Find age-appropriate content
We all know that the web is vast, which means that some content is fine for families and some is better for adults only. Tools like SafeSearch and YouTube Safety Mode can pro-actively filter out mature content, while our reporting tools allow you to flag offensive material for removal.
Google has strict policies and community guidelines that explain how our services can be used. If you spot content or behaviour on Google services like YouTube, Blogger, Google+ or Google Play that violates our guidelines, our tools make it easy to flag it for review.
For example, developers with apps on Google Play have to rate them according to the Google Play apps rating system. If an app has been mis-rated or has inappropriate content, you can flag the app for review – we’ll take a look and may remove it if the app violates our policies.
On YouTube, our policy specialists review flagged videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If a video violates our community guidelines, it gets removed from the site. If it’s simply not appropriate for everyone, the video may be age-restricted, so younger users aren't able to view it. And when a YouTube partner uploads a video in to our Shows or Movies sections, they’re required to rate any mature content.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out some of our other safety features in the sidebar and learn more about what you can do to keep your family’s online explorations safe and fun for all ages.
Advice from our partners
Young people are likely to come across a range of different material when exploring the internet. While a lot of this material will be fun, educational or informative, some of the content they view may be upsetting, or cause them distress or confusion.
There are many programs designed to limit access to specific material on a computer, typically known as ‘filtering’ programs. While these may be effective for very young children, some young people are capable of circumventing filtering programs with relative ease. It is important to talk to your child regularly about their online activity and reassure them that you will help them find a solution to any problems they may encounter.
Assisting children to develop effective searching skills will help them avoid viewing inappropriate material accidentally. In particular, help your child think carefully about the key words they use in a search engine.
Many of the steps you can take to protect very young children from sexually explicit or violent material are set out in the General Tips section below. Specifically, you can:
- Be aware of the age limits on particular sites and check out the site yourself before your child starts to use it. If you are unsure about a site, explore it with your child initially.
- Use filtering products, such as Google’s SafeSearch. SafeSearch screens for adult sites and eliminates them from search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, Google’s filter uses advanced technology to check keywords, phrases and URLs. For most children under 8, filtering can help prevent accidental access to unwanted material, but education is still crucial as children live in an unfiltered world.
- Install the Hector’s World Safety Button™ and show your young child how to use it. The Safety Button is a child-activated safety tool which children can use if something on-screen upsets or worries them.
- Use parental control systems which come free with some operating systems.
- As administrator, create an account for every member of the family (with a strong password) so there is an understanding of accountability for use of the internet.
- If your young child has use of a mobile, check that the model of mobile phone is appropriate for your child. If the phone is primarily a safety device and an easy link to you, then internet access is not needed. Parental controls for phones are now becoming available as well.
Discover Google safety features designed to help control what your family sees online.
Report inappropriate SafeSearch results
If you come across a result on SafeSearch that leads to mature content, please report it to us – we’re always working to improve our content filters, and this kind of feedback helps us make SafeSearch safer for everyone.
Flag questionable content
Our policy specialists work around the clock to help keep you and your family safe on YouTube. If you see content or behaviour that you think violates the YouTube Community Guidelines, you can flag it for review. If a video violates our guidelines, it gets removed from the site. If it doesn’t violate the Guidelines but might not be appropriate for everyone, the video may be age-restricted, so younger users aren’t able to view it.
Report offensive content
If someone makes an inappropriate comment or post on Google+, you can report it – even from a mobile device. Google+ has clear Content Policies that explain what is and isn't appropriate to do on the site, so if you see content or behaviour that violates our policy, you can flag it for review. We review flagged content around the clock, and we may remove content and limit or shut down the accounts of users who violate our policies.
Keep Hangouts safe for everyone
We want Hangouts to be fun for everyone. If you see content or behaviour that violates the Google+ Content and Conduct Policy, you can flag it for review. These policies play an important part in keeping Google+ a safe and positive place, so we may remove content and limit or shut down the accounts of users who violate our policies. You can also block a Hangout user if you no longer want to see or hear them.
Help keep the blogosphere safe for all
There are clear guidelines about what kinds of content can be posted on Blogger. If you see content that violates the Blogger Content Policy, you can flag it for review. Anything that violates our policies will be removed, and we'll place a warning page in front of content that doesn't violate our policies but might not be appropriate for all audiences.
Use Parental controls to filter apps by content rating
You can use Parental controls to restrict the content that can be downloaded or purchased on Google Play. This helps you find appropriate content for you and your family.
Set a filter to keep inappropriate content out
If you’d prefer not to see mature or age-restricted content as you browse YouTube, scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and enable Safety Mode. Safety Mode helps filter out potentially objectionable content from search, related videos, playlists, shows and films.
Set it and forget it. Keep Safety Mode locked
If you want to keep Safety Mode on permanently, you can lock it. Then every time you access YouTube from that browser, you'll automatically be signed in to Safety Mode.
Get family-friendly results from Search
By enabling SafeSearch, you can filter out most of the mature content that you or your family may prefer to avoid. If an inappropriate result does sneak through, you can report it to Google. We're always working to improve our content filters, and this kind of feedback can help us make SafeSearch better for everyone.
Prevent accidental or unwanted purchases
You can help prevent accidental purchases made on Google Play by requiring that certain information be entered to make a purchase, such as a password.