Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Skype

Skype

Skype is a platform and app that lets you make audio and video calls to other people around the world. You can also send instant messages.

13+

Official age rating

13+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
11+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

Medium Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Bullying

Medium Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On Skype account privacy

Show your child how to report and block other users on Skype. Remember, this might be different for the desktop and app version.

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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

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

If your child does receive something upsetting or negative from another user, they can report or block them. The way to report differs on mobile and desktop, so check out the information on Skype.

Explore how to report with your child and let them know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online. 

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.

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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 Skype

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 Skype?

  • People you don’t know contacting or adding you

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.

Girl, 13

What do children and young people like about Skype?

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

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.

Boy, 14

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Skype:

Privacy settings

I would have liked to have been able to activate privacy settings on the app rather than my phone settings.

Dad of a 10 year old boy

Safety and support

It’s there for you to read but you could just skip it.

Mum of a 17 year old

Reporting

I could not find how to report content but blocking is very easy and intuitive to do in a variety of places.

Dad of an 11 year old boy

Signing up

The application process was straightforward and asked me to verify who I was by clicking a link sent to my email address.

Father of a 13 year old boy

There wasn't much of an explanation of the features of Skype through the registration process.

Dad of 7 and 10 year olds

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