Keeping Kids Safe on Youtube
Keeping kids safe on youtube can be quite a challenge.
There are any number of wrong clicks they could make and suddenly find themselves faced with inappropriate content.
Sometimes it may seem that the best option is simply to make youtube off limits altogether. However, there are a lot of very useful things there that are nice to take advantage of if there is a way to do so safely. Kids can watch educational videos galore, or even a good old-fashioned cartoon to keep them entertained every once in a while.
While the best and most important method for keeping kids safe on youtube is to be present with them anytime they are using the internet, there are a few other things adults can do to prevent or reduce the possibility of kids coming into contact with inappropriate content.
These are the best methods I have found, along with the pros and cons of each.
1. Turn on Safety Mode
Scroll to the bottom of any page on youtube, and you’ll see an option to turn safety mode on. This will block videos with adult content or videos that have been flagged as inappropriate by other users.
Pros: Reduces the possibility of kids finding inappropriate videos. Doesn’t show video comments unless you specifically click on them.
Cons: Many inappropriate videos still make their way through the filters.
2. Create a playlist
If you have an account on youtube, you can create playlists containing the videos of your choosing. Simply click “Add to” under the video, and you will be able to add it to one of your playlists. You can create a playlist of videos you have specifically chosen for your child.
Pros: Kids know exactly which videos you have approved for them to watch.
Cons: Still shows related videos on the sidebar. If the video they are watching is clean, the related videos should be clean as well, but depending on how many related videos they click on, the trail could lead further than you want it to.
3. Quiet Youtube
Add the word “quiet” in front of any youtube video’s url, and you will be taken to a completely separate website with only the video you have chosen surrounded by white space – no comments, no related videos, nothing. For instance, if I wanted my son to watch a video about odd and even numbers, I could take this url: youtube.com/watch?v=yVbR44yd24g and turn it into this: quietyoutube.com/watch?v=yVbR44yd24g
Click on it and see what it looks like. Nice, huh?
Pros: No comments or related videos shown in the sidebar
Cons: Still shows related videos after the video is finished playing. Again, if the original video is clean, the related videos shouldn’t be a problem, but that’s not a 100% guarantee. *Update! I just discovered a way to keep the video from showing related videos at the end. Add this to the end of your url: ?rel=0 So your url will go from this: youtube.com/watch?v=yVbR44yd24g to this: quietyoutube.com/watch?v=yVbR44yd24g?rel=0
You should have a completely white screen which plays the video and doesn’t show anything else when it’s done!
4. Download helper for Firefox
Install this Firefox Add-on, and it will sense when there is downloadable media, and give you the option to download it. This includes youtube videos. If you want your children to watch something without even being on the internet, you can download the video to your computer.
Pros: Kids can watch one specific video without the ability to click on or see anything else.
Cons: Depending on your internet connection and the length of your video, downloading could take some time. You will also take up storage on your computer or need to store the videos on some other device.
How do you safeguard your kids on youtube? If you haven’t done so before now, which of these methods do you think will work best for you?