Is Tumblr Safe?

Last updated: January 12, 2016 - 12:35am EST

Tumblr is mostly safe.  Though its blogs are accessible to the public by default, you can hide yours from people who aren't already following your activity.  And if someone is harassing you, annoying you, or following you unwantedly, you can block them from interacting with you or your blogs in any way.

We should mention that Tumblr does allow blogs with sexually-explicit content, but they have taken measures to ensure that people who don't want to see that sort of content can avoid it.  They have also taken measures to block and otherwise deal with blogs regarding suicide, eating disorders, and other forms of self-harm.  Oh, and they don't allow anyone under the age of 13 to use Tumblr, for legal reasons.

Still, there are a few general precautions that you should take when using Tumblr.  Here are four tips to keep in mind.

Tumblr security: 4 tips for staying safe on Tumblr

1. If it's meant to be private, then keep it private.

As we mentioned in our preamble, if you just want to make your blog something that you write for yourself and don't want to show it to anyone else, you can set your blog to be invisible to people who aren't already following your activity.  They won't be able to find it if they search for it on Tumblr, and even if they try to find it with a regular search engine, Tumblr will prevent them from accessing it by acting like your blog doesn't exist.

In general, though, remember our number one caveat for social tools on the Internet: once someone shares something that you've posted, it's out of your control.  You're not in control of what other people do with their Tumblr accounts, and it's usually difficult to get Tumblr's administrators to take down content that you don't want shared faster than other people can share it.  So before you post something on Tumblr or any other social space on the Internet, stop and think: would I be okay with letting my friends see this?  More importantly, would I be okay with letting their friends see this?

2. Nix the naughty stuff from your search results.

Generally, if you're just searching Tumblr while not logged in, you won't see any explicit content.  However, if you're searching for content on Tumblr while logged in, you can choose to hide sexually-explicit results by clicking the padlock icon on the right side of the screen to move it to the "locked" position.  We'll illustrate this further in our How to Search Tumblr tutorial.

3. If you see something that you don't want to, report it.

If you see a post while browsing or searching on Tumblr that you don't want to see or don't think belongs on Tumblr, you can click the three dots beside it and then click Flag This Post.  Then, fill out the form that appears to tell Tumblr what the problem with the post is.  If you can't do this (possibly because it's on someone's personal blog), then you can fill out an abuse report by clicking this link.  Be sure to include the web address of the offending post (e.g. it will usually be in the format "") so that Tumblr knows where to look.  As an added bonus, you won't see that post again.

More information on flagging inappropriate Tumblr posts can be found here.

4. Block people who are giving you a hard time.

If someone is harassing you, threatening you, or otherwise sending you incessant communication, you can block them.  This will prevent them from finding or following your blog, sending you messages or questions, or seeing, liking, or re-blogging your blog posts.  You can even block anonymous Tumblr users; Tumblr will block the Internet address that they were using, instead.  Note that if you have multiple blogs, you must block individual users for each one.

Instructions for how to block Tumblr users can be found here.


Those are some tips to keep in mind in order to have a safe and enjoyable Tumblr experience!


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