Is Pornhub Safe? How to Use Pornhub Safely in 2024

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Updated on: May 21, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Updated on: May 21, 2024 Senior Writer

Even though Pornhub is considered one of the safest adult websites in the world, it’s far from being completely secure. If you browse Pornhub unsafely, you leave yourself open to phishing scams, malware infections, data breaches, and privacy concerns.

The only reliable way to protect yourself from the slew of dangers on Pornhub is to install a good antivirus. I tested dozens of antiviruses to find the best ones for safely browsing Pornhub. I found that Norton is the best for the task, thanks to its powerful malware scanner and excellent web protection. Since it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, you can try it out risk-free.

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What Are the Risks of Using Pornhub?

Understanding risks posed by using Pornhub is crucial for protecting yourself, as it allows you to take proactive steps to safeguard your personal information and maintain your online security.

1. Malware Infections

While it’s rare that you get malware just by clicking a video on Pornhub, it is still a possibility. Not only that, but it’s extremely common for the ads and free downloadable content to be laced with all sorts of threats.

By accidentally opening one of these ads, you run the risk of contracting a virus, a trojan, adware, or pretty much any form of online threat (the only thing you won’t get is the 25 hot singles in your area that you were advertised!).

After your device gets infected, hackers can harvest your data, or infect you with more devastating malware, like ransomware that encrypts and steals your data or laterally moving viruses that cripple your network.

While you can dodge most Pornhub malware by avoiding the temptation of clicking on any ads or pop-ups (no matter how much the ad says it will enlarge it), the only way to completely protect yourself is to install a good antivirus with a high malware detection rating and excellent real-time protection. I recommend a proven antivirus like Norton or Bitdefender since they both consistently detected and removed 100% of the malware samples I used in my tests.

2. Phishing Scams

Criminals target Pornhub users with phishing scams using a wide variety of methods.

Anyone who registers an account on Pornhub may receive emails that appear to be from Pornhub but are actually from hackers. These emails might ask users to confirm their account details, claim they’re owed a refund, or offer exclusive videos that direct the user to phishing sites where their information can be stolen.

You also run the risk of any website you visit after clicking on an ad or pop-up being a phishing scheme disguised as a legitimate business. These illegitimate websites are designed to trick you into giving the criminal your personal information and financial details.

Sometimes the pop-ups warn you that your device has a virus and you need to “click here” to get it fixed. My recommendation? Always consider these pop-ups to be scams and avoid opening them under any circumstances.

The best way to protect yourself against phishing scams is to get an antivirus with quality web protection tools like Norton. Norton offers a browser extension that automatically blocks phishing websites and a secure browser that offers more phishing protection than any regular browser’s built-in security features. That said, it isn’t the only option out there — Bitdefender’s browser extension also performed very well in my tests.

3. Privacy Concerns

All free porn apps, even Pornhub, raise pretty serious privacy concerns that you should take seriously.

Pornhub collects data on your browsing habits, video preferences, and watch time to sell to various companies. Plus, even though Pornhub automatically encrypts data, there’s always the risk of a data leak (see below). Pornhub doesn’t have the best history with managing customer data either; in 2023, it was accused of illegally collecting customer data in the EU.

While the website states that it hasn’t sold data in more than a year, you can proactively opt out of all data collection by emailing support@pornhub.com and requesting that they stop, but that requires you to place your trust in Pornhub. Usually, the best way to stop a company from collecting your data is with a secure VPN that encrypts all outgoing information from your network. My favorite is ExpressVPN, which offers super fast speeds and great security features.

4. Risk of Data Leaks

Porn websites, including Pornhub, have a history of having their servers breached by hackers. While Pornhub is safer than most, it has been the victim of a data breach in the past and could be again. Any personally identifiable information (PII) that you give to Pornhub, like your email address and financial information, carries a risk of being involved in a data breach.

Once a criminal obtains your data, they can use it to craft complex phishing schemes that are tailor-made to exploit you. If a hacker obtains sensitive information, like your sexual preferences, they could even leverage it against you to blackmail you.

If you believe you may have been the victim of a data breach, the best thing to do is to use identity monitoring tools like Norton LifeLock to search for brokerages on the dark web bartering your data. If Norton does find any data breaches, it provides assistance in getting it taken down.

Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

Rest assured that despite the risks stated above, it is totally possible to enjoy using Pornhub safely if you take the right precautions. Here are my top tips:

1. Install a Good Quality Antivirus

The easiest way to protect yourself against Pornhub malware is by using quality antivirus software. An antivirus’s job is to meticulously scan through every file on your system and search for all types of malware, like viruses, trojans, rootkits, adware, and a lot more.

Look for an antivirus with a rigorously tested malware scanner. The best antiviruses, like Norton and Bitdefender, use a combination of traditional signature detection and artificial intelligence to root out and destroy even the most complex threats.

Real-time protection is also a must-have since it blocks malware before it gets a chance to infect your device. When I’m surfing Pornhub (for work-related reasons, of course!), I make sure that I keep my antivirus real-time protection turned on, and I encourage you to do the same.

After installing your antivirus, the first thing you should do is run a full scan of your system. Using Norton as an example:

  1. Open Device Security.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

  1. Click on Security, then Scans.
  2. Choose the Full Scan option.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

  1. Verify your decision.

The scan should take around 45 minutes, so sit tight. After it’s done, you’ll be shown a list of any threats the antivirus found. Go through the list and remove any malware that Norton flagged. Advanced users can look through the quarantined files to make sure nothing important was flagged, but beginners should trust their antivirus’s judgment and get rid of every dangerous file.

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2. Be Wary of Phishing Scams

One common phishing scam on Pornhub occurs when hackers send you a message through the platform itself, encouraging you to click on a link to talk to them more. Another method criminals use is to send you emails with malicious attachments, encouraging you to download them and fill out a form with your personal information. They may pose as Pornhub employees, offering a refund or claiming you have a (fake) charge on your card. Remember that Pornhub employees will never reach out to you first.

Verify the authenticity of anyone who sends you a message by checking out their social media accounts, reverse Google searching their image, and verifying the legitimacy of their claims. If anything feels strange about a message, block the sender and report them.

3. Use Web Protection Software

Web protection software scans every website and link you visit for threats. Norton Safe Web, for example, works by analyzing websites before you visit them and comparing them against a massive list of known suspicious websites. If any threats are detected, it prevents you from entering the site before you can accidentally harm yourself.

I had no problems setting it up and immediately found several ads on Pornhub that Norton blocked me from viewing.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

Norton Safe Web also scans attachments in your email before you open them, making sure there isn’t malware lingering inside.

4. Follow Healthy Browsing Habits

A great way to reduce the chances of running into any threats on Pornhub is to follow healthy browsing habits. To start, avoid clicking on pop-ups, banner ads, links, or any free downloadable content, as these are the most likely hiding places for malware and phishing scams.

Be particularly cautious around downloadable content, especially on adult websites. If you’re ever unsure whether a link is safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and either ignore it or use a link-checking tool like Norton Safe Web.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

If you have a Pornhub account (for writing comments, I know, I know), make sure you’re using a strong, unique password that can’t easily be guessed. I recommend using a password manager like 1Password for this.

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5. Use a VPN

A VPN is a great tool for mitigating the privacy risks that come with Pornhub. The purpose of a VPN is to encrypt your outgoing data, rendering it unreadable by anyone collecting it. Neither hackers nor Pornhub itself will be able to harvest your information and sell it to a third party.

I recommend installing and setting up a quality VPN with secure encryption, high speeds, and a no-logs policy (meaning the company doesn’t keep records of your data). ExpressVPN is a solid option for users concerned about their privacy since it provides military-grade encryption, full leak protection, and a kill switch (automatically turns off your Wi-Fi if your VPN disconnects).

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6. Use an Ad Blocker

Having a good ad blocker is a surprisingly effective way of avoiding dangerous websites. The vast majority of threats on Pornhub linger in the pop-up ads that invade your screen and bait you into clicking on them. I’d say you should do your best to avoid clicking on them, but ads on Pornhub can be invasive and not have any obvious means of closing them while they block your video. Making matters worse, new ads can populate every time you pause your video.

Simply installing a good ad blocker is enough to prevent you from being bombarded by a series of perilous pop-ups. The best ones won’t just block pop-up ads and banners; they’ll stop you from seeing video ads entirely. With an ad blocker, you’ll be able to enjoy the dense plot and deep lore of your favorite Pornhub videos without being assaulted by phishing scams.

Several good VPNs, including ExpressVPN, have built-in ad blockers that work great at blocking Pornhub ads.

Tips for Using Pornhub Securely

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get viruses from Pornhub?

Yes, in fact, it’s pretty easy to get viruses from Pornhub. Free adult websites typically rely on shady third-party companies to purchase advertisement space, and Pornhub is no different. This means that the ads you see could be laced with viruses that can infect your computer the moment you click on them.

The worst part is that ads on Pornhub can’t usually be ignored, since they populate every time you pause a video or refresh, or they simply can’t be closed at all (like with some banner ads). Since the danger is always present, the only way you can reliably protect yourself is by using an antivirus with a proven malware detection rating.

How did I get infected by Pornhub malware?

Getting infected by malware from Pornhub typically occurs when you interact with malicious ads or download infected files. While Pornhub itself aims to be secure, third-party ads and links might not be as safe, which means you need to exercise a lot of caution before clicking on them. It’s possible that you contracted malware through Pornhub itself, but this is extremely rare. More than likely, you clicked on an ad or a pop-up and weren’t aware that it infected your device until it was too late.

Regardless of how you contracted malware from Pornhub, you need to get rid of it before the situation gets worse, and you can do this by installing a good antivirus and running a full scan of your computer. An antivirus like Norton will comb through every file on your system and safely remove every threat it finds.

Are ads on Pornhub safe?

Ads on Pornhub aren’t as unsafe as they used to be, but there’s still a very real danger when you click on one. If you notice anything about the ad that appears suspicious, such as it alerting you to a virus or trying to sell you a clear scam product, avoid clicking on it at all costs.

The easiest way to avoid all ads on Pornhub is to use a quality ad blocker. After all, you can’t click on an ad if you can’t see it in the first place. I also recommend installing an antivirus with a good web protection extension like Norton Safe Search. It automatically scans dangerous websites and prevents you from accessing them if it detects any threats.

Do all free porn sites have risks?

Yes, every porn website carries the same risks. If anything, Pornhub is one of the safest porn websites in the industry, and even it hosts a scary number of threats. I can’t stress enough that if you’re on any adult website, you should always follow my tips for safe browsing.  

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About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer
Updated on: May 21, 2024

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."