Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Wechat

WeChat

WeChat is one of the world’s most popular social networks. It has multiple features, including text, audio and video chat, games and location sharing. WeChat also has a feature called time capsule, which, similar to Instagram stories, lets you share short videos for 24 hours.

13+

Official age rating

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

High Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Bullying

High Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On WeChat blocking

Explore WeChat with your child and show them how to block or report other users.

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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 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 emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of your body, such as sexual photos or videos
  • 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.

WeChat makes it easy to connect with people you don't know. You're able to search for 'people nearby', which shows you other users up to 5km away. You can also use the 'shake' feature which connects with random people across the globe.

We recommend exploring the following features with your child and setting them up together to make sure your child is as safe as possible when using WeChat:

Enable Friend Confirmation

You can set up Friend Confirmation in privacy settings. This means other users have to send a friend request to connect with you.

Change how people can add you

By default, other users will be able to add you if they have your WeChat ID or mobile number. You can turn this off in the 'Methods for Friending Me' section of the privacy settings.

You can also have a look at WeChat’s Help Centre if you have any specific questions.

Your child might see or receive something upsetting or negative on WeChat If this happens, they might want to know how to report or block.

WeChat has guidance on reporting, as well as how to block someone.

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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