Here’s whether it’s safe to use IMO:
Generally speaking, IMO is a safe app. It is comparable to other call and text apps in how it protects users and their data.
IMO is not known to participate in malicious practices, but it does generate and share user data like most tech companies.
The biggest risk with IMO usually comes from user behavior.
Learn all about how safe it is to use IMO, especially for video calls, with this in-depth article.
Let’s get started!
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What Is IMO?
Before we get into safety risks and solutions, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page.
IMO is a messaging app.
With it, you can send text messages to other users.
You can also make voice and/or video calls to other users, making it a general communication app.
IMO has been around since 2005, so it’s not a new player in this realm.
Hundreds of millions of people have used the app, and it is still relatively popular around the world today.
What Are Safety Concerns Related to IMO? (5 Points)
Since IMO allows people to communicate directly with one another, it comes with some real safety concerns.
Most of these concerns are typical for communication apps, but they’re still worth addressing.
#1 Recorded Calls
With any communication app, there is always a concern that your conversations are not private.
Can someone record your calls or chat messages?
Is IMO recording them?
Can you even tell?
According to IMO, the company does not record video or audio conversations by default.
There are resources that can record these things, but they are not readily available to users, and IMO systems do not record user conversations.
Instead, call recordings are used for testing and quality control purposes.
Now, users can use third-party software to record conversations, but that is between you and the other person (or people) in the conversation.
You don’t have to worry about IMO doing this secretly.
As for text communication, that works in a fundamentally different way.
Text conversations are saved on IMO servers.
So, if you have concerns with IMO’s security or privacy practices (both of which are covered much more later), then you might worry about text conversations on the platform.
That said, IMO does not readily publish private chat conversations.
That is not part of the company’s model.
#2 Stolen Information
Stolen information is a completely different concern related to communication apps.
In this case, there are two ways that information typically gets out of the direct control of a user.
The first is with information stored on IMO servers.
You have to create an account to use the app, and that means that IMO keeps information about you on file.
If that information is shared or leaked, it’s a legitimate cause for concern.
In a completely different situation, it’s possible for users on IMO (or any app) to convince you to give up personal information.
Now, IMO is not a random chat service.
You aren’t paired up with random strangers without any control.
But, because the app does allow for conversations, and because you don’t have to have detailed personal information regarding other users in order to converse, it’s possible for nefarious individuals to trick you out of personal information.
This second scenario is not as controllable from the perspective of IMO.
In cases of stolen information that you provide to another user, the best protection is in your hands.
If you use best practices for internet safety, then you should be ok.
Suffice it to say that IMO is not exposing you to undue risk in this regard.
It’s comparable to other communication apps and even has some measures that help to reduce this kind of risk.
If people can communicate, then scammers will try to do their thing.
This has been true for a lot longer than the history of the internet.
Scams run back as far as human society.
So, yes. It’s reasonable to worry about scams that might run through IMO.
The first thing to understand is that IMO is a legitimate app and not running or supporting scams.
That’s just not how the app works.
But, like with stolen information, if people can talk to you, then there is a risk that they might try to scam you.
The protection that does exist with IMO is the nature in which people find each other.
While a stranger can use the app to find you, that’s not the primary situation.
IMO is not a social media app, and you can screen who you allow to contact you.
If you know everyone on your contacts list, then you can prevent most scam threats.
In this way, you can think of IMO the same way you think of your phone.
Sure, a stranger can get a hold of your number and try to contact you, but you don’t have to engage with them.
The greater risk would come if one of your contacts had their account compromised.
Then, a scammer might be able to pose as someone you know and run their scheme.
Fortunately, IMO does have protections in place in this regard, and we’ll cover those in a later section.
#4 Child Safety
Is IMO safe for kids?
This is a lot more subjective than the other major concerns.
In what ways are you trying to protect a kid using IMO?
Are you shielding them from strangers?
Are you concerned with language or content they might see?
IMO does try to provide a safe environment, and one way it does this is by limiting access to children.
You have to be at least 13 to use the app.
Provided a kid over the age of 13 is using the app, the experience will prove comparable to that of any other conversation app.
IMO does not curate content.
So, there are no mechanisms in place that would prevent bad language or the sharing of inappropriate content.
It is not a social media app, in that it doesn’t promote widespread content using algorithms.
Instead, all messaging is direct between users.
Because of that, IMO does not participate in content regulation.
So, providing a safe environment for a minor on the app is arguable.
It mostly depends on how the minor uses the app.
#5 Other Privacy Concerns
There are plenty of other privacy concerns that arise with any communication app.
Does IMO record user data?
Does it share that data?
Has IMO suffered any major data leaks or breaches?
Generally speaking, it is not in the business of providing personal details to third parties.
That said, IMO does generate user data.
It does provide large-scale anonymized data to third parties.
Like any large tech company, IMO contributes to the general creation of big data and the processing of that data.
How Does IMO Address Safety Concerns? (4 Things)
Ok. We’ve covered the primary safety concerns together.
Most of those concerns are typical to any communication app, but it’s still important to understand how you are or are not being protected when you use IMO.
IMO largely sticks with industry-standard practices.
They aren’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to user safety, but the practices they implement afford a lot of safety, relative to the industry at large.
The elements below will show you a lot of safety features, but you’ll also see the gaps that do exist with IMO.
Whether or not IMO feels safe is up to you.
When compared to other communication apps, it lives up to safety expectations, but that doesn’t mean it lives up to your expectations.
Some things you will probably expect.
For example, IMO does create aggregated data.
That data is collected and even shared with other parties.
Now, this aggregated data is based on the statistics generated with how you use the app.
The amount of time you spend on the app, the type of communication you engage with the most, and things of this nature are tracked.
But, that data is anonymized.
Your name isn’t attached to the user statistics.
While that much is pretty normal, IMO takes things a step further.
That content can be saved and shared by IMO, and the company does not have to notify you when it happens.
While IMO is a reputable business, this is concerning for some users.
Messages you send are recorded on IMO servers, and technically speaking, any of it can be shared by IMO as the company sees fit.
If this makes you uncomfortable, then IMO might not feel safe for use.
All of that said, even these practices are pretty standard in the tech world.
Most of the major messaging and calling apps have similar policies, so take that as you will.
#2 Communication Encryption
Primarily, this is done through encryption.
IMO lives up to industry standards by encrypting communication through the app.
Essentially, everything you send over the app is encoded with an encryption algorithm.
This is done to prevent unauthorized parties from spying on your communication.
Basically, a nefarious party could try to spy on conversations.
But, if they intercepted things you say, all of the raw data is scrambled using IMO’s encryption.
Without the encryption key, the spying party can’t make sense of the raw data, so they can’t tell what you are saying, or even who you are.
This is done by default for all communication on IMO.
Your chats, voice calls, and video calls are encrypted, so the risk of a third-party spy on any of your conversations is pretty low.
In this respect, IMO is as good as any of the major communication apps.
#3 User Terms
The best example is that IMO doesn’t allow users under the age of 13.
This protects young children from using the platform, so any risk that might be associated with using IMO would not apply to kids under 13, since they aren’t using the app.
Another way user terms protect people on the app is by giving IMO clear ways to enforce safety practices.
If a person is reported for scams or other unwanted behavior, IMO can look into it.
The company can review information stored on the server, and they can make a determination.
The user terms give IMO the freedom to enforce rules and get rid of users who are causing problems.
This allows IMO to reduce the frequency of scams on the platform, along with other behaviors that might make you feel unsafe.
The last major safety net related to IMO is authentication.
This is the process IMO uses to identify a user and ensure that random people can’t access your IMO account.
Authentication does a few things.
It protects information that you supply to IMO by placing access behind a password.
That makes it a lot harder for people to authorize your account and steal information from you.
As you read earlier, stolen accounts can be used for scams and other unpleasant practices.
Strong authentication helps to prevent these situations in the first place.
IMO uses industry-standard authentication practices.
Username and password protection are important, but IMO also offers two-step authentication.
With this, an extra layer of security exists and works that much harder to protect you.
For anyone unfamiliar, two-step authentication still uses a password and username.
On top of that, it also requires a special, temporary security key.
In order to get the key, you have to have access to the email account or phone number on file.
So, someone trying to break into your account would need to know your username and the password while also having access to either your email address or your phone (depending on which you pick for two-factor authentication).
It makes account theft a lot more difficult.