YouTube is a popular video-sharing website – hundreds of hours of video are uploaded every minute and nearly 14 million Australians visit it each month.

YouTubeWhen you sign in to YouTube you can upload videos, build playlists, subscribe to channels and comment on videos that others have shared. You need a Google account to sign into YouTube.

Safer YouTube use

Most people watch videos on YouTube and use its other features with enjoyment and without incident.Sometimes, however, things can and do go wrong and people can be abused or have their account hacked.

You can reduce the risk of something going wrong by following these tips.

Set your videos to private

Change the privacy settings of your videos so that you control who can watch them. The default setting for videos you upload is ‘Public’ – which means they can be seen by anyone.

Setting the videos to ‘Private’ or ‘Unlisted’ limits who can see them. ‘Private’ is the stronger setting: only you and selected users can see your videos. Anyone with the link to the video can see an ‘Unlisted’ video.

Keep your account secure

Protect your account data by setting a strong password and don't share it with anyone.  This is particularly important as you use your Google account to sign into YouTube.
Change your password regularly and make sure it’s not easy to guess are two of the best ways to protect your account from hackers. Always change your password if you think your account has been compromised in any way.

Consider setting up two-factor authentication on your Google account for an extra layer of security – our video shows you how to do this.

What information do you reveal and how to manage inappropriate content

Think about how much personal information you reveal. Do you reveal identifying personal information such as where you live?

Know how to take action on abusive or inappropriate content.   

What to do if things go wrong

Do you feel unsafe right now? Call the police on Triple Zero (000).

If things do go wrong, your response will vary according to what the problem is:


Is a video inappropriate?

Flag the video to YouTube.

Has someone posted your personal information or uploaded a video of you without your consent?

Request YouTube to remove the content, in line with its Privacy Guidelines.

Is someone using YouTube to abuse you?

Don’t respond to nasty or offensive comments. Collect evidence of the web page. Record the URL (address) of the web page of the video or comment. See our page on Collecting evidence. Block the user. Report the abuse to YouTube using the reporting tool. Watch our video.

Does the abuser’s behaviour make you feel unsafe?

Police and other services can support you. See our Get help page.

For more information

You'll find more information on how to have a safer YouTube experience at YouTube's Policy and Safety Hub and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

Take the tour

Two-factor authentication on Google

Audio description version

Reporting abuse to YouTube

Audio description version

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