HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR YOUNG FILMMAKERS ONLINE…
Written and Edited by A. Noelle
1. Be Aware! Know the site.
- Visit the site at www.youtube.com, and familiarize yourself with its online content and community guidelines before viewing the site with your kids.
- IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that your kids must be at least 13 years old in order to make their own YouTube accounts. Otherwise, you may create your own account or even a family account in order to view the site with the younger ones (at your discretion).
- Visit YouTube’s Safety Center, and review the information. Note that the Help & Safety Tool may be used to report privacy or harassment violations.
- Note that YouTube is a self-policing site and that no filter is 100%. You can help police bad content by “flagging” inappropriate videos or comments that violate community guidelines.
- Delete harassing comments and block unwanted users; on that note, remind your kids to keep their own comments clean and respectful.
- Create playlists of age-appropriate videos before you view the site with your kids so that you are aware of what they are watching. You may also create a list of favorite videos and subscribe to various user-channels.
2. Be Active! Talk to your kids.
- Remind your kids that YouTube is a public site and to always be cautious when interacting with strangers online. Check-in with your kids, and have them inform you of their online activity, especially when strangers are involved (e.g., comments or video re posts).
- Speak to your kids about site concerns and the potential exposure to questionable content (i.e., be prepared to talk about inappropriate videos that may have been posted by other users).
- Show your kids how to protect their identities online by talking about what kinds of information should be displayed in their profiles:
- Never use real names when creating usernames.
- Never display identifying information (e.g., home addresses, home phone numbers, or school names).
- Never share passwords.
- Never use identifying information in your “video tags” (search identifiers).
- Help your kids post appropriate video content to the site:
- Keep private home videos private and only viewable to close friends and family (i.e., never make public a private home video that contains images of your real home, school, license plate numbers, etc.).
- Never allow your kids to post videos that could get them into trouble or hurt others.
3. Be Prepared! Always use Safety Mode.
- Screen out potentially objectionable content by turning on the Safety Mode option at the bottom of the screen. When you are signed-in to your account, you will also have the option of “locking” Safety Mode on your preferred browser. Consider enabling and “locking” Safety Mode on all browsers used by your kids.