Updated: Feb 19, 2021
I am pretty sure my toddler knew how to say "YouTube" before his alphabet! Before you judge me on letting my toddler watch YouTube or be online, I have an elementary aged kid which makes it much harder to avoid! Plus I can't get enough of Peppa Pig and Cocomelon (ok I do love Mummy & Daddy Pig's British humor as well as the Indian Mr. Rabbit!)
What do we mean by "Security"?
In the context of remote learning at home, I am referring to "Tech Security" as opposed to "Physical Security" and even in the realm of Tech Security, I like to think about it based on all the devices and internet entering into our home via a phone carrier like Verizon or internet service provider like Cox Cable.
In this article we are talking about the security on your devices in your home like a laptop, tablet, phone or desktop powered by your home wifi.
3 Ways to be Safe Using YouTube With Kids
There are a number of ways to be safe on YouTube and will vary on the age group or needs:
1. Use SafeYouTube.net
I just discovered this site and can't believe I never knew about it until now! Ok wait I can, my kids were not watching YouTube at school and even if they did at school or home, it was usually with adult supervision and quite limited!
For schools that need to share YouTube content, like our school using Google Classroom, this is probably the safest way to embed content since it strips the related videos on the side or below, comments and all the other distracting content around it.
2. Turn on Restricted Mode on YouTube
"Restricted Mode" on YouTube will help filter mature/explicit content though is not always fool-proof!
This short video below will show you how to toggle your restricted mode as well as lock the setting so kids cannot change it on both a laptop browser and mobile app.
3. Use YouTube Kids
YouTube has created a kid-friendly version of its site & app that is more restrictive that just turning on "Restricted Mode". It does not contain comments, can be configured by age, and you can control the channels they watch or whether they have the ability to search. This too however is not always fool-proof.
It may also be too restrictive for elementary and older children conducting research or may take some creativity in finding the right content on the school's part!
Ultimately I trust our kids but not the internet, who doesn't want to see that adorable YouTube cat video? We all get distracted and for schools sharing content, I hope that SafeYouTube.net is the way to go and for their own exploration, YouTubeKids is mostly safe but not fool proof as people find more terrible ways to trick the algorithms that sort out content into thinking certain content is acceptable.
Checkout this great page by Google (who owns YouTube) on Managing your kid's Google account with YouTubeKids!