Keep personal information on a need-to-know basis

Not every message should be shouted from the rooftops. It’s important to think before you share, since public content can be copied, re-shared and spread around the web by anyone who finds it. Talk to your family about protecting their personal information online, then help them share what they want and protect what they don’t. Some services, like Google+, have stricter sharing settings for teen users than for adults, but many services can be customized to fit the needs of each family member. Talk with your family about what types of information they can share publicly, what might be better to share with just a few close friends, and what should stay private.

Advice from our partners

MediaSmarts

An important concept young people need to grasp is that their personal information has value and belongs to them. Whether it’s to manage their reputation, stay safe, or protect themselves from invasive marketing practices, young people need to develop skills to manage their online privacy. Parents must teach their children the value of their personal information – starting when they first go online. Kids should be taught to only give out the minimum of information to be able to use a website. Parents should get into the habit of reading the privacy policies on their kids’ favourite sites to understand what will happen to any information that is solicited. When using social networking sites, young people should ensure their privacy settings are set so that only friends can see their content. Read more information on managing online privacy.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection

If asked to share and your parents aren’t aware, say no. That’s the simple rule kids need to adhere to while online. Children need to know that they must keep all personal information off the Internet – name, age, location, and photographs. Once that information is out there, there is no getting it back. Parents should ensure that their child knows to never share any sort of personal information and monitor their child’s Internet use. For more about the risks your child may face while online and strategies to keep them safe, visit www.kidsintheknow.ca and www.thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca.

Safety tools

Discover Google safety tools designed to help your family monitor their online reputation.

YouTube

Manage YouTube Comments

If someone is making comments that you don't like on your videos or Channel, you can block them on YouTube. This means they won't be able to comment on your stuff or send you private messages.

Learn more

To block someone on YouTube, visit their Channel page, which should have a URL similar to www.youtube.com/user/NAME.

On their “About” tab, click the flag icon.

Lastly, click block user.

YouTube

Share videos with just the right audience

Whether you want to keep a video private, share it with a few friends, or release it to the world, there’s a privacy setting for you. On YouTube, videos are set to “Public” by default, but you can easily change the settings in “Privacy Settings” while you’re uploading the video. If you change your mind later, you can change the privacy of an already-uploaded video.

Learn more

To change Privacy Settings, visit your Video Manager.

Find the video you’d like to change, then click the Edit button.

Go to the “Privacy Settings” drop-down menu.

Pick Public to share with everyone, Unlisted to share with users who have a link to the video, or Private to share with specific users.

Click Save changes.

Google+

Stop unwanted comments or tags

If you’d rather not see someone’s posts on Google+, you can block them by going to their profile and selecting Report/block [person’s name]. You can also mute specific posts to no longer see them in your stream.

Learn more

To block someone on desktop, go to their profile.

On the side of the profile click Report/block [person’s name].

Confirm that you want to block that person.

Google+

Choose whose updates you see in your stream

What if someone adds you to their circles, but you're not interested in interacting with them? If you don’t want to block them, you can mute them instead. If you mute a user, you will no longer receive notifications from them or their page.

Learn more

Open Google+.

Go to someone’s profile/page.

Click the arrow below their profile photo and info.

Select “Mute [person/page]”.

YouTube

Control the chatter about your videos

It’s easy to moderate the comments on your YouTube channel. You can choose to delete comments, or to hold comments from certain people or with certain keywords from being published before you review them.

Learn more

To moderate comments, click the arrow in the upper right of a comment to see your options.

Click Remove to take down the comment from YouTube.

Or, click Ban from channel to block the user from posting comments on videos and your channel.

In Comment Settings, you can require approval for all new comments before they’re posted or you can disable comments.

Comment Settings allows you set filters for who can comment on your channel. You can also block comments with certain words.

See more safety tools