Social networks, apps and games
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Telegram Messenger

Telegram is a messaging app where you can send messages, photos, videos and documents to your contacts, as well as creating large group chats. All communications, including voice calls, are end-to-end encrypted.

16+

Official age rating

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Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for Telegram Messenger

Average

Telegram Messenger is quite similar to WhatsApp and has some privacy settings in place to help keep your conversations private. It is end-to-end encrypted meaning that only the sender and recipient can see the contents of a message. Be aware that this makes it harder to report and stop inappropriate behaviour.

The app also has a Secret Chat feature that lets you send messages that disappear after a certain period of time. You can also find nearby contacts and view their profile and join large group chats.

This means your child could be at risk of coming across inappropriate content and talking to someone they don’t know.

We don’t think this app is suitable for anyone under the age of 16.

Safety features

As the app is designed for 16+, there are no parental controls available. When you register, you’re asked to put in your mobile number and agree that you’re 16 or over.

Privacy & location

There are a number of privacy settings available to help you manage:

• Who can see your phone number
• Who can see when you were last online
• Your profile photo
• Who can call you
• Who can add you to groups and channels

These features include the functions: Everybody, my contacts or nobody.

Location settings are not used by default but users can choose to share their location within a chat or one-on-one message.

Reporting & blocking

The blocking tool within Telegram is easy to use. You can report content in group chats but you can’t report individual users.

Content


We didn’t come across anything inappropriate while exploring Telegram Messenger. However, because it’s a messaging app there is a risk your child could be sent something that upsets them.

Be aware that it has a Secret Chat function that lets you send messages, photos, video and files that delete within a certain period of time.

O2 Guru top tip

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On Telegram Messenger blocking

You can receive messages from people you don't know, so show your child how to block users in settings so they don't receive unwelcome messages.

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Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring Telegram together is a great way for you to learn more about why they might like to use it.

It also gives you a chance to chat with them about the privacy settings and agree some rules around who they can talk to. You should tell them to come to you if anyone they don’t know tries to send them a message.

You might also want to discuss some of the different features available like ‘Secret Chat’ and decide together whether they can use them.

To find out more about Telegram, we would recommend reading their FAQS.

 

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

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know 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 names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

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.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

Your child might receive something upsetting or negative on Telegram. If this happens, they might want to report  or block another user. 

It's easy to report and block within the chat. Explore this with your child so they feel confident how to do this. And take the opportunity to talk about what's appropriate to send and receive, and what’s not.

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

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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

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