Social networks, apps and games
app-icon-facetime

FaceTime

FaceTime lets you make video and audio calls from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. You can also capture photos during calls using the Live Photos feature, which is like a screenshot.

4+

Official age rating

10+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
9+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Parents' and children's view of risks...

Sexual

Low Risk

Violence & hatred

Low Risk

Bullying

Low Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Low Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Low Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On FaceTime for kids

Show your child how to block unwanted callers and talk to them about only answering to people they know.

Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

Talk to your child about only adding contacts they know. If they receive requests from people they don’t know, they can block them.

FaceTime has specific guidance on how to block a phone number or contact.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online.

Apple, who develop FaceTime, have information on Family Sharing, where you can create an Apple ID your child if they’re under 13.

This lets you choose what your child can access on the Apple devices they use, including FaceTime.

But remember to go through this process together and be prepared to discuss your decisions.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about FaceTime

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about FaceTime?

• Video calls can’t be with more than one person at a time
• If someone gets hold of your mobile number they can contact you

FaceTime simply allows you to connect with someone on a video call. You can simply press decline if you don't know the person trying to contact you and block them. It is completely optional whether or not you want to answer the call.

Girl, 13

What do children and young people like about FaceTime?

• Video calls mean that you can see and talk to friends and family
• It’s an easy way to communicate with family and friends who live overseas
• You can only call people who you have contact details for
• It’s free over WiFi

It’s so handy to chat to your friends on it. I feel safe because it has no violence or sexual content on it.

Boy, 13

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of FaceTime:

Signing up

Overall, parts thought it was easy for a child to pretend to be older so they could sign up to FaceTime.

All I have to do is sign in with my Apple ID.

Mum of 9 and 11 year olds

 

Reporting

It's just a video call app. I can see how to block but I can't see how to report.

Dad of a 17 year old girl

I have blocked a person on FaceTime in the past and it was pretty straight forward.

Father of four

Privacy settings

Not done directly via the app, but within phone settings.

Dad of 10 and 13 year old boys

FaceTime can’t be used unless the other person has your phone number or email address.

Mum of three

Safety and support

Most parents thought it was hard to find out whether FaceTime has rules or community standards, and difficult for a young person to find information about keeping themselves safe on the platform.

I didn't see any. When I looked at the app all I could see was my contact list.

Dad of 17 year old girl

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