Keep personal information on a need-to-know basis

Not every message should be shouted from the rooftops. It’s important to think before you share, since public content can be copied, re-shared and spread around the web by anyone who finds it. Talk to your family about protecting their personal information online, then help them share what they want and protect what they don’t. Some services, like Google+, have stricter sharing settings for teen users than for adults, but many services can be customised to fit the needs of each family member. Talk with your family about what types of information they can share publicly, what might be better to share with just a few close friends and what should stay private.

Advice from our partners

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

While the internet offers great benefits, parents also need to be aware of the risks. These include privacy-related risks such as identify theft and fraud, scams and phishing. In addition, children and young people may share personally identifying information without being aware that this can be seen by other people that they may not know, or that, once online, it can be almost impossible for content to be removed.

Parents can help their children protect their privacy by staying involved in their children’s online activities, and talking to them about the kinds of information that can be shared online. When opening an account with a social networking service ensure that the appropriate privacy settings are checked. Children also need to learn to respect other people’s privacy, and not post up pictures or other information without that person’s permission.

It is essential that children understand how important it is to ensure that they do not publish any information that will identify them. Children and young people should be taught not to give out their full name, address, phone number or other identifying information such as the name of their school as this type of information can be used by predators to identify who the child is and where they are.

Not giving out identifying information is key to protecting children against exploitation. There are a number of ways in which people may exploit children online. Some people will misuse information that a child gives them. For example, people may begin to send explicit or abusive messages or post photos of the child or young person on other websites.

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.

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