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Tips To Make YouTube Safer For Kids

Friday, November 21st, 2014

YouTube is the most popular video site on the internet. And while it is a treasure trove of information for people of all ages, it also hosts adult and violent content which is not suitable for kids. This article will reveal several methods to make the overall experience of viewing YouTube safer for kids and young people.

1) Safety Mode

YouTube features a powerful Safety Mode that filters out most of the objectionable content present on the site. To enable the Safety Mode, simply scroll to the bottom of the page while browsing YouTube, click on “Safety”, switch the option to “ON” and finally click on the “Save” button. To make Safety Mode as the default browsing option for YouTube, simply log into your YouTube account and use the “Lock safety mode on this browser” option when you turn on the safety mode. This needs to be done once for every browser that you have on your computer or mobile device.

While using the Safety Mode is the easiest way to protect your kids from offensive content, it is not 100% foolproof. That’s because YouTube relies on its user community for rating the content. If an obnoxious video has not been marked as “Adult Only” by the uploader or rated by enough people, it could find its way in the list of “Recommended Videos” even when the safety mode is switched on. For better filtering of the content, you may use paid solutions like Norton’s Family Premier, McAfee’s Safe Eyes, Net Nanny or OpenDNS’ Umbrella Web Filtering. These tools are even capable of blocking objectionable content that passes through YouTube’s Safety Mode filters plus they are extremely easy to set up and monitor.

2) Use a Family Account

Apart from using the Safety mode, it is also a good idea to set up a separate YouTube account for your kids and family. This would allow you to keep a track of the type of content that your kids access on the site as well as monitor the information that they publicly share. And if you let your kids upload videos, don’t forget to turn off comments or at least subject them to manual approval so that your kids don’t get exposed to profane language.

Since YouTube encourages people to share opinions through videos and comments, it is possible for young people to reveal personal information accidentally and face harassment or bullying from cyber stalkers. So it is definitely a good idea to educate your kids regarding the dangers of posting personal information on the internet as well as define rules regarding what kind of information they must and must not share through their user profile, comments or videos. If someone is trying to bully your child, block the user immediately and report the matter to Google through YouTube’s Help & Safety Tool.

3) Create Custom Playlists

To ensure total safety of your kids, it is also a good idea to create playlists of videos that are appropriate for their age. Before adding a video to your custom playlist, be sure to watch the entire clip so that videos containing offensive content or vulgar language do not end up in your list. You may also want to subscribe to few kid friendly channels so that your kids get access to new content without having to search for it.

4) Safety on Mobile Devices

To prevent your child from accessing inappropriate content through Smartphones or tablets, make sure to use kid friendly browsers like Maxthon or Ranger instead of the official YouTube app. Alternatively, you may install a browser plugin like KidZui or use apps like Cakey, KidSafe Tube or iTubeList to make their YouTube experience totally safe.

November 21, 2014

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