Children love YouTube, there’s no denying it. But the fact that they can search for virtually anything can be scary for many parents – and they should be concerned. YouTube can be a very dangerous place for a child for many reasons. Not only could they end up accessing sexualized content or violence, but they could also find themselves interacting with bullies and even predators. However, there are some things all parents can do to make YouTube a safer space for their children. Here are a few of them.
Make Sure that the Whole Family Uses the Same Google Account
The first thing you want to do is be able to monitor the videos your children are watching. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Google account that the whole family will use. You’ll not only be able to see everything they watch, but you’ll be able to restrict some content as well.
To do so, all you have to do next is click on your icon at the top of the page. You should see “restricted mode” at the bottom. Once this is switched on, that will restrict some of the inappropriate content on YouTube, but not all of it. However, this will be your first line of defense. You also have to make sure that you save the settings and that it’s switched on for every browser that is being used. This means it will need to be done on every computer and device in the house.
Look at What They Like
You should pay attention to which type of videos your children like to watch. You could do this by watching your account or sitting down with them while they’re on YouTube. If you notice that they like a lot of the content from a particular YouTuber, and you like their content, then get them to subscribe to them if they haven’t already. This way, the content from this provider will be promoted in their feed. They will also see when they post new content. Hopefully, this could stop your children from wandering and stumbling on content that would be inappropriate for them.
Also, it’s very important that you listen to some of the provider’s content to see if what they say aligns with how you want to raise your child. Also, you want to know what type of reputation the YouTuber has in the community.
One of the simplest ways to do so is to look at their Wikipedia page. Check if they’ve been involved in any type of scandal or feud. The thing with YouTubers is that their fans usually end up taking sides, and you don’t want your child to either be antagonized or antagonize others online. So, if possible, make sure that they’re a positive figure both on and off YouTube.
Get YouTube Kids
Did you know that YouTube has an app that features kid-friendly content only? YouTube Kids could be a great option if you want to make sure that only see content that they should. It will also give you more control when they’re using a mobile device.
If you suspect that your child is watching content that they shouldn’t be after you’ve restricted the account, you have to be ready to be strict and even limit their access to the internet for a while. This might be tough, but there are things that you can do if they still want to watch YouTube videos even if you have no internet access.
For instance, you could check out when new content from their favorite YouTubers is uploaded and download it. Tons of apps will allow you to download videos locally. Some of them will even allow you to download playlists.
If you want to find a great YouTube video downloader, Setapp has a useful review of the best video downloaders available. This is essential since you don’t know which ones can be trusted. They also look at which apps allow you to download multiple videos at once, for instance, and which ones can extract videos in a wide number of formats.
Once this is done, you’ll be able to have some control over their YouTube videos. Another option would be to allow them to watch YouTube, but only if they’re in the same room as you. This will make sure that you can monitor what they watch, but it could also start to change their viewing habits.
Tips for Children Creators
If your child likes to make YouTube videos, then you should think twice about them being distributed publicly. Instead, it would be a wiser option to set the videos to private. This way, only the people you want will be able to watch them. Or, you can set the videos to “unlisted” and only have people with a specific link be able to watch the video.
If the videos are going to be public, then we strongly suggest that you block the messages. People can say extremely nasty things on videos. This could be devastating to a child and younger children can have difficulty dealing with the fact that someone may not like them, so it would be a better idea to remove comments altogether.
Look at Parental Control Software
Another thing you could consider doing is looking into parental control software. You can pick them based on the level of control that you want. Some will go as far as allowing you to check out keystrokes. While many are free, paid options usually allow you to have better control.
Qustodio is a perfect example. It allows you to not only monitor what your child does and watches online, but to also do things like setting time limits on their surfing time. A good piece of software should allow you to monitor their activity no matter the device. It should also be difficult to temper with.
YouTube can be both a wonderful and scary place for children, and it’s your job to make sure that they stay safe at all times. These tips are a great start, so make sure that you implement them today if you haven’t already.