Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has become one of the most popular online sites with over 790 million monthly visitors and currently boasts one of the most diverse platforms available online. It offers home DIY videos, music, educational advice, gaming tips, and more. I think we can safely say that YouTube is here to stay.
Unfortunately, it also hosts content that is deemed inappropriate for children and teenagers; and without taking precautions, this content can easily be viewed by your children. That’s why the creators of YouTube and various web browsers have provided safety settings so that parents can make YouTube safer for their children.
We offer some guidelines below that will help ensure that your child’s YouTube visit is both safe and beneficial.
1. Activate Restricted Mode
YouTube allows its users to activate “Restricted Mode”, a privacy setting that filters inappropriate content. While this is not 100% foolproof, it does lessen the likelihood of your child viewing unsuitable and offensive content. To activate the Restricted Mode, scroll to the bottom of the YouTube landing page and click the Restricted Mode button. You will be given the option to turn Restricted Mode on or off. This is only enabled on an individual browser basis which means that you will need to do this on any other browser that you or your child use to access YouTube.
Unfortunately, despite enabling the Restricted Mode, inappropriate content may not always be restricted. For example, in cases where YouTube content is broadcast onto a television screen (from your mobile device), all content, even restricted content, may still run on the television screen. It is for reasons such as this that we suggest parents keep an eye on what their children watch on YouTube at all times.
2. Block inappropriate channels
If there are certain channels that you find to be inappropriate, you can block them from appearing on your channel. To do this, find the thumbnail for a video made by the channel you wish to block. Click on the About tab, click the flag icon and then select “Block User”.
3. Make all uploads private
Even though YouTube has recently disabled the option to make private accounts, you can still make all of your uploads private. Once you have uploaded a video or clip to YouTube, select the “Actions” tab in the top right hand corner and select “Private.” This will allow you to determine who is allowed to view and comment on the video.
4. Disable Comments
It is no secret that Youtube may at times have vulgar and inappropriate comments on some of the videos. Comments left on videos may contain offensive language and content that could be distressing to your child. Google chrome has developed an extension which, when activated, will hide the comments section on all Youtube content. To add this extension to your Google Chrome account, click here.
5. Join in
At ParentsCorner, we believe that engaging with your children about the online world is the best way to ensure that they are kept safe and informed online. Not only do we recommend that you talk to your children about safe viewing but we also suggest that you watch YouTube with them whenever possible. Not only will this give you a chance to monitor their viewing and activity but it is also a great way to invite conversations about what content is deemed appropriate and what isn’t, and perhaps even what they should or shouldn’t be uploading to sites such as Youtube.