Back in the day, I used to spend my free time watching movies and cartoons on the TV. This was my favorite thing to do when I came home from school and truth be told, I wasted too many hours in front of the TV. Things are now worse for kids these days. They have access to YouTube, and this app consumes time like nothing else!
While YouTube might be an excellent app for kids to learn new stuff or watch entertaining shows, there is a dark side to YouTube. Thousands of videos are being uploaded on YouTube every single hour, and not all of them are kid-friendly. On the bright side of things, there are some things that you can do in order to make YouTube safer for kids, and today I am going to show you how!
#1 Turn Off the Search Feature
The developers who are in charge of YouTube know that not all of the app’s content is suitable for kids, and this is why they have created a special version of the app called “YouTube Kids.” What makes this app great is the fact that it gives you, the parent, more controls over the type of content that your kids can watch.
The first thing that you want to do is to disable the search feature. Without having access to this feature, your kids will only be able to watch videos that are deemed safe by the algorithms. The search function can be disabled by tapping on the “lock“ icon that is located in the lower right of the screen, enter your passcode, tap on “Settings”, select the kid profile and then toggle off “Search settings”.
#2 Report and Block Offensive Content
If your kids use your smartphone to watch YouTube, then one of the best things that you can do is to use the app and look at the list of videos that it recommends. If you see something that shouldn’t be there or that you consider offensive, then you should be pleased to know that you can get rid of it with a simple click. However, my advice is that you should also report and block the video.
The reason why you want to report offensive videos is that this is going to help improve the YouTube Kids algorithm. The software developers will know exactly what are the type of videos that you don’t want your kids or someone else’s kids to watch and automatically red flag them. Even though the YouTube Kids algorithm is super smart, there are some things that only a mother’s eyes can catch!
#3 Create Playlists
The best way to make sure that your kids only watch videos that are appropriate for their age and don’t stumble upon offensive content is to create playlists. Even though creating a playlist might take you some time to do, it’s worth it! You will have full control over all the videos that your kids can watch, and the YouTube Kids algorithm will not make any mistakes.
What’s great about creating playlists for YouTube is that the process is really simple. All that you need to do is to click on the “Add to” option at the bottom of the video and then create or select a playlist. The tricky part is to find kid-friendly videos. You can make this task easier by subscribing to family-friendly channels such as Disney, Pixar, The Muppets, and so on. The latest videos uploaded by these channels will be automatically added to the playlist.
#4 Set Up a Family Google Account
Another simple and effective way of monitoring the content that your kids are watching on YouTube and making sure that it is safe is to set up a family Google account. This might sound complicated, but I assure you that it’s super simple. The only thing that you need to do is to create a new Google account and tell your family to use it when watching YouTube. You don’t even have to tell your kids about it, manually sign in the family account into the device that they use to watch videos.
After setting up a family Google account, you will be able to see the history of all the videos that your kids are watching. Not just that, but you will also have access to recently downloaded videos. This email address will now become receive notifications from the channels that your kids are subscribed to.
The job of a parent is challenging, and you need to stay up to date with all the latest apps if you want to make sure that your kids are not watching offensive videos. The last tip that I want to share with you is to watch YouTube with your kids. If you don’t have enough free time, you should pop up in their room from time to time and ask them what they are watching.
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