How to make YouTube Safe for kids

Kids love YouTube, but how can you protect them from adult and offensive material, read on.....

YouTube is a popular video sharing site that contains home made videos uploaded by individuals as well as professional productions from singers and film \ TV companies.

 

Does YouTube cost anything?

YouTube is completely free to upload videos and to watch them. Income is generated from advertising revenue. In 2018 YouTube will introduce a service call YouTube Red in the UK which will allow users to watch videos free of adverts and offline. The YouTube Red service is expected to cost less than £10.

 

Is an account need to watch YouTube?

YouTube is owned by Google and so any type of Google account ( e.g. Gmail or Google+) can be used with YouTube (unless the account owner is under 13 years of age). However to watch videos no account is necessary, just go to www.youtube.co.uk, search or browse for videos and click play.

Any videos that contain adult content will require an account where the age is registered as over 18 years old. Like most other social media sites there is no method in place to confirm age. Making it very easy for children to watch content that is not age appropriate.

YouTube relies on the honesty of uploaders to mark their videos as having adult content and doesn’t routinely review content. Videos can be flagged by users as having adult content, which will then get them reviewed.

 

What are the threats to children on YouTube?

As with pretty much all social media site the main threats are:

  • Viewing inappropriate content
  • Sharing of personal information
  • Connecting with users they do not know
  • Cyber bullying


Ways to protect your child on YouTube

Enable YouTube Safe Search by enabling Restricted Mode

If you’re not logged on with a Google account - scroll to the bottom of the YouTube website and set ‘Restricted Mode: On’

If Restricted Mode is enable when not logged on with a Google account it can easily be turned off again. To make sure the setting can’t be turned off easily it needs to be set when logged on with a Google account. This way when you log off from the Google account Restricted Mode will still be enforced and can only be turned off again when logged on with the Google account
If logged on with a Google account the Restricted Mode setting can be found at the bottom of the Settings page

youtube restricted mode

When safe search is enabled no adult content will be returned in YouTube search results. The system generally works well, but it isn’t 100% effective!
Note: Restricted mode has to be enabled for each web browser that’s used. For Example, If your computer has FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer then restricted mode will have to be enabled on each browser.

CyberShield has YouTube Safe Search enabled by default, which means any internet device (Computer or mobile device) and all web browsers that connects to the internet via CyberShield will automatically have adult content blocked.
The YouTube App also has the Restricted Mode in Settings, however there doesn’t appear to be away to prevent Restricted Mode from being turned of

 

YouTube Kids Appyoutube kids app

In to 2015 YouTube released the YouTube Kids App which is aimed at kids between 3 – 10 year olds. The app has the following features to help protect kids from inappropriate content


Blocking -  Easily prevent your child from accessing channels
Reporting – Videos can easily be reported for fast review
Search Control – Enable or disable the ability to search content. Safe search is always enabled.
Timer – Control how much time can be spent on YouTube
History – Check what videos your kids have been watching
Google Family Link – integrates with Google’s Family Link

As with any online safety the best protection is education, discussion and supervision!



Amazing YouTube Facts

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day

Over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

YouTube is the 2nd most popular website in the world

The first YouTube video was uploaded April 2005

More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices