What Parents Need to Know About YouTube

by Barbara J. Feldman on March 8, 2011

Do you have a teenager that spends hours on the internet? Do you know what type of websites they are visiting and what they are doing? Chances are your teen will have a Facebook account and they will likely use YouTube to post and watch videos. YouTube is a great place where you can watch historical videos, TV shows, music videos, and other great videos. It is also a place where you need to be careful as you can end up clicking on an inappropriate video and really regret what you just saw and heard. As parents we need to make sure we are doing all that we can to keep our kids safe and this will involve getting in touch with YouTube and finding out what your kids are looking at.

YouTube does try to flag some videos for adults only as they may be inappropriate for younger viewers. They have a notice that will come up and you need to click that you are 18 years old and input your user information before you will be allowed to watch the video. As we know, teens can easily get around something as simple as this content filter so what can we do in order to keep them safer? It comes down to talking to your kids and making sure they are looking at appropriate content. When you have open discussions with them and you let them know what type of things they should and should not be looking at, it will make it much easier to trust them. However you can help them to avoid the temptation by changing the safety settings in YouTube.

Log into your account and scroll to the bottom of any page. Click on “safety” and then make sure it says “Safe mode ON”. This will remove all the swear words and inappropriate language and replace them with symbols and stars. The other thing it will do is filter out any of the videos that are linked to words like “sex” and “nudity”. This can also help to prevent your children from seeing videos that are inappropriate for their age.

YouTube is free to use and you don’t need to have an account to use it. So even if you try to make your kids use your account only, they can still watch all the videos they want without signing into the account. You will need to really try hard to make sure they aren’t using YouTube for inappropriate things or it may come down to the point where you end up needing to block the website from your home computers. Of course you do need to be careful since teenagers often have smartphones and other devices where they are able to access YouTube. Being able to have YouTube in your pocket is a blessing and a curse and for parents, it usually sides with the latter.

Not only do you need to be cautious about the videos your kids are watching, what about the videos they are making? Do their videos contain anything that is illegal or anything that is violent or inappropriate? You need to ensure that they are not uploading inappropriate videos as well. It is also important to make sure your children aren’t giving out their personal information or filing where they can be identified. The videos are available to anyone so you need to be very careful as the entire world can easily find out where you live and this can put your entire families safety at risk.

The other thing you need to know is that anyone can comment on the video as well. This can lead to a lot of inappropriate comments but it can also lead to hurtful ones as well and this can really have a big impact on your child.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "What Parents Need to Know About YouTube." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 8 Mar. 2011. Web. 21 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1546/what-parents-need-to-know-about-youtube/ >.


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