Social Media Marketing

Safe YouTube: What Should I Do?

Luvai Sabir
Luvai Sabir

Every day, you work hard to prevent your children from so many different dangers, but they are exposed to infinite threats online every day. Predators, disturbing content, and other things you would not want them to experience in real life are all waiting for them.

Young adults have access to a bottomless pool of content thanks to platforms such as YouTube and Reddit. With the internet, the rise of smartphones, and social media access, they can view content anytime, anywhere. 

Regardless of your experience or knowledge on the subject, platforms like YouTube are changing how children are growing up today.

It is not wrong that kids now have more access to new sources of information, some being good and some being bad. To find useful content on YouTube is easy, but so is stumbling across malicious or even harmful content.

How can I restrict what my children watch on YouTube?

The answer to this question is not very simple. Fortunately enough, parents have options available to them to control YouTube and Internet access for their children.

Parents' number one priority should be to teach their children how to protect themselves online and make use of social media safely. As a parent, you cannot monitor everything your child does, and older teenagers might want and may even need some digital privacy. Instead, try focusing on being proactive about their internet safety while teaching them how to protect themselves online.

Are you looking for ways to share YouTube videos with your students safely? Then you've come to the right place! You can easily pull YouTube up on your computer and play a video for the students to monitor the ads and duration at school. 

But that can't happen during distance learning when you use YouTube videos in your lessons, and your students are watching them on their own.

Safe YouTube Website

It is the first site I have stumbled upon to find a solution to the problem, and I think it's pretty much my favorite. The website, www.safeyoutube.net, is to the point, easy to use, and requires no sign-up/account. 

Just look up the video you want to use on YouTube, copy the page URL from YouTube and paste it on Safe YouTube's website. Click "Generate a link," and voila! You can then copy the Safe URL to share or embed and change the video's title, length, and more. 

The best part? It's completely FREE! As there is no account required, they do not save a record of the videos you have added.

What Exactly Children do Online?

An Australian study reported that 95% of 8- to 11-year-olds access the internet in a month. The most popular websites they accessed were YouTube, Facebook, and online games like Roblox

Email and text messaging have been left behind on social media for many younger users. Sites like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and others provide an endless amount of content.

The Threat of Online Strangers

Social platforms like Instagram and Twitter not only let you connect with close friends and family members, they also allow you to initiate communication with strangers. 

Almost 50% of Facebook users accept friend requests from people they have never interacted with or met, and most users are familiar with stories of social media or chat requests that have gone wrong. 

Did you know that YouTube allows users to comment on most videos and that those comments may contain links posted by predatory adults?

Parental Controls

Modern devices, apps, and web services offer parental controls that allow parents to restrict access to certain content for their kids but did you know that many antivirus software already includes parental controls?

A quick search and you can see which antivirus software comes inclusive of parental controls. Still, in our experience, the best way to promote safe Internet browsing is through education, awareness, and conversation.

Platforms such as Netflix have built-in parental controls that restrict access with a passcode/password. Netflix supports kid-centric user accounts to block adult-only shows. iPhones also have parental controls in their setting's menu.

Some tech-savvy kids have learned how to bypass parental controls by installing specific software. You can prevent them from doing so by giving them access to user accounts that are not administrator on your operating system. Most systems only permit admin accounts to install new software.

Finally, educating your kids about intelligent browsing habits will go a long way toward ensuring their safety. Teach them to:

  • Never share their personal information online, like phone number, email, address, or private pictures.
  • Think before you post! Your name is associated with everything you say online, so don't post anything you would not want your teacher, a friend, family member, or potential employer to view.
  • Make them understand that their actions online can have consequences in real life. It's not always safe and secure.
  • Take the time to go through all the privacy settings and policies on Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone!
  • Avoid meeting anyone you may befriend online without parental permission or knowledge.

These are just some general guidelines. You should look into the specific sites and platforms your children enjoy using to see if they offer any customized parental controls.

Facebook

One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook, and the younger audiences are increasingly turning away from it. If your child uses Facebook, having a profile can play a huge role for your child to fit in with friends at school. 

The child's posts can not only impact his livelihood in the long run but can also invite dangers online. Many college admissions administrators and employers have reported that the applicant's Facebook content and other channels can harm their chances.

YouTube

People of all ages use YouTube's modernized access to digital media and this popular video-sharing website. Even though parents rely on YouTube to entertain or educate their children, there is much harmful content on YouTube that masquerades as kid-friendly.

YouTube has everything: children's shows, toy reviews, video game gameplay combined with player commentary ( also known as "Let's Plays"), and much more. 

YouTube's content creators are always looking for ways to provide content to younger audiences. The official Peppa Pig YouTube account, for example, streams episodes of the show for free.

You can't expect everything to be kid-friendly. You can find plenty of malicious and racy content on YouTube. Users can "flag" questionable videos, and YouTube also offers a "Kids' Mode." These solutions aren't perfect, and the only way to ensure safe browsing for very young children is to be aware of what they are watching.

  • Let them watch with the audio coming from a speaker so you can listen in on.
  • Check on their video and search history from time to time.
  • Stay updated on the current trends when it comes to questionable content (more on this later).
  • Please encourage them to watch channels that you know are kid-friendly.

YouTube Parental Controls

Parental controls exist on YouTube. They are far from perfect, and some harmful content will still sneak through, but you can minimize the risk that your children will see something malicious. Here's how you can make use of YouTube's parental controls:

  • Block specific content types and creators. If there's a particular channel you are aware of or a genre of content, you can block it.
  • Allow approved content only. Parents can decide what their children watch by supporting specific content. Children will only be able to watch this content.
  • Turn the search off. You can turn off the search function on YouTube. It is an excellent option for parents of children who can read and write.
  • Limit use to YouTube Kids. It is the go-to option for parents who want to use a kid-friendly version of YouTube. While it may not block everything, it does remove a lot of adult content.

Conclusion

The internet has had a positive impact on many of the kids today. As a parent, though, your responsibility is to create a healthy balance between Internet use and your children's online privacy and digital security. Talk to them at length about social media and content consumption, and be ready to step in whenever the issues arise.

Be an active listener, make them aware of the dangers of specific content, and make sure that they understand the consequences of their actions online

You should take the time to understand the websites and services your children use the most. Educating them how to interact with others online is essential to succeeding in an increasingly Internet-centered society.

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