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Teen settings and safety notifications

Fundamentally, Google+ is a product built around the ability to share selectively like you would in real life. Our features were built with privacy in mind. The ways we’ve customized our product for teens helps them take advantage of the flexibility Google+ offers with the right starting points, educational materials, and timely reminders.

When a teen joins Google+ our goal is to enable a world-class social experience for them but to do it in a way that helps keep them safe and reminds them to be responsible. Below are some examples of how we do this. (Please note that Google+ adds new features regularly so you should check back here from time to time.)

We designed age-appropriate defaults into Google+.

Profile features for teens with a default privacy setting of “My circles” include:

  • Gender
  • Introduction
  • Bragging Rights
  • Occupation
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Places Lived
  • Links
  • Other Names
  • Looking for
  • Relationship
  • Who is in their circles and who has them in circles

Profile features that are set to "Only you" for teens include:

  • Home contact info
  • Work contact info
  • Birthdate (teens can't edit their profile birth dates to appear older than they are)

Location information isn't attached to posts by default

We limit communication from those outside of teens' circles as the default.

  • "Who can send you notifications," "Who can comment on your public posts," and whose photo tags of you are automatically approved are defaulted to "Your circles."
  • Email via one's profile is off by default.

We remind teens to be careful with contact from those outside of their circle.

  • Users receive an email when another Google+ user has added them to a circle. When a teen is added to a circle, we remind them in the email that they can elect not to add that person back and that they can block that user if they wish.
  • When a teen is in a hangout and someone joins the hangout who is outside their circles we momentarily pause the hangout for our teen users. During the pause we notify them that someone outside their circles has joined and let them decide whether they wish to stay or leave the hangout.

  • The initial default for sharing a post on Google+ for teens is set to “My circles.” If a teen decides to change this default to a broader audience like “Extended circles” or “Public” we display this sharing choice noticeably. This way a teen is reminded to think before they post.

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