This is a discussion you should be ready for when your kids bring it up. At some point, probably between fifth and seventh grade, your child will ask if they can set up their own YouTube account. Perhaps some of their friends already have an account and are posting silly videos. Remember that you don’t need to have a YouTube account just to view video’s. However if your child wants to upload or comment on videos, they’ll need their own account.
Your first step, of course is to have a serious discussion with them about the internet and how to keep safe. It’s also a good time to let your kids know that not everyone in the world is as wonderful as you are! No need to scare them, but they should know that there are people out there who would like to harm them.
Kids Health provides some great info about internet safety for kids. Here’s a short quote from their article:
“….your kids’ best online protection is you. By talking to them about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, you’ll help them surf the Internet safely.”
Here are some guidelines for setting up YouTube with your child:
- YouTube policy says your child must be 13 or older to have an account.
- Set up a new e-mail address first. This e-mail will only be used for this YouTube account. Gmail is free, easy to use and easy to set up multiple e-mail’s. (And since Google owns YouTube, it makes setup a snap.)
- Ask your child to only share this e-mail/YouTube account with their friends.
- Provide as little personal information as you can during setup. I would lie about the birthday, so that it appears to be an older person. Pick a date that you can remember though, because that is something that Gmail may ask if you lose your password..
- Forward all e-mails from that account to your childs regular e-mail AND to your e-mail.
- Set up the YouTube account from that e-mail. Again, don’t provide any personal info that is not absolutely required.
- Remind your child to be mindful of the videos they upload. Content can give away the age of a person, even if you have an older age in your profile.
- Monitor the YouTube account, any comments on each video, and any emails on a regular basis.
It’s important to properly setup the YouTube privacy options:
Once the account is set up, turn on the Safety Mode. This option is found at the bottom of the page. According to YouTube, you’ll want to:
Use YouTube’s Safety Mode if you don’t want to see videos that contain potentially objectionable material on YouTube. While it’s not 100 percent accurate, we use community flagging and other content signals to determine and filter out inappropriate content.
Let me know if you find this helpful in the comments below.