OnlyFans is an online platform where influencers, celebrities and porn stars share content with their paying fans. However, this platform is all but squeaky-clean. OnlyFans has a shady owner, a history of unreasonable deplatforming, and it actively denies a massive breach of their security.
If you still want to use OnlyFans, either as a creator or as a fan, here are five tips to help you stay safe and anonymous:
- Sign up with an anonymous email account.
- Don’t use personal information in your login details.
- Set up two-factor authentication.
- Change your privacy settings.
- Be careful with what you post.
Want to know what the privacy risks of OnlyFans are for creators and other users? Or would you like more information about this platform and its relation to privacy? Read our full article below!
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, digital products, services, and platforms have grown exponentially. In fact, human behavior related to the digital medium seems to have jumped five years into the future, at least according to this McKinsey survey.
This growth spurt happened in countless corners of the internet, including OnlyFans. OnlyFans boomed during the lockdown and subsequent socially distant periods, its Twitter following alone tripling from April to September 2020. As we’re writing this, OnlyFans is the 422th most accessed website in the whole world. To put that number into perspective, sites like Discord, Deviantart, and Epic Games are lower on the list.
This means that a lot of people are spending time on OnlyFans. And a lot of people are setting up accounts to use it for financial gain. What kind of consequences does this have for their privacy?
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a platform where influencers and celebrities can share private content with their paying follower base. Fans can either see the free content influencers put out, or choose to “unlock” content by paying a certain amount of money per post.
This platform garnered a lot of attention from porn stars and amateur porn personalities that wanted to share exclusive NSFW content with their fans, for a price. It’s what OnlyFans is mostly known for, and it’s the majority of content you’ll see up there.
However, that’s not all there is to OnlyFans. A lot of influencers and celebrities use it to share exclusive information and content with no sexual connotation – it’s a way for fans to get a peek of the life of their adored celebrity. Still, the amount of sexual content on OnlyFans far outweighs the nonsexual content.
We took a deep dive into how OnlyFans operates, what this company’s security measures are, and how safe it actually is, both for paying users and for influencers that want to set up a platform there. Right off the bat, we ran into some shady stuff.
The Shady Ownership of OnlyFans
Leonid Radvinsky is a Ukrainian-American porn entrepreneur with a history of lawsuits and a lot of allegations of theft and fraud. He’s also the owner of OnlyFans, among a lot of other similar platforms that are heavily focused on porn-related content.
This isn’t the full story, however. Firstly, most of his lawsuits and legal troubles (as well as some pricey settlements out of court) date back to the early 2000s. Lately, Radvinsky hasn’t run into legal trouble. Secondly, OnlyFans has a lot of security features to protect both fans and content producers, so we can’t automatically assume that OnlyFans is a ‘bad’ platform purely because of the past actions of its owner.
That being said, it’s not like Radvinsky’s businesses are squeaky clean. If you want to look into his background, we recommend reading this investigative piece by ForensicNews. It talks about the history of the OnlyFans’ creator and documents some more recent problems with the company. These recent problems are important because they mean that OnlyFans isn’t completely safe.
Security and Privacy Breaches
Back in March, 1.4 terabytes of content from OnlyFans was leaked on a cloud storage platform, making a lot of that exclusive content public. During times of security breaches and leaks, the stance of a company matters a lot. It’s a point of reference for how the company treats its security and privacy measures. After a breach, most companies will issue apologies and lay out a plan for avoiding such breaches in the future. This shows the users of the platform that security is a top concern, and that the company is prepared to keep its users safe.
That’s not what happened in the case of OnlyFans. The company issued a statement that no breach had taken place and that the leaked content was the result of individual users stealing content from behind the paywall and publishing it online. It’s unlikely that this is true, considering the huge amount of data leaked: 1.4 terabytes of leaked data can hardly be the result of individual users.
Perhaps more important, however, is that, even if OnlyFans is telling the truth and there was no actual breach, this is problematic. Let’s say this was a coordinated effort of users stealing content from behind a paywall and then making it public. This would show that OnlyFans’ paywall is vulnerable and that people can take alternate routes to access the exclusive content of OnlyFans performers.
You can argue that the breach they suffered and the lacking customer support that the platform is known for are a byproduct of jumpstarting a company that wasn’t ready for that much attention. It could, however, also be a result of shady management. That doesn’t make for a safe platform.
Privacy Risks for OnlyFans Creators
OnlyFans creators are exposed to several potential security and privacy risks, including their content being shared publicly even if it’s behind the paywall. Firstly, of course, there are the obvious privacy risks. If the commodity you’re selling includes pictures or other digital content of yourself, it’s hard to stay anonymous. Due to the existing taboos surrounding sex work and OnlyFans, being a known creator on the platform can be a privacy risk in and of itself.
However, there are other risks to keep in mind as well. One of the most important ones, which comes with possible financial damage, is deplatforming. To understand how much of a risk that is, let’s look at MyFreeCams. This is a platform similar to OnlyFans, owned by the same Radvinsky.
MyFreeCams have a history of silencing creators that take a stance against the company, even going as far as refusing to make payments and ghosting disgruntled creators. A former model on the platform shared her experience:
“One day I had enough [of bad customer support] and told my fans not to tip for a day. Many models were going to join me. Then my account was banned in minutes. […] I didn’t break any rules, I never did anything illegal. They also froze my payment and I got no response from them.”
This means creators on such platforms might not have the freedom to speak their minds. Going against the company could even result in payment freezing. This can have disastrous consequences, as some of the creators get their main income from social media.
Deplatforming and Payment Freezing on OnlyFans
OnlyFans didn’t fall far from the MyFreeCams tree. There are records of both deplatforming and payment freezing on OnlyFans as well. Several creators that were vocal against the company have had their account banned and their pending balance never paid out.
For example, a former performer on OnlyFans going by the name of “goddessmeagan1” reported that in July 2020, her account was banned for no reason, and she never received her pending payment of $3300.
Another performer, going by the name of “AlexissTaylorr” went through a similar experience. In her case, however, she eventually got a response stating that a payment of $3000 was frozen and that her account was erased because one customer issued a chargeback with their bank. In her own words: “I didn’t get told about it, didn’t get a warning, just deleted and my money stolen.”
These kinds of extreme decisions, along with the fact that paid content of creators can apparently be shared for free beyond OnlyFans’ payment wall, don’t bode well for anyone who’d like to use the platform. Creators, who are often forced to take their OnlyFans career very seriously if they want to be successful, don’t have any lasting security.
Privacy Risks for OnlyFans Users
OnlyFans consumers aren’t completely safe from harm either. There are several risks that are important to be aware of when you create an account on OnlyFans, even if you’re just using it to view other people’s content.
OnlyFans and anonymity
OnlyFans and sex work, in general, are often seen as taboo. Even if many people believe that that shouldn’t be the case, the reality is that affiliation with OnlyFans could damage your reputation in some circles. After all, it deals with sensitive material, which means it’s extra important to use the right levels of security. For this reason, many people wouldn’t want the fact that they use OnlyFans to get out in the world.
While it is hard for OnlyFans creators in particular to remain completely anonymous, this can be a struggle for regular users and consumers as well. You don’t need a hack or security breach to have your identity compromised. Any personal data you include on your account could be used against you, whether this is a picture of your face, your name, or your location.
People you interact with on the platform could even make your conversations public. This might seem outrageous, but isn’t unheard of when you have a conflict online. Moreover, your bank statements, internet browsing history or installed apps may give your activities away to friends and family. Any one of those scenarios can result in a damaged reputation. This could have disastrous results, for example when you’re a public figure with a following that disapproves of OnlyFans.
There are numerous Reddit threads of paying customers complaining about account hacks, like this one and this one. Although these hacks might not be down to OnlyFans and its security measures, they remain a risk. This is especially the case because OnlyFans isn’t just a social medium: it’s also a platform with paid options, meaning a hack could result in money loss.
Luckily, you can easily protect yourself against hacks that aren’t the result of a distinct flaw in the OnlyFans system. By using a strong password and two-factor authentication, for example, you’ll already be able to make a lot of hacking attempts fruitless. We’ll explain how you can properly secure your OnlyFans account in a minute.
Most of the breaches we’ve documented, and most of the company’s shady business decisions, generally affect the content producers more than their paying fans. But whenever these types of problems keep coming up, it does stand to show that a platform may be unsafe. Whether that’s actually the case on a security level, remains to be seen.
OnlyFans Security Measures
We can’t tell you exactly which encryption methods and other security precautions OnlyFans has in place. They do work with HTTPS protocols, like any respectable website, but beyond that they aren’t very clear about how they protect their users. They do attempt to reassure content creators and users that OnlyFans is a safe place.
In short, OnlyFans makes sure that:
- The content you share privately is watermarked and cannot be screenshotted.
- You have the ability to block users by country and IP, which allows you to avoid potential visitors from your own country or residence and block individual users if they’re bothering you.
- The information available on your public profile is editable.
- You can contact customer support to ask for additional help in keeping your account private. They can guide you through processes like two-step authentication, or help you cancel a payment if your card was stolen.
Additionally, OnlyFans publishes articles with tips and tricks to help users stay safe on its platform, like this one.
Is OnlyFans Safe to Use?
There’s not a straight answer to whether or not OnlyFans is safe to use. OnlyFans does have some security measures in place, both for users and content producers. But it also has a history of security breaches, lawsuits, and dubious ownership. In terms of factual evidence, there aren’t any sure reasons to say that OnlyFans, on a basic level, is a dangerous platform. Still, it can be dangerous to be active on the platform without knowing exactly what you’re doing.
We understand that many people still want to use this popular platform. A lot of creators and users don’t hop on OnlyFans as if it were a simple social media account – for performers, it can even be the job that pays the bills. If that’s you, you can mitigate a lot of the security risks by navigating OnlyFans anonymously, choosing the right privacy settings, and generally staying safe on the web.
How To Stay Safe and Anonymous on OnlyFans
If you’d like to use OnlyFans, but also guard your online privacy and safety, there are several things you can do. If you want to go completely anonymous, you should start with setting up an anonymous email. After that, you can create your OnlyFans account and make sure you’ve got the right settings enabled.
1. Get an anonymous email account
The first thing you want to do to navigate anonymously on OnlyFans is set up a ProtonMail account.
ProtonMail is a mail hosting service that doesn’t require any personal information to sign-up, so your identity won’t be compromised in case of a breach. We generally recommend this provider to anyone who needs to be able to stay anonymous while emailing, but it also works perfectly for OnlyFans.
The most important thing, in this case, is to use an alias when signing up for ProtonMail. Don’t use your personal name or any other personally identifiable information anywhere. Creating an address like “email@example.com” will hardly make me anonymous.
2. Create your anonymous OnlyFans account
After you’ve created that anonymous email, you can sign up to OnlyFans. This is where the difference between OnlyFans content creators and regular users comes in.
If you’re a creator, OnlyFans will require your legal name and bank account details. It needs that information in order to be able to pay you legally. There’s no going around that. In other words, if you’re a creator on OnlyFans, OnlyFans will always know who you are. However, this doesn’t mean any of your fellow users have to know your identity. You can make your profile as personal or anonymous as you want.
As a paying customer, a ProtonMail account will be enough to keep your identity hidden from other users, but even then OnlyFans will require a credit card to let you navigate the platform. This information will be visible to Stripe, their third-party payment processor. In other words: complete anonymity in the face of OnlyFans and its partners isn’t possible, but you can protect your account from other users.
Whether you’re a creator or consumer, if you’d like to stay anonymous, make sure your login credentials can’t be traced back to you. Don’t use your own name or date of birth, for instance, but a throwaway login ID. Aside from that, it’s always important to make sure you secure your account by using a strong password. This means it should be difficult to guess and different from those on any other platforms you use.
3. Set up two-factor authentication
Once you have an account, you’ll want to take some extra security measures. Whatever you do on the site, make sure to enable two-factor authentication. This is how you do that:
- Go to Settings while logged into your OnlyFans account.
- Choose Account and then click Two Step Verification.
- Set up two-factor authentication by either connecting via your authenticator app or SMS.
To activate two-step verification, you’ll need to provide either a phone number, a Microsoft account, or a Google account. This means you’re increasing the security of your account, but decreasing the level of privacy you have on the platform. After all, you’re connecting some kind of personally identifiable information to your account: either your phone number, or one of your online accounts.
If you really want to remain anonymous, you could buy a prepaid SIM card to use as a throwaway phone number. This can be as cheap as two or three dollars, and you can use it on an older phone to act as an extra layer of security, without jeopardizing your privacy.
4. Change other privacy settings
If you’re a content creator on OnlyFans, there are several other measures you can take to protect your privacy. These include making sure you:
- Don’t display your active status.
- Hide your tips sum.
- Make your friends list confidential.
- Hide your media count, unless you want to use it as a competitive advantage on the platform.
5. Make conscious choices about the content you post
As a content creator, you’ll likely share photos and videos of yourself on the platform. Believe it or not, you can actually stay anonymous while doing that, as long as you are careful about the multimedia content you post. For example, you can:
- Make sure your face isn’t visible in any of the pictures to keep your identity private.
- Arrange your background so that no identifiable features are visible, like unique skyscrapers, landscapes, or road signs.
- Use filters and make-up to alter the appearance of your facial features.
Apart from these changes, there isn’t a lot you can do on OnlyFans itself to secure your account and keep your identity private. That is why, apart from following these steps, we recommend using a VPN to navigate OnlyFans safely.
The Best VPN for OnlyFans
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) routes your internet connection through servers all across the globe, changing your IP address in the process. This means your location remains hidden to other internet users.
We recommend using a VPN service when accessing OnlyFans, considering their history of data and security breaches. You never know when a breach could compromise the personal information of OnlyFans users.
You can read our roundup of the best free VPNs if you’d like to go with a free option, but we’d advise choosing a paid service. While (some) free VPNs do a decent job, a paid VPN often comes with advanced security measures, more options, and a better customer experience. And they don’t even have to be expensive.
Surfshark: a cheap and excellent VPN
If you don’t want to spend too much money on a VPN, Surfshark is one of the cheapest options out there. For just a couple of dollars a month, all of your online activities, including anything you do on OnlyFans, will be protected. Surfshark’s price doesn’t mean this provider is subpar in any way. In fact, it has military-grade levels of security, countless fast servers, and a very easy-to-use app.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
For navigating OnlyFans anonymously, you probably won’t need all the options Surfshark has to offer. But VPNs can be used for so much more than just safe browsing. If you want to find out more, read our explanation of VPNs and their many advantages. If you’d like to use a VPN, but don’t feel too confident about Surfshark, feel free to have a look at our list of five best VPNs of this moment.
Important: Remember that a VPN won’t cancel out any personal data you share on your OnlyFans account. If you use your first and last name on your profile, turning on a VPN won’t make those disappear. The only thing a VPN will do is encrypt your data so no one but you and the platform can read it, and hide your IP address, so the platform (and other parties) can’t see where you are in the world.
Safe Payments on OnlyFans
We already mentioned that there’s no way of using OnlyFans and being completely anonymous, since you always have to enter your billing information. But there’s more to consider here than whether or not OnlyFans knows who you are. After all, it’s important that paying for an OnlyFans subscription and receiving money from the company happens in a secure manner.
OnlyFans uses a third party payment method called Stripe, so the company itself won’t have access to your payment details if you’re a regular user. Stripe is a safe payment processor that’ll be the only party with access to your details. That’s reassuring, as you know your payments will happen in a secure and safe manner.
When getting paid for your OnlyFans content, however, OnlyFans does need to know your precise details. Content producers are able to receive payments via their credit card or through sharing their bank account details.
Credit card payments
As a consumer of OnlyFans content, you’re only able to pay for memberships by credit card. Anonymous payment via Bitcoin, for example, isn’t possible. This means any purchases you do, will show up on your account. If you want to keep your OnlyFans usage under the radar, you’re out of luck when it comes to payments.
Payments on your bank account won’t look very inconspicuous. In fact, they state very clearly that the payment was made to OnlyFans, as you can see in the image on the right. In short, there’s no hiding your activity on the platform once you’ve chosen to get a paid subscription to any creator.
If you’re worried about this, you can always choose to follow people anonymously and only access the free content your favorite creators put out. This means there won’t be any mention of OnlyFans on your banking details. However, even then you’ll need to authorize a credit card beforehand.
In short: it’s impossible to stay completely anonymous while using OnlyFans, and that’s a double-edged sword. It’s a good thing because it creates a fair market for performers and users. On the other hand, it might be a bad thing for people that want to keep their activity on the platform a secret.
Do you want a quick answer to your questions about OnlyFans? We rounded up some frequently asked questions below. Just click on any box and you’ll get the information you’re looking for.
OnlyFans has certain safety measures in place to protect its performers, as well as the customers that keep the business rolling. However, OnlyFans also has a massive data breach on its record, a breach that the owners of OnlyFans deny ever happened. On top, there are several safety and privacy concerns about the site. Read our article about OnlyFans and privacy to find out more.
OnlyFans is an online platform where influencers, celebrities, and porn stars share private paid content with their fans. There is a wider array of content available on the website, including SFW tutorials and simple updates from public figures, but the bulk of the content can be described as light porn. Read our article about OnlyFans to find out more about this platform.
First, you’ll need a VPN to mask your IP and browse the website privately. Second, we recommend signing up for a ProtonMail account to make your account as anonymous as possible, and we also advise you to toggle certain OnlyFans privacy settings, such as Two-Factor Authentication and the hiding of tips or follower count. Apart from that, though, you’ll always have to share your payment information with the platform, meaning you’ll never be completely anonymous.