Find age-appropriate content
We all know that the web is vast, which means some content is fine for families, and some is better for adults only. Tools like SafeSearch and YouTube Safety Mode can proactively 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 behavior 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 that 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
- Prepare your child. The reality is that children will be exposed to pornography. They need to know that it is ok to talk to you about it. Opening the lines of communication early will give them the confidence to come to you and reduces the shame often associated with exposure and connected with addictive behaviors. Take the time to share your values. Set clear expectations about the healthy and responsible media choices you want in your home and family. Don't leave this to chance. If you say nothing about these topics, then your child is left to navigate this content on their own. Exposure to pornography, particularly sexual violence, can be very traumatic for young, developing minds.
- Take steps to reduce exposure. Studies show that girls who are exposed to sexually explicit media are more likely to view themselves “primarily in sexual terms”, and boys who watch sexually explicit media adopt more sexist perspectives and behaviors. As a whole, studies conclusively show that exposure to harmful or illegal content poses physical and emotional risk to children. Services that filter and/or monitor web content can reduce unwanted exposure at home and on mobile devices. Identifying the types of content that you believe is healthy, respectful and responsible can provide teachable moments. Filtering or monitoring can help set a framework of acceptable content. Most pornography is viewed at home and a great deal on mobile phones using WiFi. Installing content filters will not fully protect your child from harmful content but it will send a message to your child about how you feel about it.
- Be calm and supportive. Children do not become ethical, responsible or resilient on their own. It will take time and energy for parents to teach their child to choose healthy media content and lifestyles. Build resiliency by addressing the shame often associated with pornography use. Separate the actions from their self worth. Some youth experience addictive online behaviors making it difficult to have healthy relationships with friends and family members. Know the warning signs and get help.
Just as in any city, there are areas in cyberspace that are not necessarily appropriate for children or teens, and may contain vulgar language.
Options (not necessarily recommendations) for preventing your child from being exposed to inappropriate material include:
- Set rules about where kids can go online and what to do if they stumble upon inappropriate sites.
- Keep any connected computer in a public area of the house (not a child’s bedroom), and make sure that other family members walk in the room periodically.
- Consider not allowing children and teens to use the Internet if parents aren’t home. You may wish to consider using time-limiting software to make sure that kids can go online only when you’re around.
- Consider checking the browser history to see where kids have been and having a “talk” if they are visiting inappropriate sites.
- Consider installing monitoring software that tracks where kids have been (it’s usually a good idea to let them know you’re doing so).
- Consider installing filtering software that blocks kids from visiting sites that you feel are inappropriate.
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 is mature, 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 behavior 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 behavior 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 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 behavior 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 accounts of users who violate our policies. You can also block a Hangout user if you no longer want to see or hear them.
Keep inappropriate apps out of the Play Store
Stumbled across some inappropriate content on the Google Play store? Flag it for review and if it violates our policies, we'll take it down.
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 app ratings to choose age-appropriate apps
Just like at the movies, you can decide which Google Play apps are appropriate for your family by looking at the ratings: everyone, low maturity, medium maturity, or high maturity. You can filter apps by level, and also lock the filtering level with a simple PIN code (keeping other users from accidentally disabling the filter).
Set a filter to keep inappropriate content out
If you’d prefer to 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.
Set it and forget it. Keep SafeSearch locked
The SafeSearch setting you choose on the Search Settings page applies to anyone using the same Web browser and computer as you. If you have a Google Account, you can lock the setting so that other users of the computer can't change it, even if they're logged in to a different Google Account.
Add a password for in-app purchases
In the Google Play Store, users can require a password prompt before a purchase can be made.