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Category: Articles for Parents / Educators

YouTube Parental Controls

We are happy to offer a video filtering tool at the top of our website, but what if your child or teen is searching YouTube from a regular browser or smart phone? Fortunately, parental controls are now available on YouTube using a Google account.

Even though YouTube contains questionable material regardless of filtering, there are ways to make it a little safer.

In this article you will learn how to turn on Restricted Mode (formally called Safety Mode) and more importantly – how to lock it. This does not mean it will provide 100% safety when searching videos on YouTube, but it will help filter out the worst content. For a better video search experience for kids, explore our safe video search resource.

How to Activate Parental Controls When Searching Directly on YouTube.com

In the past, you could only turn on safe search for Google’s regular search results to ensure safe browsing. After many requests from parents and educators, YouTube now has parental controls so you can implement YouTube Safe Search in your browser when searching from youtube.com.

To implement the Restricted Mode for YouTube, go to YouTube.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page….

You will see a reference to Restricted Mode: Off...

Click the drop down arrow and details about ‘restricted mode’ will appear…

Clicking On followed by the Save button will activate ‘Restricted Mode’ but will not lock it.

youtube-parental-controls-safety-mode

Locking YouTube Safe Search

As you will see, it’s very easy to turn safe search on and off. Therefore, you may want to lock it in order to ensure it is always activated for all family members.

To Lock the Parental Control for YouTube, you will need a Google account. To open a free Google account, go to google.com and click “Sign In” in the top right hand corner of their main website. You will then see the option to create a new account.

Now return to YouTube (while signed into your account) and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Restricted Mode link.

After selecting the “On” button, you will see an option to Save. Then log out of your account.

YouTube-Safety-Mode

Restricted Mode is now activated you can now log out of your account. Unlocking restricted mode on YouTube will require you to log into your account. This guarantees that no one else can deactivate the safety setting.

Important: If you have more than one browser on your computer, you will need to follow these steps for each browser. Below is a video that walks you through the process of implementing YouTube Parental Controls that were just explained.

Consider using parental control software with full parental controls to block access to bad areas of the internet. At the very least, use our safe video search tool.

Watch this Video for Step By Step Instructions to Lock YouTube Safe Search

Even with parental controls activated, many parents and educators find YouTube inappropriate for their kids. Our safe video tab on the top of our website offers strict filtering of videos from a variety of safe sources.

We are happy to offer a video filtering tool at the top of our website, but what if your child or teen is searching YouTube from a regular browser or smart phone? Fortunately, parental controls are now available on YouTube using a Google account.

Even though YouTube contains questionable material regardless of filtering, there are ways to make it a little safer.

In this article you will learn how to turn on Restricted Mode (formally called Safety Mode) and more importantly – how to lock it. This does not mean it will provide 100% safety when searching videos on YouTube, but it will help filter out the worst content. For a better video search experience for kids, explore our safe video search resource.

How to Activate Parental Controls When Searching Directly on YouTube.com

In the past, you could only turn on safe search for Google’s regular search results to ensure safe browsing. After many requests from parents and educators, YouTube now has parental controls so you can implement YouTube Safe Search in your browser when searching from youtube.com.

To implement the Restricted Mode for YouTube, go to YouTube.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page….

You will see a reference to Restricted Mode: Off...

Click the drop down arrow and details about ‘restricted mode’ will appear…

Clicking On followed by the Save button will activate ‘Restricted Mode’ but will not lock it.

youtube-parental-controls-safety-mode

Locking YouTube Safe Search

As you will see, it’s very easy to turn safe search on and off. Therefore, you may want to lock it in order to ensure it is always activated for all family members.

To Lock the Parental Control for YouTube, you will need a Google account. To open a free Google account, go to google.com and click “Sign In” in the top right hand corner of their main website. You will then see the option to create a new account.

Now return to YouTube (while signed into your account) and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Restricted Mode link.

After selecting the “On” button, you will see an option to Save. Then log out of your account.

YouTube-Safety-Mode

Restricted Mode is now activated you can now log out of your account. Unlocking restricted mode on YouTube will require you to log into your account. This guarantees that no one else can deactivate the safety setting.

Important: If you have more than one browser on your computer, you will need to follow these steps for each browser. Below is a video that walks you through the process of implementing YouTube Parental Controls that were just explained.

Consider using parental control software with full parental controls to block access to bad areas of the internet. At the very least, use our safe video search tool.

Watch this Video for Step By Step Instructions to Lock YouTube Safe Search

Even with parental controls activated, many parents and educators find YouTube inappropriate for their kids. Our safe video tab on the top of our website offers strict filtering of videos from a variety of safe sources.

The Life of a 13 Year Old Girl in the Social Media Jungle

Her alarm goes off – much too early. She was up texting with her girlfriends into the early hours of the morning, stifling her giggles so mom and dad wouldn’t hear. She didn’t want to miss a single confession or inside joke, not to mention the late night activity on Twitter and Snapchat.

There are just as many posts after bedtime as there are during school hours, and she would feel pretty stupid at school if she missed out on something big from the night before. Drama actually happens pretty frequently online and over text when she’s burrowed under the covers with only the light of her cell phone – whether it’s an ugly feud between best friends, a rude meme about someone at school, or a nasty breakup with insults flying.

After snoozing once or twice, finally rolling out of bed at the angry threat of her mother, she stumbles through her morning routine, slowing only to double and triple check her appearance in the mirror.

She needs to look cute enough to be popular and desired by the boys; she can’t break the school’s dress code, and she also can’t look like she’s trying too hard or looking too promiscuous or else she’ll risk being called a slut. She knows what her friends say about other girl’s outfits behind their back.

She splits her attention between her teacher’s lessons and the constant stream of texts and snaps she hides under her desk. When she passes up the worksheets at the end of science class she hears stifled laughter from the punk boys behind her.

They’re always cheating off her papers and getting her in trouble. She looks down at the stack of papers in her hands to see that they also handed up a scrap of paper with a very giant and detailed drawing of private parts. She feels sick but just rolls her eyes at them, crumpling the paper into the trash can down the aisle as she leaves.

On the bus ride home from school she sits next to her next door neighbor, Summer, and they pass the time by showing each other Instagram accounts of cute boys at neighboring schools. They talk about the ones they know from church or sports groups, the ones they’ve talked to through direct messages or texting, and the ones they follow but don’t actually know at all.

She’s surprised to hear that some of these boys have also asked Summer for nude photos – she’s had a few of those requests of her own.

“Did you send them?” she asks nervously.

“Well… no. I was too scared.” Summer replies sheepishly.

She feels relief that her friend also turned down the not-so-polite request from these teen boys. She frequently wondered if any of her friends had delivered on the request.

Charging her nearly-dead phone upon getting home, she has an hour or so of uninterrupted homework before a phone-free dinner – her parent’s rule.

“How was your day today sweetie? School good?” her dad asks between mouthfuls of peas.

“It was good. Just a regular day.”

It’s critical to talk to your teen girls – and not just about their homework. Social media has turned their world into something most parents wouldn’t recognize. Talk to your daughter about her friends, social media, boys, drugs, and even the taboo subject of her body.

You won’t regret the extra effort, even if it feels awkward. She needs you, and those conversations, to keep her rooted in a world of confusing values and social media.


Tyler Jacobson is a husband, father, freelance writer and outreach specialist with experience with organizations that help troubled teens and parents. His areas of focus include: parenting, social media, addiction, mental illness, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn

Her alarm goes off – much too early. She was up texting with her girlfriends into the early hours of the morning, stifling her giggles so mom and dad wouldn’t hear. She didn’t want to miss a single confession or inside joke, not to mention the late night activity on Twitter and Snapchat.

There are just as many posts after bedtime as there are during school hours, and she would feel pretty stupid at school if she missed out on something big from the night before. Drama actually happens pretty frequently online and over text when she’s burrowed under the covers with only the light of her cell phone – whether it’s an ugly feud between best friends, a rude meme about someone at school, or a nasty breakup with insults flying.

After snoozing once or twice, finally rolling out of bed at the angry threat of her mother, she stumbles through her morning routine, slowing only to double and triple check her appearance in the mirror.

She needs to look cute enough to be popular and desired by the boys; she can’t break the school’s dress code, and she also can’t look like she’s trying too hard or looking too promiscuous or else she’ll risk being called a slut. She knows what her friends say about other girl’s outfits behind their back.

She splits her attention between her teacher’s lessons and the constant stream of texts and snaps she hides under her desk. When she passes up the worksheets at the end of science class she hears stifled laughter from the punk boys behind her.

They’re always cheating off her papers and getting her in trouble. She looks down at the stack of papers in her hands to see that they also handed up a scrap of paper with a very giant and detailed drawing of private parts. She feels sick but just rolls her eyes at them, crumpling the paper into the trash can down the aisle as she leaves.

On the bus ride home from school she sits next to her next door neighbor, Summer, and they pass the time by showing each other Instagram accounts of cute boys at neighboring schools. They talk about the ones they know from church or sports groups, the ones they’ve talked to through direct messages or texting, and the ones they follow but don’t actually know at all.

She’s surprised to hear that some of these boys have also asked Summer for nude photos – she’s had a few of those requests of her own.

“Did you send them?” she asks nervously.

“Well… no. I was too scared.” Summer replies sheepishly.

She feels relief that her friend also turned down the not-so-polite request from these teen boys. She frequently wondered if any of her friends had delivered on the request.

Charging her nearly-dead phone upon getting home, she has an hour or so of uninterrupted homework before a phone-free dinner – her parent’s rule.

“How was your day today sweetie? School good?” her dad asks between mouthfuls of peas.

“It was good. Just a regular day.”

It’s critical to talk to your teen girls – and not just about their homework. Social media has turned their world into something most parents wouldn’t recognize. Talk to your daughter about her friends, social media, boys, drugs, and even the taboo subject of her body.

You won’t regret the extra effort, even if it feels awkward. She needs you, and those conversations, to keep her rooted in a world of confusing values and social media.


Tyler Jacobson is a husband, father, freelance writer and outreach specialist with experience with organizations that help troubled teens and parents. His areas of focus include: parenting, social media, addiction, mental illness, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn

CyberBullying: A Word for Parents

cyberbullying guide for parents

There was a time when bullying was something we all had to endure in school, on the bus, and hanging out with friends. It was always unpleasant. The next generation, our children, have an even worse type of bullying to deal with… and it’s so much more common than what we suffered!

About CyberBullying

Remember how frustrating it was in school when somebody was upset and reacted passive aggressively, usually by spreading a rumor? How the victim of a bully (maybe it was you, maybe it was one of your friends) would feel singled out, how hard it was to go to school and deal with the drama.

Your children deal with passive aggressive bullying all the time… because the internet brings out the passive aggressive in almost every young person. From shy kids to the straight forward, outspoken kid… cyberbullying can happen by accident. But as you remember about being the victim of a bully… the wounds never heal.

What’s even worse about cyberbullying is this. When a direct conflict among friends is resolved, you can forget and forgive the hurtful things that were said. However, you can never erase them from the internet.

With that in mind, it’s important to be very sensitive when talking about cyberbullying with your child. And yes, if your kid is using the internet than you do need to talk about this!

Teaching Your Child How To Not Be a CyberBully

As mentioned before, the internet brings out certain behaviors in young folk. Of course your child knows not to pick on somebody in person, but do they know not to rant and rave on social media when what they say could unintentionally hurt somebody else?

Watch for passive aggressive behaviors, and teach your children to face their problems (directly) rather than Facebooking them or through any type of social media.

If your child is 13 or younger, you should have their social media log in info, and don’t share the password with your child. This way, you can easily check in on them and you can also protect your child from being the victim of a “hacker” cyberbully by preventing anyone else from finding out how to log into their account.

Cyberbullying is even more common with older teenagers (age 14-17), especially when they have a smartphone that allows them to post on impulse. Teach them to think before they post, and make sure they understand how important it is to never post anything that could hurt somebody else… or could come back to haunt them.

What To Do If Your Child is the Victim of a CyberBully

Be the parent that a child can feel comfortable talking to if they are being harassed or directly attacked online. Be kind and understanding, and be sensitive to their needs. The rest is really up to you, as a parent.

If the harassment is severe enough, you can involve other authorities (the school or the police.) As you may remember, this could backfire on your child so it shouldn’t be your first choice. If the bullying has started over personal drama, encourage your child to confront the person in real life and come to a resolution. Do not “feed the trolls” or respond to cyberbullying online… bring it back to real world interaction.

To protect your child from becoming the victim of a cyberbully, encourage them to make friends with other children who are kind and respectful. Teach your children that friends who are always “surrounded by drama” can be dangerous… you never know when you’ll get sucked into it!

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyber bully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyberbully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

There was a time when bullying was something we all had to endure in school, on the bus, and hanging out with friends. It was always unpleasant. The next generation, our children, have an even worse type of bullying to deal with… and it’s so much more common than what we suffered!

About CyberBullying

Remember how frustrating it was in school when somebody was upset and reacted passive aggressively, usually by spreading a rumor? How the victim of a bully (maybe it was you, maybe it was one of your friends) would feel singled out, how hard it was to go to school and deal with the drama.

Your children deal with passive aggressive bullying all the time… because the internet brings out the passive aggressive in almost every young person. From shy kids to the straight forward, outspoken kid… cyberbullying can happen by accident. But as you remember about being the victim of a bully… the wounds never heal.

What’s even worse about cyberbullying is this. When a direct conflict among friends is resolved, you can forget and forgive the hurtful things that were said. However, you can never erase them from the internet.

With that in mind, it’s important to be very sensitive when talking about cyberbullying with your child. And yes, if your kid is using the internet than you do need to talk about this!

Teaching Your Child How To Not Be a CyberBully

As mentioned before, the internet brings out certain behaviors in young folk. Of course your child knows not to pick on somebody in person, but do they know not to rant and rave on social media when what they say could unintentionally hurt somebody else?

Watch for passive aggressive behaviors, and teach your children to face their problems (directly) rather than Facebooking them or through any type of social media.

If your child is 13 or younger, you should have their social media log in info, and don’t share the password with your child. This way, you can easily check in on them and you can also protect your child from being the victim of a “hacker” cyberbully by preventing anyone else from finding out how to log into their account.

Cyberbullying is even more common with older teenagers (age 14-17), especially when they have a smartphone that allows them to post on impulse. Teach them to think before they post, and make sure they understand how important it is to never post anything that could hurt somebody else… or could come back to haunt them.

What To Do If Your Child is the Victim of a CyberBully

Be the parent that a child can feel comfortable talking to if they are being harassed or directly attacked online. Be kind and understanding, and be sensitive to their needs. The rest is really up to you, as a parent.

If the harassment is severe enough, you can involve other authorities (the school or the police.) As you may remember, this could backfire on your child so it shouldn’t be your first choice. If the bullying has started over personal drama, encourage your child to confront the person in real life and come to a resolution. Do not “feed the trolls” or respond to cyberbullying online… bring it back to real world interaction.

To protect your child from becoming the victim of a cyberbully, encourage them to make friends with other children who are kind and respectful. Teach your children that friends who are always “surrounded by drama” can be dangerous… you never know when you’ll get sucked into it!

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyber bully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyberbully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

Anti Malware: Removing Malicious Software from your Computer

Anti-Malware - Remove Malware from your computer.

Malware is malicious software that infects your computer in the form of a virus, spyware, Trojan horse, bot, adware or a worm. These nasty infections have different purposes, from getting your computer to preform certain tasks in the background, to sending out spam from your email account, to as bad as stealing your personal information.

Malware may infect your computer when you click on a suspicious email attachment, but it is not restricted to that. Malware also comes via software installations from unsafe sources, as well as when visiting infected websites.

Safe Search Kids endorses Emsisoft Anti-Malware for reasons that separate it from other virus removal tools. Mainly – you do not need to purchase the software to clean your computer of viruses. Full scanning and removal of all types of viruses are permitted within the free trial offered.

If you desire to continue protection of your computer, which includes blocking malicious software (malware) from infecting your computer in the first place, then purchasing Emsisoft after the free trial is recommended. This also allows you to preform regular scheduled scans as often as you like.

A personal story about Emsisoft Anti-Malware in action: One morning I logged on to my credit card account and saw a Western Union charge for $940. It was made in a city half way across the country. I quickly called my credit card company to report it.

Upon further investigation I was informed that thieves obtained my complete credit card information through one of my computers in the house. This is done when your computer becomes infected by a Trojan Horse (malware) and when you log into an account – in my case it was iTunes – the software is able to obtain your personal information for later use. I downloaded the anti-malware program on to all of our computers and did a scan. I found the virus on one of our laptops.

Download Emsisoft Anti-Malware!

The bottom line is that no one wants malware on their computer for any reason. Many anti-virus programs do not remove the problem because when a scan is done of the infected computer, the anti-virus software does not detect the malware or it’s possible that the virus database is not up to date. This is why it’s important to dig deeper in your computer scan with a top rated malware detector and removal tool such as Emsisoft.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware – Free Scan and Prevention

Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a premium anti-malware program to clean and protect your PC from all internet threats: viruses, spyware, trojans, bots, adware and worms. It uses a triple-layer prevention engine: Surf Protection, Real-time File Guard and Behavior Blocker.

Surf Protection blocks access to fraudulent and dangerous websites, while the Real-time File Guard scans for more than 10 million types of malware in real-time. It recognizes dangers immediately when they try to run or are being downloaded from the Web.

New malware definitions (signatures) updates are available at least 24 times per day. The third layer, the Behavior Blocker with Live Cloud-Verification, scans and monitors all running programs – all the time. It catches zero-day threats that aren’t yet included in the signature database and as soon as a program does something suspicious, it’s stopped and alerted. It provides the ultimate protection that others can’t catch.

Beware of less credible virus removing software that makes you pay before you can remove harmful viruses from your computer. Also, do not install any software from a source you are not sure about. The ironic thing is, you may be downloading malware contained in the very software program promising you malware removal. This is not the case with Emsisoft.

To see if you are infected by Malware including viruses, spyware, Trojans, bots, adware and worms – Scan Your Computer for Free!

Additional Internet Security Solutions

While we have mentioned that Anti-Virus Software is not an effective tool against Malware, please don’t misunderstand. Anti-Virus is still important to protect your computer against infections through your incoming email. For complete internet security, check out these resources below:

These programs are not to be confused with Parental Control Software, which allows you to block access to websites that do not have appropriate content for kids and teens… Learn More!

Malware is malicious software that infects your computer in the form of a virus, spyware, Trojan horse, bot, adware or a worm. These nasty infections have different purposes, from getting your computer to preform certain tasks in the background, to sending out spam from your email account, to as bad as stealing your personal information.

Malware may infect your computer when you click on a suspicious email attachment, but it is not restricted to that. Malware also comes via software installations from unsafe sources, as well as when visiting infected websites.

Safe Search Kids endorses Emsisoft Anti-Malware for reasons that separate it from other virus removal tools. Mainly – you do not need to purchase the software to clean your computer of viruses. Full scanning and removal of all types of viruses are permitted within the free trial offered.

If you desire to continue protection of your computer, which includes blocking malicious software (malware) from infecting your computer in the first place, then purchasing Emsisoft after the free trial is recommended. This also allows you to preform regular scheduled scans as often as you like.

A personal story about Emsisoft Anti-Malware in action: One morning I logged on to my credit card account and saw a Western Union charge for $940. It was made in a city half way across the country. I quickly called my credit card company to report it.

Upon further investigation I was informed that thieves obtained my complete credit card information through one of my computers in the house. This is done when your computer becomes infected by a Trojan Horse (malware) and when you log into an account – in my case it was iTunes – the software is able to obtain your personal information for later use. I downloaded the anti-malware program on to all of our computers and did a scan. I found the virus on one of our laptops.

Download Emsisoft Anti-Malware!

The bottom line is that no one wants malware on their computer for any reason. Many anti-virus programs do not remove the problem because when a scan is done of the infected computer, the anti-virus software does not detect the malware or it’s possible that the virus database is not up to date. This is why it’s important to dig deeper in your computer scan with a top rated malware detector and removal tool such as Emsisoft.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware – Free Scan and Prevention

Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a premium anti-malware program to clean and protect your PC from all internet threats: viruses, spyware, trojans, bots, adware and worms. It uses a triple-layer prevention engine: Surf Protection, Real-time File Guard and Behavior Blocker.

Surf Protection blocks access to fraudulent and dangerous websites, while the Real-time File Guard scans for more than 10 million types of malware in real-time. It recognizes dangers immediately when they try to run or are being downloaded from the Web.

New malware definitions (signatures) updates are available at least 24 times per day. The third layer, the Behavior Blocker with Live Cloud-Verification, scans and monitors all running programs – all the time. It catches zero-day threats that aren’t yet included in the signature database and as soon as a program does something suspicious, it’s stopped and alerted. It provides the ultimate protection that others can’t catch.

Beware of less credible virus removing software that makes you pay before you can remove harmful viruses from your computer. Also, do not install any software from a source you are not sure about. The ironic thing is, you may be downloading malware contained in the very software program promising you malware removal. This is not the case with Emsisoft.

To see if you are infected by Malware including viruses, spyware, Trojans, bots, adware and worms – Scan Your Computer for Free!

Additional Internet Security Solutions

While we have mentioned that Anti-Virus Software is not an effective tool against Malware, please don’t misunderstand. Anti-Virus is still important to protect your computer against infections through your incoming email. For complete internet security, check out these resources below:

These programs are not to be confused with Parental Control Software, which allows you to block access to websites that do not have appropriate content for kids and teens… Learn More!