or legal advice, we’re inviting the possibility of misleading or untruthful information.

 

To combat this, you can download AI text detection tools that identify whether a piece of text has been generated by AI with surprisingly good accuracy.

 

Final Thoughts

When used as intended, ChatGPT is generally considered to be reasonably safe.

It is worth noting that, in the field of natural language processing, the primary concerns lie not with ChatGPT itself, but rather with potential security vulnerabilities and the human factor.

That being said, it’s important and advised to verify and double-check the information ChatGPT delivers, just to be on the safe side.

Find new recipes, get travel advice, create content, and have fun with this Advanced Chatbot ethically by sticking to the rules and staying away from harmful content.

In this way you won't have any doubt when being asked "is ChatGPT safe"? 

AI and human playing chees

Want to Learn More About AI for Business?

You’re in the right place! AI is a fascinating field and one that is building tremendous traction across the business landscape.

 

As technology advances, artificial intelligence applications for business are becoming more plausible in everyday practice.

 

AI is being used to save time and increase productivity outputs over many different roles and sectors.

 

It’s no longer a far cry into the future, it’s here, available, and ready to be implemented.

So how can you learn more about using AI in business?

As a leading educational course provider, we created the most effective AI for business course you can find! 

This course will help you and your team boost productivity with AI solutions and make data-driven decisions for the future.

 

6 Modules | 24 lessons | 24 videos | 6 tests | 6 exercises

  • Module 1: AI and Machine Learning fundamentals
  • Module 2: AI business strategy
  • Module 3: GenAI for text: ChatGPT and prompt engineering
  • Module 4: GenAI for design: text prompts and visual communication
  • Module 5: AI for productivity
  • Module 6: AI-powered predictive insights 

👉 Check out our course here

Growth Tribe AI for business course

 

FAQs

Why isn't chatGPT working for me? 

If you're experiencing issues with ChatGPT not working, there could be several reasons behind it.

Here are some common factors that may contribute to the problem:

  • Poor internet connectivity: Ensure you have a stable and reliable internet connection.
  • Firewall problems: Check your firewall settings to make sure they are not blocking ChatGPT.
  • VPN issues: If you're using a virtual private network (VPN), try disconnecting from it and see if the problem persists.
  • Misconfigured network settings: Verify that your network settings are correctly configured.
  • High server load: Sometimes, when there are too many user requests flooding the server, it can result in ChatGPT not functioning properly.

To troubleshoot and resolve these issues, you can try the following steps:

  • Flush your DNS: Clear your DNS cache to refresh the network settings.
  • Change DNS servers: Switch to different DNS servers, such as public DNS providers like Google DNS or Cloudflare DNS.
  • Reset your IP address: Restart your router or contact your internet service provider to obtain a new IP address.
  • Clear browser cookies: Delete your browser cookies, which can sometimes interfere with ChatGPT's functionality.

For more detailed information and solutions regarding specific error codes and issues, you can refer to our blog post.

 

It provides a comprehensive guide on troubleshooting steps and fixes for common ChatGPT errors like Error Code 1020, Error Code 429, error on long responses, login errors, and capacity issues.

 

How many questions can you ask chatgpt in an hour?

Personally, we have never experience a cap of conversations we could start with chatGPT in an hour. 

So we've tried to ask about it to our AI-chatbot and here is the answer it gave to us: 

"When using ChatGPT, there isn't a fixed limit on the number of questions you can ask in an hour. You can engage in a conversation and ask as many questions as you need within that time.

 

Keep in mind that it's important to maintain a reasonable pace to allow for smooth interactions and to give the model enough time to generate accurate responses.

 

Enjoy your chat session and feel free to explore different topics and questions"!

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