Cypher Safeguarding and Privacy Policy

What is Cypher?

Cypher is a social community for young people to share their thoughts, feelings, secrets, news and lifestyle by posting anonymously.

Your post can be a secret, a thought, a feeling, something humorous, aspirational or hopeful.

We believe in Cypher as a social community built by and for young people, to support young people to have less stress and anxiety by providing a safe place to share, and connect to expert support organisations in times of need.

When you first download the Cypher mobile app, you will need to create a new anonymous account by choosing your own username, pin, security question and answer. We will also ask for your age, and gender. We request this data to support us with data analysis, improve services for young people and content filtering. This information is not identifiable therefore you will remain anonymous. You can share secrets of 200 characters or less and by sharing you give Cypher full permission to share your secret as deemed appropriate by Cypher. We retain the full right of ownership of all posts and content shared on Cypher.

We take safeguarding of young people seriously. Our services are not directed to persons under 11.

PLEASE NOTE – Cypher cannot provide emergency support, advice or assistance. If you are in an emergency please call the police on 999 or for emotional support call Childline on 0800 1111 if you live in the UK or contact the emergency service of your country.

What if a secret indicates a user is in immediate danger or harm?

If we receive a secret that indicates a young person is in imminent danger or at immediate of harm, will act to safeguard this young person by sending a 'push notification', which will advise you have an urgent message in 'My Secrets''. 'My Secrets' is a section of the app that only the young person who the account belongs to can access, by entering their pin. When they enter this section of the app they will have a message waiting, which will advise We'd like to reassure you that you are not alone. Some words in your last post suggest that you might be feeling down. There are some awesome organisations that want to offer their support, please try to access the perfect one for you' We also reserve the right to take the necessary steps to try and safeguard that young person by passing on the secret and other geo location to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency (CEOP) for additional support, in the most serious of cases or to the appropriate authority of the user's country.

What happens if an inappropriate secret is shared?

Cypher uses a custom algorithm to search for inappropriate keywords in a post so that when a secret is shared it will be automatically checked against a dictionary of inappropriate and offensive keywords. Any secret that is flagged will not go live and drop into a queue for human moderation. Along with keyword flagging by Cypher’s algorithm, we have human moderators responsible for scanning through content and lastly we have a in-app feature where users can flag/report posts they deem inappropriate. We have this process in place to allow every young person to have the most inclusive experience as possible without compromising themselves or others using the platform. Cypher does not have human moderators 24 hours a day to monitor all shared content.

Copyright material

If you are posting material that you think might be copyrighted, then you must use quotation marks (‘’) for this post. If a post is found to break copyright laws, then it will be removed. We strongly advise that you share what is important to you anonymously, and not quote copyrighted materials such as song lyrics etc.

Defamatory comments

Defamatory comments are strictly against Cypher’s code of conduct. If you make a defamatory comment then you are at risk of legal action being taken against you. Any posts that are found to be defamatory will be removed.

An example of defamation would be if a young person is naming other people e.g. parents, teachers, club leaders, local police officers, other young people, etc. as abusers.

A defamatory comment or post is one that might damage or undermine the reputation of a person or organisation who it is written about, by:

  • Exposing the individual or organisation to hatred, ridicule or contempt;
  • Causing the individual or organisation to be shunned or avoided;
  • Lowering the individual or organisation in the view of the general public; or
  • Damaging the individual’s reputation in their office, profession or trade or the organisation's office, profession or trade.

Verified Users & Commenting on posts

Young people using Cypher can obtain verified user status after posting 5 secrets and giving out 10 positive affirmation interactions to other young people's posts. The app will guide users through this process. If you become verified, this allows you to make comments on other verified users' secrets and receive comments too. As with all secrets posted, every comment will be automatically checked against a dictionary of inappropriate and offensive keywords by our custom algorithm and other verified users also have the ability to flag a comment they find offensive or inappropriate. Cypher reserves the right to unverify a user at any point, should an inappropriate or offensive comment be made.

Location Settings

When you first download the app you have the option to either ‘allow’ or ‘don’t allow’ Cypher to access your location while you use the app. As is specified when this option appears, location is primarily used to help improve the secret content you will see. We will also use location data to understand what is trending in different areas. If you choose ‘allow’, we will not be able to identify who you are, so you will still remain anonymous.


Glimpse is a section of the app where you can access news, entertainment and lifestyle content within the app. The content is aggregated from sources including YouTube, Vine and other web sources. All content is curated by Cypher and will therefore be appropriate for all of Cypher’s users.


iFriend is a section of the app where you can add up to five 'internet friends' to your private iFriend list. You can have 1-2-1 chats with your iFriends; you can also tag your iFriends in comments. As with all secrets and comments posted, every chat text of iFriends will be automatically checked against a dictionary of inappropriate and offensive keywords by our custom algorithm and moderated by Cypher human moderators for the purpose of preventing offensive or inappropriate content. Cypher reserves the right to unverify a user at any point, should an inappropriate or offensive comment be made.


AppCounselling is currently being piloted in limited locations; you'd need to have an approved QR code to be able to access our direct counselling service. This does not prevent you from accessing your usual counselling services in your local area or with Childline or equivalent of Childline in your country.

Coupon codes and school rating

By entering a coupon code within the app, you will have access to additional background images. It will also allow us to know which organisation has given you the coupon code, which will enable us to work with these organisations to improve services for young people. You can also rate your school in a number of categories every six months. This data is anonymous and we hope the data will help improve school services for young people.

Sharing content from Cypher

Users can share content from within Cypher including their mood, secrets from the ‘happy’ tab and content from within Glimpse. It is your responsibility for what content you share, how you share it and with whom you share it.

Android Users

For Cypher’s Android users, the app will allow you to call phone numbers within ‘get support’, which may incur call charges. Please check your call rates with your service provider. Although upon installing the app, the settings suggest we can ‘modify or delete the contents of your SD card and read its contents’ we will NEVER do so. This is a standard Android requirement. This setting is only enabled to allow you to use Cypher in offline mode. The ‘find accounts on the device’ enables you to login to Cypher and ‘prevent phone from sleeping’ is enabled, to allow you to receive push notifications.

What happens with your anonymous secrets after they have been shared?

Cypher receives your anonymous secrets and thoughts through our mobile app. When using the app you consent to our terms of sharing, collection, transfer, storage, disclosure and other uses of your anonymous secrets and thoughts as described in this Privacy Policy. Irrespective of which country you reside in or supply secrets and thoughts from, you authorise Cypher to use what you have shared in the United Kingdom and any other country where Cypher operates.

We also use a database to collect anonymous statistical information to help us improve Cypher’s services. This can also involve sharing anonymous information with others to promote Cypher as a social project working with young people and raising funds.

Cypher may give local authorities and other local and national organisations access to anonymous data.

Local Authorities and other local and national organisations only have access to anonymous data; they do not have access to geo location of users. Cypher’s intention in doing this is to encourage local authorities and other organisations to use our data to better understand the voice, feelings and wishes of young people in their local area. By doing so they will be able to provide more appropriate services, more quickly to meet what is most important to the young people in their community.

Having your phone’s location settings on will ensure Cypher will localise and personalise (sign post to) support organisations for individual users based on the approximate location. This is to empower a user to access the most relevant support available to them instantly.

How do we store your secrets and geo location addresses?

We are legally bound by children safeguarding ethics to ensure that such information is only used for the purpose for which it was requested and also to ensure that the data is held securely.

  • Records are kept on an electronic database built for Cypher.
  • Cypher will keep your geo location records for 5 years.
  • We are unable to provide you with copies of your geo location.

Invite your friends

When you invite your friends to use Cypher via the ‘invite your friends’ feature in the Cypher menu, a text message will be automatically created for you to send. Any text messages sent will be charged at your standard network rate. Please check with your phone network as to the cost of sending a text message.

Cypher and Social Networks

Cypher users should not post or send us secrets on our social network websites such as Facebook or Twitter etc. Human moderators will delete any secrets that are shared on Cypher’s Facebook page or tweeted to our Twitter handle.

Accessing Support “Get Support”

Through “Get Support” Cypher only provide support by providing a link to third party organisations, we do not own or manage any of the third party organisations. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy of data collected by organisations not managed by Cypher.

Business Transfers

In the event that Cypher is involved in a bankruptcy, merger, acquisition, reorganisation or sale of assets, your secrets and anonymous information may be sold or transferred as part of that transaction. The promises in this policy may apply to your anonymous information as transferred to the new entity with this exception, we will never sell or transfer Cypher anonymous information to a data company and we have no intention to do so.

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at

Effective: July 2017

Review:  September 2017