How to Keep Students Safe on Google Hangouts

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October 2, 2017

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What are Google Hangouts?

  • Google Hangouts is a messaging platform that is tied to your Gmail address
  • Message friends, start free video or voice calls, and start a conversation with one person or a group
  • Hangouts also allows users to send photos, stickers, and emojis
  • Users can easily share their current location to any conversation with Google Maps integration
  • Turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 other users
  • With Hangouts, users can call any phone number in the world
  • All calls to other Hangouts users are free
  • Users can also connect their Google Voice account for phone number, SMS, and voicemail integration
  • Google Hangouts works on desktops, Apple, and Android devices
  • Users can message their friends anytime, even if they're offline

Why should parents care?

  • Some parents have found predators targeting their kids through Google Hangouts to try and entice them into partaking in video calls or sending photos of themselves
  • It’s easy for children to pretend to be older and for adults to pretend to be younger on Hangouts
  • Google Hangouts can be used to cyberbully students
  • With many of our Green and Gray Zone apps, Google Hangouts can be used positively if parents set guidelines from the beginning and monitor their child’s activity

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Table of Contents

Google Hangouts is a messaging platform that is tied to your Gmail address. Users can message friends, start free video or voice calls, and start a conversation with one person or a group.

What are Google Hangouts?

  • Google Hangouts is a messaging platform that is tied to your Gmail address
  • Message friends, start free video or voice calls, and start a conversation with one person or a group
  • Hangouts also allows users to send photos, stickers, and emojis
  • Users can easily share their current location to any conversation with Google Maps integration
  • Turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 other users
  • With Hangouts, users can call any phone number in the world
  • All calls to other Hangouts users are free
  • Users can also connect their Google Voice account for phone number, SMS, and voicemail integration
  • Google Hangouts works on desktops, Apple, and Android devices
  • Users can message their friends anytime, even if they're offline

Why should parents care?

  • Some parents have found predators targeting their kids through Google Hangouts to try and entice them into partaking in video calls or sending photos of themselves
  • It’s easy for children to pretend to be older and for adults to pretend to be younger on Hangouts
  • Google Hangouts can be used to cyberbully students
  • With many of our Green and Gray Zone apps, Google Hangouts can be used positively if parents set guidelines from the beginning and monitor their child’s activity

Google Hangouts in the news

Police are putting out a warning after they said a man try to lure a teen into a relationship in [Google Hangouts]. –WSB-TV
My classmates and I utilized technology like Google Hangouts to successfully collaborate and communicate. Because of this, I can lead and work more effectively with different teams, generations and backgrounds. That’s something I can apply to GE. –Penn State News

What can parents do?

  • If your teen has Google Hangouts, discuss the dangers of the platform and ways they can use it positively
  • Check out our Parent App Guide page and encourage your student to use apps in our Green Zone
  • Encourage your teen to use Google Hangouts as a tool for group projects or to connect with out-of-state family members
  • Before giving them access to Hangouts, set guidelines and make sure you know their password
  • Remind your children that they should always come to you, or a trusted adult, if they experience anything that makes them uncomfortable online
  • Teach your teen to keep all of their activities positive because they can be discovered by colleges

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