It’s hard to get a clear number when looking for the exact percentage of internet traffic that porn and adult content account for. In 2015, there were at least 2 billion online searches for porn. Perhaps the most shocking statistic comes from Statista, which is that 20 percent of mobile searches are for porn content. Regardless of the exact number or percentage, there are tons of people browsing porn sites at any moment. PornHub releases statistics every year about how many visitors it receives and which categories were the most popular. In 2018, PornHub received 33.5 billion visitors, which is around 92 million visitors per day. While PornHub may be a recognized and well-established name in the industry, there are a number of shady sites out there that could be collected your data and sharing it with advertisers or using it for other purposes.
You may have heard that porn websites are full of viruses and malware and if you visit them you’re likely to end up with an infected computer. However, this really isn’t true. Adult websites, just like most other websites, make their money from advertising. PornHub operates much like YouTube, in that it hosts tons of video content and monetizes its site with display ads and pre-roll ads that play before the videos on the site.
How to Browse Adult Websites Securely
Use a Separate Browser for Adult Websites
If you’re trying to keep certain browsing activity private, one of the best ways to do so is by using a separate browser for just that activity. For example, if you use Chrome for most of your browsing, you could use Firefox specifically for browsing that you’d like to keep private. This way, if you share a computer, you don’t have to worry about clearing your history because any other users will use your main browser. If you have specific activity you want to hide, another perk of using an alternative browser is that many private browsers have features built in to protect your private information. Firefox, for example, has built in tracker blockers which make it difficult for trackers to follow you from one website to another.
Hide Your IP Address with a VPN
Even if you use your browser’s “incognito” or “private-browsing” mode, the websites you visit can still see your IP address. A VPN can help minimize the information that an adult website can collect about you. A VPN can help you get around any content blocking that your network may have, and will prevent the website you’re visiting from knowing where you’re located. It’s important to choose a well-established and reputable VPN provider when relying on it to keep your browsing private. If you’re using a VPN to visit porn sites because privacy matters to you, it’s important that your VPN adheres to a strict no-logging policy. If your VPN is collecting information about your browsing, it eliminates much of the privacy you may think it delivers.
Read More: The Best VPNs for Privacy in 2019
Use an Ad Blocker
Although adult websites use the same types of advertisements as regular websites, there is some additional risk. Ad networks like Google have strict content filters that won’t let their ads run on sites that deal with adult content, like porn and gambling. So porn sites use other online ad providers that don’t have the same strict content guidelines or rules. The ad networks on adult websites have content guidelines, but allow a broader range of advertisers to run ads. The ads themselves may be harmless but they could take you to a website that could try to collect your private information via phishing or other social engineering method. If you block ads on these websites you will be less likely to fall victim to any harmful ads or ads that lead to illegitimate websites.
Read More: Best Ad Blockers for Chrome
Only Visit Safe Adult Sites
There are literally millions of porn websites on the internet that host adult content. While many of these sites may appear to be the same, the security from one site to another can be very different. Use tools like tracker blockers and adblockers to keep dangerous scripts and content from loading on these pages. Another important step is to never download content from a website unless it’s a trusted site. Adult content can contain viruses or malware that could infect your computer.
Tools to Hide Your Search History
Search Encrypt is available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. It works by encrypting your search terms locally for added privacy. Search Encrypt is a private search engine that uses perfect forward secrecy to make sure only you can see what you’re searching for. Search Encrypt is made specifically to protect your privacy online. It doesn’t track your search history in any user identifiable way. Similar to how you could use a separate browser for your adult searches, you could use a separate search engine like Search Encrypt for any searches you’d like to keep private. Try the Search Encrypt Chrome Extension!
Online pornography is generally legal, however there are a number of exceptions. If getting caught with porn in your browser history or on your computer could lead to legal penalties or losing your job, it’s important that you take your browsing privacy seriously. We don’t advocate for anyone to do anything illegal. If what you’re doing is legal, but you want to keep your activity private, these steps are a good place to start.