Do your children spend hours watching videos on YouTube? Whether they’re five or 15, chances are they’re glued to it on a regular basis – there’s so much to see! As a parent, you’ll want to be sure the content they view is appropriate. Here’s our guide to help you keep your kids safe on YouTube.
1Try ‘restricted’ mode
As soon as you start typing in the ‘search’ field, YouTube suggests videos it thinks you might be looking for. This makes it easy for kids to view all kinds of content – by accident or because a title catches their eye.
Even adverts that pop up might be inappropriate, so it’s important you’re aware of what your child is doing on the site. There aren’t many parental control options on the main YouTube site, but this is one tool you do have.
‘Restricted’ mode isn’t perfect, but it will filter out most of the adult content and it’s easy to use.
On your device, desktop or laptop computer, click or tap on the account icon at the top right of your screen. For a tablet or phone, tap on ‘Settings’ and scroll to ‘restricted mode’ – just toggle it on and off. On a desktop or laptop, you should be able to access this directly from the drop-down menu.
Remember you’ll need to do this on every device your child uses to look at YouTube – setting ‘restricted’ on one doesn’t automatically enable it on others.
2There are age restrictions
YouTube puts some content behind an age-restriction wall. This means only users who have their age listed as being over 18 years old will be able to access it.
If your child has their own YouTube account, check to make sure their date of birth is accurate; if you let them use your account, you’ll need to alter your own.
It’s easy to do – just go to the About Me page on the relevant account and check the details.
3Look at their history
The only way to check a person’s history on YouTube is by having access to their account – which means knowing their log-in details. This will depend on factors such as your child’s age and any house rules you have about social media and internet activity.
If you can log into their account, take a look at their YouTube history page – this will give you a list of all the videos they’ve watched.
The best solution – especially for younger children – is to give them access to YouTube Kids. This has been specifically designed with younger viewers mind, showing only content that is deemed child-friendly.
At the moment, it’s only available as an app on either iOS or Android, but it gives you greater control as a parent than the main site. Features include the ability to set up to eight different profiles, each with their own viewing preferences. You can also block channels or videos you don’t want your kids to see, and restrict their access by turning the search function on and off.