Is Vero safe? What you need to know before you download the “new Instagram”

By now, you’ve probably heard about the new-ish social media app that seemingly blew up overnight. In case you haven’t, though, Vero has been dubbed the “new Instagram” — but it’s ad-free and, as of now, it’s free to sign up. Although many are trying to get the app to see what it’s all about (and the company admits that the spike in signups is causing a “higher than normal” load and tons of tech problems), is Vero safe to use?

According to the company’s website, yes: “Vero only collects data we believe is necessary to provide users with a great experience and to ensure the security of their accounts.”

When you register, you’ll be asked to provide your phone number, which is fairly standard for social apps. Your number will be used to authenticate your account, tell your contacts that you’ve joined, and help connect you with your friends. According to Vero’s “manifesto”, having authentic connections is what the brand is all about. It also assures users that phone numbers and email addresses won’t be shared with anyone else, nor will they be visible to other users. So it’s pretty standard privacy-policy stuff.

In addition to your phone number, you’ll need to provide your e-mail address for login purposes and, of course, your name. While Vero says it doesn’t “force” people to use their real names, it strongly “encourage[s] them to present themselves as they do in real life.” Again, it’s all about the company’s mission to create a social network that allows you to be your authentic self.

So is Vero safe?

Honestly, it seems to be just as safe as any other social media app we’re all already using. There’s always the risk of impersonators and identity thieves, but that’s usually outside of an app’s control.

Because Vero wants to be an ad-free environment, it will eventually charge a subscription fee. So if you want to check it out, it’s definitely worth doing so right now because the first 1 million users get free accounts for life.