What do I need to know about Skype?

We've spoken to parents to find out what they think about Skype. We've also asked children and young people what they think. Here's what they said:

Children’s views

What do children and young people dislike about it?

13% of the children and young people who reviewed Skype thought it was unsafe. The main things they told us they don’t like about Skype were:

  • People you don’t know contacting or adding you

What do children and young people like about it?

The main things that children and young people told us they like about Skype were:


  • Being able to easily talk to friends and family around the world
  • Feeling in control of your account

Is content on Skype suitable for children and young people?

We asked parents and young people about the types of inappropriate content they’ve seen on Skype. The level of risk is based on the % of respondents who reported seeing these types of content. The ratings are: Low Risk (less than 5% of respondents); Medium Risk (between 5 and 25%); and High Risk (over 25%, or more than one in four).


Medium Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk


Low Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Low Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

What are people saying about

Boy, 17

“It's a great way to keep in contact with family and friends who live abroad.”

Girl, 13

“I do not think it is an easy layout to understand and there are no clear guides on what to do if you are feeling unsafe online.”

Boy, 14

“You can chat with your family with a Facecam, which is useful. You can block or unfriend unwanted people. You have the option to accept or reject the invite.”


“You need to monitor how your child is using Skype but it is a good tool to keep in touch with family and friends.” – Mother of 8 and 13 yr olds


“It's a good, cheap way of video-calling. Random people can get in touch and instant message, so it needs supervision, but people need to be approved before they can make video calls. It’s safe for children if under supervision, but risky if unsupervised." - Father of 9 and 10 yr old girls


“Explain to children how to set up their privacy and even help them to do it. Build the relationship between you and your kids, so they will know they can always come to you to speak about anything.” – Mother of 13 and 14 yr olds


"Skype is for doing things together, whenever you’re apart. Skype’s text, voice and video make it simple to share experiences with the people that matter to you, wherever they are."

O2 Guru's Top Tip for Skype

O2 Guru Rosa says:

"You can manage how people find you on Skype and choose whether your account appears in search results by tapping your profile, settings, then privacy."


Our O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline can help you to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or get advice on social networks. You can call us free on 0808 800 5002.

For face to face advice and support, you can also book a free in-store appointment with an O2 Guru here (even if you’re not with O2). 


What's the right age for Skype?


Skype says

This is taken from Skype’s own guidelines and is accurate as of March 2018.


Our panel of parents say

Based on our independent panel of 2,049 parents, surveyed through YouGov in January 2018.


Children say

Based on 2,059 responses from children and young people in November and December 2017.


Net Aware visitors say

Based on 121 votes from visitors to the Net Aware site – you can vote too.

What do you think?

Adjust the slider and tell us what you think is the right age to join Skype:


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Start a conversation with your child
about Skype

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

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