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Is Threads safe? What you need to know

We cover the key information on the platforms safety
Last Updated on July 7, 2023
Is threads safe? - Threads Logo on backdrop
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Meta Threads – the new Twitter rival app – is here, and you’re understandably wondering Is Threads safe? It’s always good to consider the security of a new platform, even from established companies. Usually, there are two major factors to consider, and we’ll look at both here and their underlying considerations. Read on as we look at the safety of Instagram Threads from Meta.

Threads owner Meta is a huge social media company and has firmly established platforms, on both Facebook and Instagram. The benefit of such a public and high-profile company producing a new platform is clear – accountability. When asking “Is Threads safe?”, that’s an important point to bear in mind as it should offer some assurance to users.

Is Threads safe? Terms of Service

If you’re an existing Meta, or specifically Instagram, user then there’s nothing to suggest that Threads will be less safe. In fact, checking out Threads’ Terms of Service reveals that it shares its key Terms of Use with Instagram – in fact, it links directly to that page. The Terms of Use covers how users cannot use the Threads service, and (among other things) this includes:

“You can’t do anything unlawful, misleading, or fraudulent or for an illegal or unauthorized purpose.

Such standard terms should help to make Threads a safe place for users based on existing standards from Instagram. In addition, Threads’ Terms of Service states users cannot exploit Threads for commercial use or introduce elements like viruses or trojans, thwart Thread’s content protections, or copy or collect information or data from the service. All in all, we can say Threads appears as safe as Instagram in this regard.

Is Threads safe? Use and users

Given that Threads safety standards take Instagram’s own as its defacto template, use, and user interactions, would have to adhere to the same standards or face action from Meta. As the app is so new, it is unclear how or whether user safety would be impacted in a new or specific way on Threads. But, while it may experience fake or bot accounts (as with other platforms), there is no indication that it is unsafe for users.

Meta Threads privacy concerns

Due to concerns over data privacy, Threads will not be launching in the EU. There is no word on whether that may change. This is because of privacy laws put in place by the bloc, but it is actually Meta that is choosing not to launch – rather than the EU blocking it from doing so.

Data privacy does fall under safety for many, especially if it falls into the wrong hands, and it is something Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently highlighted when looking at Threads too. In a tweet featuring a screengrab, presumably from Dorsey’s own iPhone, a ‘Data Linked to You’ screen can be seen, with the statement: “The following data may be collected and linked to your identity”. The list of data is

  • Health and Fitness
  • Financial Info
  • Contact Info
  • User Content
  • Browsing History
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics
  • Putchases
  • Location
  • Contacts
  • Search History
  • Identifiers
  • Sensitive Info
  • Other Data

Threads age requirement

Importantly, Meta’s Instagram platform has an age requirement of 13 years old for account holders. Everyone on the service is required to be that age or have their account managed by a parent or guardian if younger. Threads appears to follow this approach as the app is rated 12+ on the Apple App Store, while ‘parental guidance’ is advised on Google’s Play Store.

Meta Threads privacy policy

How does Meta Threads privacy policy compare to Twitters? How does it compare to Instagram’s for that matter? Well, Threads privacy policy reads that “Threads is provided by Meta Platforms, Inc. (“Meta”, “we”, “our” or “us”) and is part of Instagram.” so presumably their policy is a proxy of their parent companies existing legal framework. Indeed there are multiple references to how Instagram and Threads share some identical policies, with Facebook included. For example, Instagram uses “the information [they] collect for Threads for the purposes described in the Meta Privacy Policy”.

Is Threads safe? Kevin’s view

There is nothing to suggest Threads is unsafe. Questions around safety will always arise with new platforms but Threads is built on a foundation of Instagram and Meta’s existing parameters. With any platform, it is best to avoid anything you feel is unsafe or that you do not want to engage with.

Overall, if you are happy with the Terms of Use and Meta’s data policies, Threads should feel as safe as Facebook or Instagram.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.