What you should know
You can have private or group chats
WhatsApp lets you have private chats or group chats with up to 256 people. In group chats, people can be invited to join by you or by others in the group, if you have admin rights. This means your child could be added into a group chat with people they don’t know.
It’s easy to add people you don’t know from group chats (or for them to add you). The tricky thing about group chats is that everyone in the chat can see your child’s phone number. Even people who they don’t know or have added to contacts, meaning anyone could choose to contact your child separately. If this does happen then it’s important to block the number.
Check out our tips on how to report, block and keep chats as private as possible.
You can video chat on WhatsApp
You can video chat with up to eight people on WhatsApp. People in video calls can be added by you or by others in group, meaning your child might be in group video call with people they don’t know.
When you’re invited to join a group video call your screen will show the people currently on the call. Remind your child not to answer if they see people or numbers they don’t recognise. If they see anything upsetting or inappropriate remind them they can exit the chat and tell an adult.
We’ve got more advice on video chat, video sharing and livestreaming.
You can share personal information on WhatsApp – including your live location
You can share written messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, your location and your phone contacts on WhatsApp. ‘Live location’ lets you share your current moving location for 15 minutes up to 8 hours. WhatsApp also lets you forward messages from your conversation, which means something you send could get sent to other people.
Make sure you talk to your child about what’s appropriate to share online and what’s not by following our top tips.