5 things you must not share with AI chatbots

The popularity of AI chatbots has increased. While their capabilities are impressive, it’s important to recognize that chatbots aren’t flawless. There are inherent risks associated with using AI chatbots, such as privacy issues and potential cyberattacks. It is essential to be careful when interacting with chatbots.



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Let’s explore the potential risks of sharing information with AI chatbots and see what types of information shouldn’t be disclosed to them.



The risks associated with using AI chatbots

A pensive woman with binary numbers on her face looks into the distance

The privacy risks and vulnerabilities associated with AI chatbots present significant security concerns for users. It might surprise you, but your friendly chat buddies like ChatGPT, Bard, Bing AI and others can inadvertently expose your personal information online. These chatbots rely on AI language models, which derive insights from your data.

For example, the current version of Google’s chatbot, Bard, explicitly states on its FAQ page that it collects and uses conversation data to train its model. Similarly, ChatGPT also has privacy concerns as it can keep records of the chat for model improvement. But it provides an option to opt out.

Since AI chatbots store data on servers, they become vulnerable to hacking attempts. These servers contain a large amount of information that cybercriminals can exploit in various ways. They can infiltrate servers, steal data and sell it on dark web marketplaces. Also, hackers can use this data to crack your passwords and gain unauthorized access to your devices.

ChatGPT Privacy Policies FAQ

Image Credits: OpenAI FAQ

Furthermore, the data generated by your interactions with AI chatbots is not limited to just the respective companies. While claiming that the data is not sold for advertising or marketing purposes, it is shared with certain third parties for system maintenance needs.

OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, acknowledges that it shares data with “a select group of trusted service providers” and that some “authorized OpenAI personnel” may have access to the data. These practices raise additional security concerns surrounding AI chatbot interactions, as critics argue that the security issues of generative AI could be made worse.

Therefore, safeguarding personal information from AI chatbots is crucial to maintaining your privacy.

What not to share with AI chatbots?

To ensure your privacy and security, it’s essential to follow these five best practices when interacting with AI chatbots.

1. Financial details

Can cybercriminals use AI chatbots like ChatGPT to hack your bank account? With the widespread use of AI chatbots, many users have turned to these language models for financial advice and personal finance management. While they can improve financial literacy, it’s vital to understand the potential dangers of sharing financial details with AI chatbots.

When you use chatbots as financial advisors, you risk exposing your financial information to potential cybercriminals who could use it to drain your accounts. Despite companies claiming to anonymize conversation data, third parties and some employees may still have access to it. This raises concerns about profiling, where your financial data could be used for malicious purposes such as ransomware campaigns or sold to marketing agencies.

To protect your financial information from AI chatbots, you need to be aware of what you share with these generative AI models. It is advisable to limit your interactions to gathering general information and asking general questions. If you need personalized financial advice, there may be better options than relying solely on AI bots. They can provide inaccurate or misleading information, potentially putting your hard-earned money at risk. Instead, consider seeking advice from a licensed financial advisor who can provide reliable, personalized guidance.

2. Your personal and intimate thoughts

Hacker typing on a keyboard while hacking into a system

Many users turn to AI chatbots to seek therapy, unaware of the potential consequences for their mental well-being. Understanding the dangers of disclosing personal and intimate information to these chatbots is essential.

First, chatbots lack real-world knowledge and can only offer generic answers to mental health-related questions. This means that the medicines or treatments they suggest may not be appropriate for your specific needs and could harm your health.

Additionally, sharing personal thoughts with AI chatbots raises significant privacy concerns. Your privacy may be compromised as your secrets and intimate thoughts may be leaked online. Malicious individuals could use this information to spy on you or sell your data on the dark web. Therefore, safeguarding the privacy of personal thoughts when interacting with AI chatbots is of utmost importance.

It is vital to approach AI chatbots as tools for general information and support rather than as a substitute for professional therapy. If you require mental health counseling or treatment, it is always advisable to consult a qualified mental health professional. They can provide personalized and reliable guidance while prioritizing your privacy and well-being.

3. Confidential Workplace Information

Data theft concept illustration
Image credits: Freepik

Another mistake users need to avoid when interacting with AI chatbots is sharing sensitive work-related information. Even major tech giants like Apple, Samsung, JPMorgan, and Google, the creator of Bard, have barred their employees from using AI chatbots in the workplace.

A Bloomberg report highlighted a case where Samsung employees used ChatGPT for coding purposes and inadvertently uploaded sensitive code to the AI ​​platform. This incident resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information about Samsung, prompting the company to impose a ban on the use of AI chatbots. As a developer seeking assistance from AI to fix coding issues, this is why you shouldn’t trust AI chatbots like ChatGPT with sensitive information. It is essential to be careful when sharing sensitive code or work-related details.

Similarly, many employees rely on AI chatbots to summarize meeting minutes or automate repetitive tasks, at the risk of unintentionally exposing sensitive data. Therefore, maintaining the privacy of confidential work information and refraining from sharing it with AI chatbots is of utmost importance.

Users can safeguard their sensitive information and protect their organizations from inadvertent data loss or data breaches by considering the risks associated with sharing work-related data.

4. Passwords

An illustrated image of characters protecting data under the GDPR

Image credits: pch.vector/Freepik

It is crucial to stress that sharing passwords online, even with language patterns, is strictly prohibited. These models store your data on public servers and disclosing your passwords puts your privacy at risk. If your server is breached, hackers can access and exploit your passwords for financial damage.

A significant data breach involving ChatGPT occurred in May 2022, raising serious concerns about the security of chatbot platforms. Also, ChatGPT has been banned in Italy due to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Italian regulators deemed the AI ​​chatbot non-compliant with privacy laws, highlighting data breach risks on the platform. As a result, it becomes crucial to protect your login credentials from AI chatbots.

By refraining from sharing your passwords with these chatbot templates, you can proactively safeguard your personal information and reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyber threats. Remember, protecting your login credentials is an essential step in maintaining your online privacy and security.

5. Residence data and other personal data

It is important to refrain from sharing personally identifiable information (PII) with AI chatbots. PII includes sensitive data that can be used to identify or locate you, including your location, Social Security number, date of birth and health information. Ensuring the privacy of personal and residential details when interacting with AI chatbots should be a top priority.

To maintain the privacy of your personal data when interacting with AI chatbots, here are some key practices to follow:

  • Familiarize yourself with chatbot privacy policies to understand the associated risks.
  • Avoid asking questions that could inadvertently reveal your identity or personal information.
  • Be careful and refrain from sharing your medical information with AI bots.
  • Be aware of potential vulnerabilities in your data when using AI chatbots on social platforms like SnapChat.

Avoid oversharing with AI chatbots

In conclusion, while chatbot AI technology offers significant advances, it also presents serious privacy risks. Protecting your data by controlling shared information is crucial when interacting with AI chatbots. Remain vigilant and adhere to best practices to mitigate potential risks and ensure privacy.

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