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Safety & Security

How we’re working to provide a safer online experience

An image depicting the Google Family Link website

Google has been at the forefront of keeping you and your family safe online and we plan to keep it that way. On Safer Internet Day 2022, here’s how we are providing a safer online experience for all Australians and giving you more control of your overall Google and YouTube experience:

How Google is Keeping You Safe

Tools for parents to help kids stay safe

We created Family Link to help families set digital ground rules and introduce their children to technology. It’s a tool that offers parents a way to create and supervise Google Accounts for their kids, manage the content they see online and the amount of time spent on their devices. You can find out more about Family Link here.

Giving young people more control over their digital footprint

While we already provide a range of removal options for people using Google Search, children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet. That’s why we’re introducing a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results. Of course, removing an image from Search doesn’t remove it from the web, but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online.

Protecting young people from sensitive ads

We’re also expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and we will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18. We’re rolling out these updates across our products globally over the coming months. Our goal is to ensure we’re providing additional protections and delivering age-appropriate experiences for ads on Google.

Improve Your YouTube Experience

At YouTube, we've also made deep investments in enhancing security and maintaining a safe platform. A few of the features that have resulted from this commitment to give viewers a high-quality experience include:

More choices for parents with kids, tweens, and teens

If you are a parent or caregiver, we offer tools, options and controls to help you decide on and customise a YouTube experience that is best for you and your children - from YouTube Kids to supervised experience. For YouTube Kids, we focus on including videos that are age-appropriate and high-quality on the app; and you can choose from three age-based content levels (Preschool, Younger, Older) or decide to hand-pick only the videos, channels and collections of content you want your child to watch. If you have decided your tweens or teens are ready to explore YouTube with a supervised account, supervised experience allows you to link your child’s Google Account to your own before choosing from three content settings (Explore, Explore more, Most of YouTube) that generally align with content ratings for pre-teens and older, and we disable a number of features normally available on YouTube, like comments and live chat, as well as the abilities to create a channel, upload content and make purchases.

YouTube Kids: An app made just for children

Reminders and options to keep up with your digital wellbeing

Our wellbeing features are designed to help you better understand your YouTube usage and create healthy habits, like taking time to disconnect. Our “Bedtime” or “Take a Break” Reminders, located in your Settings, can prompt you to stop watching videos for the day, either during or after video play. Our Autoplay feature is a “lean back” experience that keeps videos playing without requiring you to select a new video - or turn it off at any time using the toggle option on the watch page.

More controls to manage your data on YouTube

Check out the Your Data in YouTube feature to easily browse, delete or pause your YouTube search or watch history. Any videos removed from your history will no longer influence your recommendations, and queries you’ve removed won’t show in your search bar as your history suggestions.

Safer Internet Day might come around once a year, but here at Google we want you to stay safe online every day. Visit our Safety Centre to learn all the ways we’re making every day safer with Google, or for more information on our responsibility efforts at YouTube, visit our How YouTube Works site.