5 Tips for Parents to make Youtube Safer for Kids

07 Sep 2016 UK SIC

UK SIC’s resident Devon and Cornwall Police Officer Steve gives his 5 top tips for parents to make Youtube safer for their kids.

There is no denying it, children love Youtube. They can spend hours searching and watching their favourite videos, learning new stuff or creating their own videos and uploading them to share with family and friends.

Unfortunately not everything on Youtube is child friendly and they can come across some very inappropriate stuff like; violence, sexual videos, bad language and even bullying and trolls.

Here are 5 tips for parents to help make Youtube that bit safer.

(1)  Create an account in Google that is used by the whole Family. When you make a shared Google account you can see exactly what videos your children are watching, uploading and even what they are sharing.

(2)  Once you have signed in to Youtube via the Family Google Account, the next thing to do is switch on restricted mode. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the YouTube page you will see an option to turn on Restricted Mode. This will help keep out some, but not all, of the inappropriate stuff you don’t want your kids to see. Remember that you have to save this option and you have to set it up for every browser that you use. So if you have multiple computers then you will have to do this on each of them.

(3)  Sit down with you kids and go through the things that they like to watch. Most of things they like will be attached to a channel. If you are happy with the content of the channel then get them to subscribe to it, this will promote the page’s content to their feed when they log in. It also lets them know when new videos are available, hopefully this will stop some of the searching which may lead them into content they don’t want to see.

(4)  If your children are into creating videos then make sure they are signed into the family account when they upload these videos, also make sure they upload videos privately. When they click the upload button they can choose to upload as ‘Public’, ‘Private’ or ‘Unlisted’. Private means that only people you choose can view the video. If you choose unlisted then the video can only be viewed by a link generated within the video and this means that only people that you send then link too can view the video.

(5)  The last thing to do is disable the comments. By disabling this it stops people from making inappropriate comments on any video uploaded by them.

Youtube is an amazing resource for knowledge and entertainment as well as a great way for children to explore their creativity when making videos. By following these 5 tips you will make it a safer place for them but remember you can’t make it 100% safe. Keep having regular chats with your kids about what they are doing on Youtube, take time to sit down with them and use Youtube together and have some fun as a family.

Lastly don’t forget that Youtube’s terms and conditions mean that the site should not be used by anyone under 13 years of age. If your children are under 13 years of age then Youtube has created an App available on Google Play and Apple’s App store especially for them called ‘Youtube for Kids’. 

Youtube for kids was created especially for children under 13 years of age, using stronger filtering algorithms to keep kids safe. Remember though nothing is 100% safe so maintain an interest in what they are doing and keep having those important safety chats.

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