Judging content credibility
Just because you see it online doesn’t mean it’s true. Teach your family to view all content critically so they can identify fact from fake online. Learn how to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, and how to verify information you find online.
Advice from our partners
- Be a skeptic. Even if it’s a “cool” or professional website, it may not have accurate information. Before you believe the information posted, ask yourself what’s the point of view of the site? And what opinions or ideas are missing?
- Investigate the source. Find out who published the information and ask yourself if they are trustworthy.
- Always check the facts that you find. The best way to do this is to follow the “rule of 3”: compare 3 sources of information. Remember to include one source with an opposing viewpoint. To learn more, check out the lesson plan “Become an Online Sleuth” created by Google and iKeepSafe.
- Get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion. Conduct several searches on your topic on different websites, using different keywords. This provides a variety of perspectives that may differ -- and will allow you to evaluate the credibility of a site's offerings against each other. And go beyond your usual sites, like Wikipedia and About.
- Search strategically. Think critically about your online searches so they are effective and produce relevant results. Use multiple, specific, descriptive keywords. There’s a difference between searching for "hip hop" and searching for "hip hop for social justice."
- Pay attention to URL domains. The URL domain can be found at the end of a website address, and it tells people what kind of organization they are dealing with. Companies usually aim to sell products or services and display lots of ads, while organizations, educational institutions, and government entities usually aim to share knowledge and improve communities. (.com = company, .gov = government website, .edu = educational institution, .org = organization.)
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.