How to Keep Kids Safe on YouTube

Gadgets surround us in all spheres of life. This article contains tips that will help parents to properly prepare, for example, a tablet for use by the child and to protect it from unwanted YouTube content.

Protecting children in the digital environment

The Internet has undergone dramatic changes. It has become an endless source for children, offering them educational games, various entertainment activities, as well as numerous ways to share information, gain knowledge, and purposeful interaction with friends, family, and the outside world. At the same time, however, it became too dangerous a place for them to study without supervision.

Today, children and their parents face many risks and challenges: from privacy issues, the dissemination of knowingly false news and “deep fakes” to content with elements of violence and other inappropriate content, online fraud, as well as threats of grooming and abuse in the digital environment.

In recent years, access to the mobile Internet has increased significantly, and there is no single right solution to protect children and young people in the digital environment. This is a global problem that requires a global solution involving all segments of society, including children and young people.

Children and young people often go to digital environments in search of positive experiences and entertainment. Watching music videos, or Tick-Tocks on YouTube is the most popular activity for both boys and girls today.

How to keep kids safe on YouTube?

YouTube has implemented an automatic video tagging system that searches for videos targeted at children and changes their category. However, this does not relieve the channel owners of the obligation to set this category themselves. And for the fact that the owner of the channel did not mark his video following the requirements of the law, a fine of up to $ 42 thousand can be directly imposed on him.

What should be done so that children watch only useful and intended videos for them?

  • Step 1. Create a separate children’s account on the tablet.
  • Step 2. To filter videos 18+ that contain scenes of violence or obscenity, you need to log in to your YouTube profile through the application. In the general settings, select the safe mode (Restricted mode) and set the switch to the desired position.

YouTube Kids: what is it?

It also should be mentioned that the YouTube developers created a special extension – YouTube kids, where special content is stored. It is a standalone app for smart devices (available for download on Google Play and the App Store) that helps protect children from inappropriate videos and provides parents with advanced management options. You can create individual profiles for your children, limit the time spent in the program, or pre-approve which channels they can watch.

In addition to the simple and colorful interface, it differs from the usual YouTube by several important functions. With their help, parents can control the child’s behavior on the platform: prohibit him from searching for videos on his own, limit the viewing time, set up an access code, and so on.

YouTube began to divide children’s content into three segments: low, neutral, and high quality, which will influence the search results for specific videos. The video can be classified as the first segment because it targets advertising (even when it comes to unpacking), encourages negative behavior, lacks educational value, and so on. On the other hand, if a video fosters high values, instills healthy habits, encourages learning about the world, and fosters creativity, then YouTube analysts will class it as “high”.

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