You’ve heard rumors Grammarly isn’t as safe and secure as you thought.
And there’s some truth behind Grammarly’s privacy concerns.
In other words, you’re not paranoid if you have reservations about using browser extensions in general.
But you’re here because you want to know, once and for all, “Is Grammarly safe?” And you deserve a clear and well-researched answer.
By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll know all you need to know.
(Side note: If you want the peace of mind that you’re publishing with good grammar and punctuation, then check out the free Grammarlyproofreading tool.)
- Is Grammarly Safe and Secure? Here’s What You Need to Know
- Does Grammarly Steal Your Work?
- Does Grammarly Have Viruses?
- Is Grammarly Safe to Download?
- Can Grammarly Conflict with Other Apps or Programs?
- Are Browser Extensions Safe to Use?
- Final Tips for Using Grammarly
Is Grammarly Safe and Secure? Here’s What You Need to Know
After the February 2018 situation with Grammarly’s browser extension, some reviewers of the app expressed concern over whether the extension was safe to use.
But with Grammarly’s speedy (i.e., within hours) resolution of the issue and their continued vigilance, fears over security and violations of privacy have largely faded.
Still, if you have any lingering doubts as to the security of your personal data and user content, it helps to know what experts in the field, as well as users like you, have to say about Grammarly. It’s also critical to know Grammarly’s own policies.
It pays to be specific, too. Grammarly provides six options for helping you find and correct errors in your content:
- Grammarly’s onsite text editor
- Desktop app for Windows and Mac OS (download)
- App for Microsoft Office (for Windows or Mac) (download)
- Browser extension (works on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari)
- Grammarly Keyboard app for phones
- Grammarly app for iPad
Given that, read on for some frequently asked questions and their answers.
Does Grammarly Steal Your Data?
Their privacy agreement spells out the different scenarios and reasons why they’d share your personal data:
- When they share it with their service providers.
- When you give them explicit consent.
- When they believe it necessary to investigate possible violations of their TOS.
- When it’s required by law.
- When they need to do so in case of a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, etc.
Grammarly doesn’t go into detail on what their service provider does with that data — only that they “may only access, process, or store Personal Data pursuant to our instructions and to perform their duties to us.”
If you’d like to know exactly what personal data Grammarly has saved, you can request a personal data report, which goes through their regular support/ticketing system.
Does Grammarly Steal Your Work?
If you upload your work to your Grammarly dashboard to use their online text editor, they do store your work on their servers in the United States. They do this because they need to access the text to proofread it for errors.
But once you delete it from your account, it’s gone. Grammarly neither requests nor appropriates ownership rights to your content. You retain your rights as the author.
The only reason they save the content you upload is to help you find and correct errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics. If you’re done with it, so are they.
Does the Grammarly Browser Extension Log Everything I Type?
According to Grammarly Support, the app “does not record every keystroke.” The point of the app is to access the text you type and provide corrections. Unlike a keylogger app, it doesn’t record keystrokes indiscriminately.
And it does not process anything you type into a text field marked “sensitive,” such as for credit card information or passwords.
Even Google, which can see that sensitive information, asks the user to save it for you (to make logging in and paying for things quicker and easier).
But Grammarly has no use for that sensitive data. So, it doesn’t collect it.
Does Grammarly Have Viruses?
iruses aren’t the real issue here. There was a security bug with Grammarly’s Chrome extension — a “hole” in the code — reported in February 2018.
According to Gizmodo, the bug affected “user documents created and saved within the Grammarly Editor interface,” which means users had to be logged in to Grammarly.com.
Grammarly acted immediately and effectively to correct the issue and close the hole with an automatic update to their credit. No user data was compromised.
Grammarly’s security issues have had more to do with the code for the beta version of its browser extension than with computer viruses, other malware, or hacking attempts.
There’s a reason their browser extension is certified by Google, which we already know collects data from its users. Yet, we still use it every day.
Is Grammarly Safe to Download?
The Grammarly downloads for Windows and Microsoft Office are as safe as a download can be, according to the legions of writers who use them.
Grammarly is not a malware species, nor has it ever been known to be infected with a virus or any other kind of malware (trojan horse, etc.). Grammarly prioritizes earning the trust of its users and keeping their data, as well as their user content, secure.
If you use Microsoft Word and/or Outlook, try the free app download to see whether it helps you catch more writing mistakes.
Or use the distraction-free Windows app (also free) for editing on your desktop.
Can Grammarly Conflict with Other Apps or Programs?
Some writers have noticed complications when using Grammarly while working with WordPress but only when trying to use the full editor for a complete scan.
There were no problems with using the Chrome extension to click on and correct issues marked in red. In Derek Haines’ experience, the full editor removed scripts (like YouTube embeds and Twitter or Facebook scripts) during its scan.
Another issue came up with the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word, but it’s only a problem if you share your work with others and you’d rather they didn’t see all your edits and deletions marked as “Grammarly.”
You can disable this by changing your track change settings in Word for Grammarly.
Are Browser Extensions Safe to Use?
Tech experts like Kim Kommando and Kaspersky Daily recommend keeping your browser extensions to a minimum and sticking with the ones you have good reason to believe are secure and committed to protecting your privacy.
It turns out, several popular Chrome extensions are now known to have harvested user data — including credit card information, GPS locations, passwords, and even tax returns — without consent.
Worse yet, the data was compiled and sold to anyone willing to pay for it.
Fortunately, Google and Mozilla both removed the malicious extensions and even disabled them on the browsers of those using them — even remotely removing them when possible.
Grammarly has never been on their lists of offenders.
Final Tips for Using Grammarly
Suppose you want some extra help proofreading your work, but you’d rather not take chances with the browser extension.
Given their quick action to correct the slightest security issues, the biggest concern with using the extension will likely have more to do with personal preference.
If you welcome the extra help with your grammar and spelling while typing in your browser, you can install the extension knowing its creator has your security and satisfaction in mind.
Now that you’ve looked over the information on Grammarly’s privacy and security protection, what stood out for you?
What makes you more likely or less likely to trust Grammarly’s downloaded apps, their browser extensions, or their website?
If you’re not 100% sure yet if Grammarly is worth it to you, you can always try the free version to see which editing option works best for you.
In any case, Grammarly posts updates and articles on its Twitter account, which is another good place to get acquainted with it.