Is Google Hangouts Safe, Secure and Private?

Last updated: April 25, 2017 - 6:03pm EDT

Now that we’ve gone over what Google Hangouts is and how it works, you may be wondering whether or not it’s completely safe to use. In this article, we’ll go over how safe Google Hangouts is, and give you some tips to help you stay safe while using Google Hangouts.

Is Google Hangouts safe?

Yes, Google Hangouts is safe to use. Google Hangouts encrypts your information and conversations to protect your safety and privacy. As long as you only use it to communicate with people you already know and trust, you’ll be safe using all of the communication options on Google Hangouts.

However, some people may have safety concerns due to the particular types of encryption the software uses. Your text chat messages on Google Hangouts are also archived, much the same way that messages on various social media platforms are. So while your messages are private, Google still has a record of them.

Is Google Hangouts secure?

Yes, Google Hangouts is secure. Your conversations are encrypted so that nobody else can see or hear your conversations. However, Google does not use end-to-end encryption, so if for some reason the government requested access to your Google Hangouts conversations, Google could allow them access.

This isn’t really something that you need to worry about, though. This type of access would not be given without good reason, so unless you’re a criminal on the run, it won’t be a problem.

Is Google Hangouts private?

Google Hangouts is private, and when you send messages or have a conversation with someone on Google Hangouts, it will only be visible to you and the other person/people in the conversation. Other users will not be able to see your conversation unless you add them as a contact and invite them to join.

4 tips to stay safe using Google Hangouts

1. Don’t communicate with anyone you don’t know.

Only add or accept requests from people you know and trust, like your family and friends. You shouldn’t risk talking to anyone you don’t already know.

2. Prevent anyone else from accidentally accessing your account by signing out when you’re done using Google Hangouts.

If you happen to be using Google Hangouts on a shared/public computer or device (e.g. at a library), be sure to sign out of your Google account when you’re finished to make sure that nobody else can access your account. To sign out, click on your profile photo in the top right corner, then click Sign Out.

Google Hangouts sign out screen

3. Secure your account with a good password.

Make sure you have a strong password to protect your account in case someone tries to hack into it. Have a look at our free passwords course to learn how to make a strong, secure password.

4. If anyone happens to be bothering you on Google Hangouts, block them.

Block anyone who bothers you on Google Hangouts. If someone is trying to contact you and you don’t want them to be able to, block them to prevent them from contacting you. To block someone, hover over their name with your cursor, click the downwards arrow, then click Block.

Button to block Google Hangouts user

 

That’s all the information you need to know about the safety, privacy, and security of Google Hangouts. The next article in our Google Hangouts course will tell you about the potential costs of the communication tool.

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