FAQ

General

What is Google’s approach to Internet safety?

Google works hard to provide anyone using our services with a safe experience. Our approach has three primary elements: (1) powerful tools to help families better control their activity online; (2) cooperation with law enforcement and industry partners to help stop illegal content and activity online; and (3) educational efforts to increase awareness about online safety.

What is Google’s policy on child sexual abuse images?

Google has a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse images. We prohibit any advertising related to child sexual abuse images. When we become aware of child sexual abuse images anywhere in our search engine results or hosted on our site(s), we remove them and report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Any Google Accounts used to post child sexual abuse images are immediately terminated.

How does Google protect kids from sexual content and other content that’s inappropriate for them?

Google’s SafeSearch screens for sites that contain inappropriate content and eliminates them from search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, Google’s filter uses advanced technology to check keywords, phrases, and URLs. Learn how to activate SafeSearch lock

My child found explicit content on Google. Is Google responsible for this?

While we’re not responsible for what people post on the web, we try to help parents keep their children safe from these kinds of images. We believe that it’s important for content distributors to provide tools like SafeSearch to help users control the content they see on the web, but that we shouldn’t censor or editorialize search results. If you have SafeSearch activated and still find websites containing offensive content in your results, please contact us at www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals and we’ll investigate it.

What is Google doing about cyberbullying?

On this site, we provide resources to parents and teachers to teach kids what is and what is not acceptable communication on the web. We’ve also worked with many of our internet safety partners to promote awareness of cyberbullying.

SafeSearch Lock

How do I turn on SafeSearch Lock?

Visit our Help Center to learn how.

How can I tell that my strict filtering preference is password-protected?

When the SafeSearch lock is on, the top of the search results page looks different in two ways: “SafeSearch is locked” is displayed below the search box, and the colored balls appear on the right. The results pages are designed to look different enough that you can immediately tell whether the lock is on or off – even from across the room.

So once I have signed out, can my kids use the same browser with their own Google account and change the preference?

No, only your account can change your “strict” setting for that browser. You’ll be asked for your password if you want to unlock the preference.

I have SafeSearch Lock on, but I found an explicit site in my search results. What can I do?

We do our best to keep SafeSearch as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible, but inappropriate sites still slip through the cracks sometimes. Please report it to us at www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals and we’ll investigate it.

What filtering software would Google recommend in addition to SafeSearch Lock?

There are many different types of filtering software on the market. Before deciding on one or another, we suggest that you do some research and assess which is best for your needs.

Safety Mode on YouTube

What is Safety Mode on YouTube?

With the launch of Safety Mode, users now have the option to hide potentially objectionable content that they may find offensive even though that content may not violate our Community Guidelines. When you opt in to Safety Mode mode, videos with potentially objectionable content or that have been age restricted will not show up in video search, related videos, playlists, shows and movies. Like Google SafeSearch, Safety Mode on YouTube does not remove content from the site but rather keeps it off the page for users who opt in.

What content is being hidden?

Videos and comments that contain content that does not violate our Community Guidelines but that some people may find offensive or inappropriate for teens will be hidden in Safety Mode. This includes videos that have been flagged by users and age-restricted by policy enforcement team.

How does Safety Mode work?

Safety Mode goes above and beyond the flagging system and manual review to use community signals to hide content that may be objectionable.

Do I need to be signed in to my YouTube Account for Safety Mode to work?

No, if you have set the lock properly, the lock will remain in place on that browser regardless of whether you are signed in or not, or if another person is signed in to a different YouTube account. You can use your account to authorize locking and unlocking, but the lock itself is applied to your browser, not your YouTube account.

I have multiple browsers. Do I need to lock my preference for each browser?

Yes, Safety Mode is browser-specific.

My kids and I each have separate profiles on our family computer. Do I have to sign in to the same browser on each profile to lock strict filtering on each profile?

Yes, each profile operates independently, so you would have to lock your preference on each browser on each separate profile.

Google Talk

When I chat with someone in Gmail or through Google Talk, are those conversations being saved?

You have the option to choose whether you’d like chat histories saved to your Gmail account by default. You can change your setting at any time from the Gmail “Settings” page. Saved chats are located in the “Chats” folder, where each chat is distinct, marked with the person you were chatting with and the date and time. In Gmail, saved chats are just like email messages. They can be easily viewed, forwarded, printed or deleted.

Blogger

What kind of content isn’t allowed on Blogger?

If the blog violates Blogger’s Terms of Use or infringes copyright we reserve the option to remove the blog. If it contains adult content, we will insert an interstitial warning page.

What can I do if I see content that violates the policies?

If you find a blog hosted on blogspot.com that you feel is inappropriate, please report it to us.

Mobile

Can I enable SafeSearch Lock on my phone?

You can enable SafeSearch on your phone, but you cannot password protect your preference.

If I turn off geolocation in my teen’s phone, can I lock it so they can’t re-enable the geolocation features?

At this time we do not provide a way to lock your preference on geolocation.

What kind of content isn’t allowed on Google Play?

It is against Google Play Developer Program Policies for applications to display (via text, images, video or other media) or link to: content unsuitable for anyone under 18, copyrighted content, illegal content, anything that promotes or incites violence or hate, as well as, pornography, obscenity, nudity and sexual activity.

Does Google Play allow users to report inappropriate apps?

Application providers must adhere to the Google Play Business and Program Policies. If you see an application that doesn’t follow these standards, you can report it.

Is there any way for me as a parent to prevent my teen from downloading more apps on Android?

No, there is currently not a way to block your teen from downloading more applications. In order to purchase an app, users must have an account with Google Wallet, requiring a debit or credit card. Our terms of service require that users are 18.