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.