Every parent should want to keep their kid safe. Whether it’s from kidnappers, bad weather, or inappropriate music videos, parents usually want to keep their children and teenagers safe. There are some that believe sheltering children is impossible and unrealistic, but not taking safety precautions will almost always result in negative consequences. While nobody can ever be protected from anything, here is a basic guide about keeping your teenagers and children safe and monitored while they are on YouTube.
1. How YouTube works.
YouTube is a website where anybody can put videos of any subject on it. These videos range from professional movie trailers to poorly made music videos to free how-to crafting lessons. People then can type words into a search bar to find and watch these videos. Without an “account” (which requires an e-mail), one can only watch videos. If one has a YouTube account, though, one can “follow” a person, meaning that they are updated on that person’s activity on YouTube, and they also may officially like, dislike, and comment on other people’s videos or their own, letting strangers see everything they do. Finally, account holders can post a picture almost whatever they want as their profile picture.
2. How safe is it?
Those that do not have an account are not able to communicate with strangers, but are probably more likely to watch something inappropriate compared to those that do have an account. Without an account, certain videos will be blocked, but there are still quite a few inappropriate videos with sexual filthiness; strong, vulgar language; and gory violence as it is up to the person who creates the video to set limitations. One can sometimes get a hint at what they are watching from recommended videos in the “new” section, but this is not always accurate and can often have nothing to do with what they watched. Another downside is that the videos a person watches cannot be tracked in any way. Finally, too many children and teenagers are giving out their names, addresses, and ages to the public in YouTube comments and to “friends.”
People with accounts are open to communication with strangers, but there are several advantages. First, the account may be open on multiple devices, meaning everyone can share one account and everyone can track everyone else. Second, settings on what people are allowed to watch can be put up. Finally, all the videos and search words put in are recorded. If a family shares an account and checks up on each others searches, the risk of watching something inappropriate are greatly reduced.
3. Additional Risks
As you probably know, every system has its loopholes. Even if one has an account, one can take down the settings and delete video history and search words. All of these things can reduce the safety of having a YouTube account.
4. In conclusion: We recommend that if your child or teenager wants a YouTube account, certain steps should be followed. We advice that through childhood and most, if not all, of the teenager years, you and your child should share an account. When the child is old enough to have their own and you truly believe they are responsible, by all means, let them have one, but agree to certain things. We advise that you know the child’s password and occasionally check up on their account.
Most importantly, keep an open line of communication. Make rules about what they can and cannot watch very clear, as well as when, where, and with whom they can use YouTube. Be fair and genuinely listen to their opinion, but never forget the responsibility you have to keep them safe as a parent.
We hope this guide has helped you make better decisions for your family. If there are any other questions or maybe even additional advice, feel free to comment or send us a message through facebook.