Child safety and safeguarding
Children under 16
You must be at least 16 to use FutureLearn, so if you are 15 or younger, you must not sign up for an account yourself.
Instead you should ask a parent or guardian to register an account for themselves, in their name, and then learn alongside them until you are old enough for your own account.
Children aged 13 to 15 who registered an account before 11 February 2022 may continue to access the site.
Staying safe online
At FutureLearn we think that talking about ideas with other people is a great way to learn, which is why we encourage learning through conversation.
As with any online environment where you can talk to other people, it’s important to stay safe and be aware of potential dangers, especially if you’re under 18.
Before you start communicating with anyone, take a moment to think about your existing presence online. It’s a good idea to review the privacy settings on any social media profiles you might have and make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re sharing. What happens if you search for your own name? Do any of the results surprise you?
Here are our top FutureLearn privacy tips for younger learners:
- Use just one letter for your last name on your profile, so you will appear to others as “Firstname L” instead of “Firstname Lastname”
- Don’t use a profile picture of yourself
- Never share direct contact details (such as email address, telephone number or Snapchat username) with another user – even if they ask you for them, or they’re an educator
- Never share your exact location, whether in comments or on your profile – just your country will do
- Be careful not to reveal other personal information about yourself and people you know, such as names of family members, teachers, and friends
- Make sure you have ticked the box to stop your FutureLearn profile appearing in web search results
- Help the community by looking out for and reporting anything you think might not be safe. FutureLearn moderators can help by hiding comments that contain personal details once you have reported them
Want to check or make changes? Update your profile now.
What to do if you’re worried
If you think you’ve made a mistake in a comment and think you might have revealed something you shouldn’t, you can go back and edit your comment or profile at any time.
If you see anything in a comment or profile that concerns you on FutureLearn, you can report it to us by clicking on the flag button beneath it, which looks like this:
You can also click the [support] button at the bottom of any page in a course, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help if you’re worried about someone’s behaviour.
If you think someone is being creepy, for example if they keep asking questions about where you live or your family members, or they ask for your contact details:
- Do not reply to them
- Press the flag button and report the comment for ‘suspected grooming’ (don’t worry, the person won’t know you reported it)
- Contact us at email@example.com, providing as much information as you can
If someone is being creepy outside of FutureLearn, please see the Think U Know website for more advice.
Safeguarding at FutureLearn
If you think you or someone else on FutureLearn might be subject to bullying, please see our advice about online bullying.
You can read more about Safeguarding at FutureLearn in our Help Centre, including what to do if you are concerned about contact from or behaviour of other learners, educators, or members of FutureLearn staff.