Terms and conditions

Computer screen showing terms and conditions and there is a button that says I agreeWhen you sign up to a social media account or download an app, you are asked to agree to the terms and conditions.

Most people scroll to the bottom and select ‘I Agree’ without reading what they've agreed to. It is important that you’re aware of what you are agreeing to when you use websites and apps.

Most social media services have four parts to their terms and conditions:

Licence agreement - this allows the service to change, add to, delete, publicly display, reproduce, copy, distribute, sell and use your personal information including your photos, posts, private messages, comments and videos – without your permission.

Law enforcement disclaimer – by using the app or website, you give permission to the company that owns it to give information that was shared online to police for investigation purposes.

Community guidelines – the rules for how to use the service and what happens if you break those rules. These guidelines also usually tell you how old you need to be to use the service.

Privacy policy – explains what personal information the company collects, how it is used and what steps you can take to manage your privacy.

Most apps ask you to agree to their terms and conditions before you install them on your smartphone or device. They might also ask for access to your GPS or other information on your phone. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a system that can track your exact location, anywhere in the world (read Geotagging for more information).

You should be aware that while some apps are free to download at the start, they may have extra features that you have to pay money to use later on. These are called in-app purchases.

Before you download an app or sign up for an account:

  • understand what you’re signing up for
  • learn how your personal information will be used.

You can read more about apps here.