5 Ways Visiting Adult Websites Is Bad for Your Security & Privacy

Joel Lee 07-12-2015

Pornography addiction is on the rise Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old. For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social... Read More and there are no signs that this trend will end any time soon. But here’s the thing: while pornography is often discussed in the context of morality, there’s a huge security-and-privacy angle that tends to get overlooked.

And if you think that these issues won’t ever affect you, you may want to reconsider. Even the most vigilant security experts can make mistakes, and one mistake could be all it takes to ruin your life. That might sound alarmist, but it’s unfortunately true.

The important thing is awareness and humility. If you know what to look out for, and if you aren’t so confident as to think these things could never happen to you, the safer you’ll be.

1. User Tracking & Profiles

Did you know that agencies can track where you go on the Web? They can also track things like which actions you take and which links interest you the most — and using this data, they can build profiles on you What Is a Website Cookie? How Cookies Affect Your Online Privacy You've heard of internet cookies, but what exactly are they? What do they have to do with your privacy? Here's what you need to know. Read More .


These profiles are usually innocent and marketing-related (e.g. to only show advertisements that you’ll find relevant to your interests), but the scary thing is that these profiles can be used to compile your browsing history. In the context of adult sites, this may make you uneasy.

Online tracking can be subverted with methods like private “Incognito” browsing, clearing out browser cookies, and installing anti-tracking extensions, but nowadays even these tactics may not be enough.

2. Data Leaks & Breaches

One visit to a bad adult website could result in you being blackmailed or extorted — and I’m not just talking about victimization by revenge porn 5 Life-Ruining Ways You Can Be Victimized Online The Internet is not as anonymous as you might think it is. If somebody wants to find out who you are and where you live, the tiniest bit of information can lead back to you... Read More . Whether it’s an actual porn site or something more innocent like an online dating site, your history could be used against you.

Just ask all of the users who trusted Ashley Madison. When this online cheating site had their database hacked and released to the public, millions of cases of infidelity came to light. Not only that, but the released information included things like sexual preferences and geographical data.


Due to all of this, some people have faced so much humiliation that they’ve been driven to the brink of suicide. Others have had to deal with blackmail and sextortion, while some have even had their lives threatened.

It gets worse. Earlier this year, AdultFriendFinder’s database was breached and nearly 4 million subscribers had their information leaked, leaving them susceptible to digital identity theft. It’s bad enough when your Target account gets hacked. This is a hundred times worse.

Note: Worried that your identity may have been stolen? Here are the most important warning signs of identity theft 6 Warning Signs Of Digital Identity Theft You Shouldn't Ignore Identity theft isn't too rare of an occurrence these days, yet we often fall into the trap of thinking that it'll always happen to "someone else". Don't ignore the warning signs. Read More to be aware of. If something seems fishy, don’t hesitate!

3. Scammers & Fraudsters

Scams are another common sight when adult websites are concerned, and people who willingy pay for porn are especially susceptible to the trickery that awaits behind every link.

With so much porn freely available on the Web, you might be wondering why anyone would ever pay for it. The truth is that most porn buyers are those who seek very specific, very niche categories — and these are so rare that they’re worth paying for.


This also means that there are plenty of scammers who will gladly capitalize on these insatiable desires. Once you’re lured in by cheap or free trials, these scam subscriptions will automatically renew at exorbitant rates. Suddenly, you’re blindsided with a $120 bill every month.

But ransomware is even scarier. While browing an adult site, you may become infected with malware that locks down your computer and threatens to do something you wouldn’t want (e.g. release your porn history to the public, report you to the FBI for child pornography, etc) unless you pay the fee of a few hundred dollars.

4. Malware

We already mentioned ransomware above, but malware as a whole is one of the more serious issues you could encounter when browsing adult websites. (It’s also a risk when you visit any website that deals in illegal activity, like pirating and warez. Pirating TV shows like Game of Thrones can also give you malware.)

The thing about malware is that the adult websites themselves aren’t distributing said malware. They want users to return and keep using their websites, so it doesn’t really make sense to put their reputations on the line for a quick buck. Legitimate adult websites aren’t out to get you.


However, there’s something called malvertising, and this is the real issue. In short, malware is more commonly distributed through advertising networks. One bad click here or there and you could end up downloading a virus, Trojan, worm, or whatever else Viruses, Spyware, Malware, etc. Explained: Understanding Online Threats When you start to think about all the things that could go wrong when browsing the Internet, the web starts to look like a pretty scary place. Read More is out there. Malvertising also poses a big security risk on mobile devices 5 Mobile Security Risks That Could Spoil Your Fun in 2019 Is your Android mobile safe from security risks? No. Here are the key mobile security risks to look out for this year. Read More .

5. Legal Consequences

People who visit adult websites could find themselves in legal trouble if they aren’t careful. Child pornography is rampant and the problem is only getting worse. But even as someone who has absolutely no intention of participating, child porn could affect you.

On the one hand, it seems that browser cache files don’t count as possession, so viewing something illegal online won’t also count as possession of that media even though a copy of that file does reside on your computer. However, illegal files can still find their way onto your system by other means.


Back in 2010, criminals stored their child pornography on the computers of unsuspecting innocents through the use of a virus. If you were infected, your computer would have child porn on it without you even realizing it — and the scary thing is, the “I didn’t know” defense is what a real pedophile would say.

If you were to catch this kind of malware from an adult website today, you could lose years of your life to prison.

As for people who get their adult content through filesharing sites, you could end up being sued for copyright infringement. This is also a potential issue if you access adult content with a torrent-streaming method like Popcorn Time Is Popcorn Time Safe? How to Watch Safely Popcorn Time is illegal. If you're thinking of using it, here are several things you should know before you put yourself at risk. Read More .

Adult Websites Are Risky

The next time you’re thinking about visiting an adult website — or any website that deals with sketchy subjects — you may want to reconsider. At the very least, keep up to date with the latest scams, regularly scan for viruses and infections, and install a trusted real-time security suite.

Wondering which companies you can really trust? Take a look at these companies that don’t really care about your security Behind the Mask: 4 Companies That Don't Really Care About Your Security Nearly every company says they care about your privacy and security. Here are some examples that show otherwise. Read More . And watch out for root certificates What Is a Root Certificate and How Can It Be Used to Spy on You? A root certificate is an integral aspect of internet security. But what happens when a government misuses it to spy on you? Read More on any sites you browse.

Image Credits: Privacy Settings by David Molina G via Shutterstock, Hook Through Credit Cards by wk1003mike via Shutterstock, Man Behind Bars by BortN66 via Shutterstock

Related topics: Online Privacy, Online Security, Pornography.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. How not
    June 22, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t understand how so many sites can have sketchy content on them without there being a way to report the site. I’m just trying to find porn, but I’m tired of pornhub and the normal mainstream sites. But it seems like any other site I go to just has a list of links for stuff that doesn’t sound legal at all. How can there not be a way to report sites like these? What can I do to defend myself if someone (law) tries to say I went to these site FOR those links? I’ve googled multiple times how to report a site for illegal content, but I can’t find much help, and now I’m not even sure if I want to because I don’t want to be associated with that stuff.

    I don’t want my name to be on some list because I stumbled across a sketchy website. I don’t want law enforcement to associate my name with that kind of content, but I want to report it somehow... How is there not an easy way to do that yet??

  2. Sara R.Iniguez
    June 10, 2018 at 4:30 am

    You can bring happiness and peace in your life, an adult friend.
    Want to have friends like mind?Want to spend some time with whom?
    Click the link below- Let's chat some time.Let's play some body.
    That is peace.Anyway, you can come back from my website - and
    look at some real stories of young girls in the area.If you want to join them,
    click the link below.

  3. Sara R.Iniguez
    June 10, 2018 at 4:30 am

    One of the most popular websites in the world is 'Adul Friend' ...
    you can talk to one another as a friend. Many people from this
    site have found their life partner. The great combination of Adult
    Friends on this site.

  4. Charlie parson
    August 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I've been threatened with police and court and Interpol and fines, this is not what I thought I was signing for, I was look for other musicians to meet and it went straight to a date sight

  5. Lumi
    May 18, 2017 at 5:35 am


    I used to watch porno from different sources and sometimes they were attacking me with different viruses and forcing me to click something so I can save my pc. I never did it, I just found a way to switch of my pc.

    Could you please tell me how high is the possibility that they have me and my banking details in controle?

    I used my banking details only in Amazon, is there a chance that they may have my banking details?

    Is there something that I can do to make sure that I am not in danger?

    Thank you very much.


    • salma
      July 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      equired fields are marked *


  6. Lumi
    May 18, 2017 at 5:28 am


    I used to watch porno from different sources.
    I always had strange SMS tellin me to click so I can save my Pc. I also had attacks from viruses that obligates me to click something but I never did it, I just switched off my pc.

    Could you please tell me how high is the possibility that they may have my banking details, or also my wife's banking details?

    Is there a possibility that they one day may take all my money?

    I put my banking details only to Amazon, could there be a danger?

    Thanks a lot

  7. Bobby
    December 25, 2016 at 4:09 am

    I recently was contacted by google that an "Agency" if sorts requested history if my "unusual web activity" from my smart phone... Google asked me to us "My Drive Ap" to delete the files from my phone.. I did what they asked.. And deleted them. Yes, I have visited adult content web sites... I do not visit child pornography sites. When I visited any site... If I noticed anything that could be underage.. I left that sight immediately..It appears that my phone may be being tracked etc ..What government or law enforcement agency can I contact to find out what I need to do and cooperate with? I know it's embarrassing to say I have visited adult porn sites.. However I am not a bad person ....

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    July 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm

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  9. diane
    June 4, 2016 at 3:42 am

    I just like to watch, never downloaded anything. This world is a scary place

  10. Anonymous
    December 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I Received Lots Of Spam Emails Trying To Blackmail Me For Using ASHLEY MADISON.

    Does That Count ?


    • Joel Lee
      December 9, 2015 at 4:18 am

      Ha, yeah that would count. Sorry that you have to deal with that. Must be a nuisance.

      • Anonymous
        December 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

        Not Really, Look At My UserName.

        Including Newsletters And Spam, I Receive Thousands Of Emails Every Single Week.

        Thank You For Responding.

  11. yq
    December 8, 2015 at 8:24 am

    usually I use incognito mode in addition to VPN and mcafee site advisor, it is slow because am using free VPN but I had no problems since I started doing that.

  12. DannyG
    December 8, 2015 at 12:45 am

    I was watching a web site from russia streaming pirated playboy channel . The quality was great, but one day I surfed in and it tried to take over my computer. Good thing I was using Chrome. The web site crashed it, but wasn't able to penetrate the rest of the computer. I just unplugged the computer and restarted and everything is fine.

  13. Anonymous
    December 8, 2015 at 12:15 am

    "If you were to catch this kind of malware from an adult website today, you could lose years of your life to prison."
    Child pornography can be downloaded to your PC from any site used by criminals, not just adult sites. I'm surprised that there hasn't been a spate of malware installing child pornography. Or maybe there has been but it has not been widely publicized.

    • Joel Lee
      December 9, 2015 at 4:17 am

      "Child pornography can be downloaded to your PC from any site used by criminals, not just adult sites."
      Yup, true! I'm also surprised that CP viruses aren't rampant across the web, but I'm also glad that they aren't. Let's hope it stays that way.

  14. Anon
    December 7, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Will anyone admit here to using these sites or being caught out by any of the issues you mention here? I wonder..,

    • Anony Mouse
      September 23, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      So much bullshit. Been using all porn sites of all kinds for over 22 years, yes from 1996. Zero viruses from porn sites. Meanwhile, Google has been tracking everything I do online ever since they started. Who's the crook?