Make smart connections

Teach your family not to arrange in-person meetings with people that they “meet” online, and not to share personal information with online strangers. Google’s tools make it easy for you and your family to interact online with the people that you know and avoid the ones you don’t. When your teens start using online communication tools like Hangouts, Google+ and Blogger, the first step is always to have a conversation about making smart choices and being a good digital citizen.

Advice from our partners

Bravehearts

Meeting and corresponding with new people is an exciting aspect of the online world. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest about who they are and children can be particularly susceptible to trusting people online. The reality is that there are predators who pretend to be a young person in order to befriend and gain the trust of children and young people.

We need to teach our children that just as we learn to protect ourselves from strangers in the offline world, we need to do the same online. Children often feel that they know someone simply because they have talked to them online. However it is easy to pretend to be someone you are not and meeting someone you have met online is one of the most dangerous things that a young person can do.

Parents should ensure that if a child wants to meet with someone they have befriended online that the parent speaks to the other person’s parents first and accompanies them to a public place to meet.

ThinkUKnow

The deliberate actions taken by an adult to form a trusting relationship with a child with the intent of later facilitating sexual contact is known as online grooming. This can take place in chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites and email. Once contact has been made, child sex offenders then move towards more traditional means of communication such as over the phone. It is important to educate young people on the ways in which to recognise inappropriate or suspicious behaviour online. They need to be careful who they communicate with and should never agree to meet in person someone that they have only met online. It needs to be reinforced that personal information should not be posted or shared over the Internet. Young people need to be aware of what messages they are sending about themselves which may appeal to online child sex offenders.

If you believe that someone has behaved inappropriately or in a sexual manner towards a young person, you should report it to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) via their online form. The ACMA doesn’t investigate complaints of this nature, though, of course, would refer them on. More information can be found on the Cybersmart site and on the AFP site.

If you believe a child is in immediate danger or risk, call 000 or contact your local police.

Safety tools

Discover Google safety tools designed to help your family monitor their online reputation.

YouTube

Manage YouTube Comments

If someone is making comments that you don't like on your videos or Channel, you can block them on YouTube. This means that they won't be able to comment on your stuff or send you private messages.

Learn more

To block someone on YouTube, visit their Channel page, which should have a URL similar to www.youtube.com/user/NAME.

On their “About” tab, click the flag icon.

Lastly, click block user.

YouTube

Share videos with just the right audience

Whether you want to keep a video private, share it with a few friends or release it to the world, there’s a privacy setting for you. On YouTube, videos are set to “Public” by default, but you can easily change the settings in “Privacy Settings” while you’re uploading the video. If you change your mind later, you can change the privacy of an already uploaded video.

Learn more

To change Privacy Settings, visit your Video Manager.

Find the video that you’d like to change, then click the Edit button.

Go to the “Privacy Settings” drop-down menu.

Pick Public to share with everyone, Unlisted to share with users who have a link to the video or Private to share with specific users.

Click Save changes.

Google+

Stop unwanted comments or tags

If you’d rather not see someone’s posts on Google+, you can block them by going to their profile and selecting Report/block [person’s name]. You can also mute specific posts to no longer see them in your stream.

Learn more

To block someone on desktop, go to their profile.

On the side of the profile click Report/block [person’s name].

Confirm that you want to block that person.

Google+

Choose whose updates you see in your stream

What if someone adds you to their circles, but you're not interested in interacting with them? If you don’t want to block them, you can mute them instead. If you mute a user, you will no longer receive notifications from them or their page.

Learn more

Open Google+.

Go to someone’s profile/page.

Click the arrow below their profile photo and info.

Select “Mute [person/page]”.

YouTube

Control the chatter about your videos

It’s easy to moderate the comments on your YouTube channel. You can choose to delete comments or to hold comments from certain people or with certain keywords from being published before you review them.

Learn more

To moderate comments, click the arrow at the upper right-hand side of a comment to see your options.

Click Remove to take down the comment from YouTube.

Or, click Ban from channel to block the user from posting comments on videos and your channel.

In Comment Settings, you can require approval for all new comments before they’re posted or you can disable comments.

Comment Settings allows you to set filters for who can comment on your channel. You can also block comments with certain words.

See more safety tools