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

NetSafe

Many young New Zealanders use online environments and social networking sites to communicate with friends. These sites can allow users to post their own ideas, pictures, stories, and videos. This can be a lot of fun for young people and a very fast way of sharing information, however, users need to think about, and be aware of, what is posted and who can view it. Young people may not have the awareness and long term vision to fully grasp some of the risks of communicating and making friends online.

It is important for young people to understand that some people they meet online may not always be truthful about who they are, where they are and what they want.

Parents could consider the use of age-restricted environments for very young children. These environments use a range of safety strategies including:

  • Restricting membership
  • Limiting the ways users can interact with each other
  • Monitoring and intervening in inappropriate interaction

Young people also need opportunities to develop their own understanding of safe online communication. Parents can help young people understand and use privacy settings and encourage them to think carefully about sharing information and images.

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