ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by Open AI under the Former CEO, Sam Altman. It is also known as the “Google Killer”. Using the concept of LLM (Large Language Models), which is a part of Natural Language Processing, this bot was named “Chat” describing it as an AI chatbot and “GPT” being the LLM architecture with which it was developed in called as Generative Pre-trained Transformer.
Similar to any chatbot, ChatGPT responds depending on the prompts given to it. As OpenAI has mentioned earlier GPT 3 has been trained on 175 billion parameters and GPT 4 has been trained on 1.76 trillion parameters.
With ChatGPT trained using the websites available in Google, it facilitates not only as a chatbot but also a very quick way to explain anything simply instead of searching in Google. But, this comes with a caveat as it has its problems with inaccurate responses and also, being possibility of committing some morally questionable acts.
This is a question many people ask due to their concerns about how the ChatGPT security measures have been implemented. In short, yes it is quite dangerous not only due to the questionable user privacy management but also due to constant news of data breaches and some information of the ChatGPT plus users being compromised and complicit in passing on potentially harmful information.
Some harmful information which can be used to harm people out of malice can be sought out using ChatGPT. In fact, several researchers warned OpenAI about how unguarded its system is. In other languages, it is possible to ask ChatGPT how to “build an explosive”.
From all this, it can be safely concluded that ChatGPT security is still a work in progress since it is relatively new on the internet.
As seen earlier, there are quite a lot of security risks when it comes to using ChatGPT. That’s why it is recommended to use an extension such as GPT Guard which guarantees data security to those using it at a reasonable price along with a free 14-day trial period.
Regarding ChatGPT security, it is currently going through a rough patch as every day, several articles are released that raise concerns about the ethicality of the Chatbot and questions about reforms are raised. There are quite some risks that have been exploited by users, some of which can be seen below.
How compromised the user data is when it comes to ChatGPT security has always been subject to various debates. However, there have been instances of data breaches which have come to light that paint a concerning picture of the chatbot. The most famous one though, is the outage of ChatGPT on March 20th, 2023 caused by OpenAi for some “maintenance work”. It was revealed that due to a bug on one of the open-source libraries, in ChatGPT Plus, other users could not only see the first chat prompt of other users (if they were active at the same time) but also the last 4-digits of their credit card.
This compromised their user information, their data and payment information. While OpenAI mentions that the affected parties have been informed, it is important to note that despite what OpenAI suggests, users should find ways to ensure that their data in ChatGPT isn’t vulnerable. This can be done by users using GPT Guard.
How ChatGPT gets its information is subject to debate. However, the parent company OpenAI has not been forthcoming with their responses regarding this. On the tech/coding side, they mentioned that they parsed through websites such as StackOverflow and Reddit to train ChatGPT, there have been numerous instances of ChatGPT where it has been subject to controversy, especially in the writing industry. The source of information for other general topics is questionable at best. This also makes sense regarding the question of the accuracy of ChatGPT’s responses. There have been many instances where ChatGPT has given out very wrong information to users. There has been credible evidence that it has been trained using Google’s database. However, the validity of all the information in Google has been debatable at best.
This has been one of the major concerns/problems since the release of GPT 3. There was an increase in people being duped by Phishing emails or links because scammers were able to use ChatGPT to write professional, convincing Emails to their victims, something which they weren’t able to do earlier. ChatGPT was able to sound “weirdly human” and also quote several laws and actions to make it “look more convincing”. This raises great cause for concern.
Ever since the inception of the hotly debated chatbot, it has been rife with accusations of identity and information theft, accused primarily by writers who felt that their creative sparks were unlawfully fed into the LLM with which it was able to generate content mimicking the original artist. This effect was compounded with various corporations as an effort to cut costs in the creative industry spearheaded the innovation of information gaining with specific prompts, which resulted in a huge lawsuit given by various prominent writers who believed they were getting the short end of the stick. This problem stems from the lack of transparency given by OpenAI about their sources of information.
Here is an example below to show how identity theft can occur.
As seen from the above example, ChatGPT can be used to mimic popular writing styles without consent from writers and mimic their writing style which can be used by impostors to generate false works and steal their identities.
In this day and age, misinformation and hate speech are on the rise as a direct result of several events. Not only this but ChatGPT can be coerced to produce potentially controversial writings which some may use to oppress a minority or vulnerable groups. In some cases for the sake of “humour” some groups can be oppressed using ChatGPT as shown:
Despite the best efforts done by OpenAI to prevent ChatGPT from spreading biased information, with some prompt engineering, information can be divulged.
This can be offensive to some communities.
Now that many are aware of the risks in ChatGPT, there comes the question of how to address the ChatGPT security risks on a micro level, that is on an individual level. As time has passed, there is a general distrust of the major proprietors of the internet, namely, Google, Meta and so on. Hence, there is an increased effort from the users to implement ways to safeguard their privacy. There are some ways OpenAI has been dealing with the ChatGPT security risks. More on that below.
In recent times of using ChatGPT, OpenAI has made it in such a way that users need to constantly re-enter their credentials to authenticate their account after a certain amount of time. From the start, ChatGPT can only be used only if a user has logged in with their account. This ensures that all the user activities and their identities can be monitored by OpenAI.
Another way OpenAI has been dealing with ChatGPT security risks is by making the chatbot refuse to comment about politically charged topics and much more.
Sometimes, they even flag and register user accounts that have prompted potentially dangerous claims and promote hate speech. However, this feature is still a work in progress as researchers have warned that only the English language has been checked to the full extent, leaving different languages as a point of entry for potentially harmful results. Some researchers have pointed out that native African languages are a significant weak point as they haven’t been checked at all for any suspicious activities.
The problems faced by ChatGPT Security leave a lot less to be desired. Most of the problems stem back to the lack of transparency about the work conducted on ChatGPT by OpenAI. Hence, there isn’t much clarity on what’s done to improve ChatGPT security and how it can be made more secure for users. As mentioned earlier, they keep pointing out various bugs causing data leaks in their chatbot which forces them to take ChatGPT down and work on the bugs. One of the most notable examples is the major data leak problem on March 20, 2023, discussed earlier. It was estimated that about 1.2% of ChatGPT Plus users had their payment credentials compromised. The data security aspect in ChatGPT’s security needs to be worked on a lot.
Yes, you can request OpenAI to terminate your account and delete all of your interactions with ChatGPT. On a much smaller scale, to delete only your chats you can click on your profile, go to settings and click “Clear all my chats”.
If you want to go above that and delete your account, you can send a request mail with your account mail ID to the mail “firstname.lastname@example.org” to delete your account and chat history with ChatGPT. The flip side is that this deletion process may take some time, up to 2 weeks maximum.
To stop completely relying on ChatGPT security to keep your sensitive data secure, you can instead subscribe to GPT Guard to keep your information safe.
GPT Guard is an application which ensures that your data with ChatGPT is secure and their security is airtight. You can enjoy the benefits of using ChatGPT without worrying whether your sensitive data is leaked somewhere or sold to an AD company to use your profile for advertisements.
GPT Guard uses the concept of intelligent tokenization, a concept in NLP where words are translated to machine-readable language or “tokens”. This tokenization concept can be further used in cybersecurity as a means of encrypting your data in cyberspace. Using a private key, your sensitive data will be encrypted in such a way that ChatGPT cannot access your sensitive data.
Join GPT Guard and enjoy data privacy for free for 14 days before making your choice. Try GPT Guard for free for 14 days. Try now to learn more.
When it comes to the Internet, security can never be 100% guaranteed, especially with something as big as ChatGPT. So no, ChatGPT isn’t secure.
No. OpenAI is a company, that has created ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a chatbot used for human interactions.
No. You cannot use ChatGPT without an OpenAI account. You can use Copilot (formerly Bing Chat), which uses GPT 4 if you don’t want to register with OpenAI.
Using ChatGPT 3.5 is currently free. However, using OpenAPI is not free. You only get a free trial up to a certain amount exceeding which, you’ll either need to subscribe for more or cancel your subscription.