About Safe Search

Safe Search Kids is powered by Google for filtered search results.

Safe Image Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe filtered images, powered by Google.

Safe Wiki Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe wiki articles for kids and teens.

Safe Video Search

Search for safe filtered videos from a variety of trusted sources.

Category: Online Safety for Kids

How to Protect Kids and Teens from Identity Theft

As a parent there are so many things you need to worry about to keep your kids safe, now there is another. Did you know that identity theft of kids and teens is on the rise? Just in 2016 alone, the FTC received 15,000 complaints of identity theft of a minor and in 2017 more than 1 million kids have their identities stolen.

Roughly 4% of all the cases reported in a year affect kids and teens. Unfortunately it quite easy for someone to steal a kid’s identity. Generally, it begins when a criminal takes your child’s social security number.

Why Do Thieves Use Children’s Identities

The top reason thieves target children with identity theft is that they have perfect credit. Kids don’t have mortgages or default loans or any credit card debt. It’s like grabbing a clean slate and using it all up before anyone finds out. Children are also easy targets because it may be years before the fraud is detected and they start to use their own identity.

How Thieves Use Children’s Identities

Criminals use kids’ identities for loans, renting property, applying for government benefits, and opening bank and credit card accounts. The most common method is when the thief steals your child’s social security number and then uses it with a different birth date. This process is known as creating a “synthetic identity.” Most the victim knows the identity thief. 22% of the time the identity theft is perpetrated by a parent, stepparent, sibling or other relatives.

The worst part is that criminals can get away with it for years as it usually goes unnoticed until the child is an adult and applies for credit. Identity theft hurts college kids chances of getting into school, applying for internships and obtaining their own real credit. Once their identity has been used and sullied, it is harder to clean up.

Protection and Prevention Tips

Like with many things, it is easier to prevent the problem than to fix it after it has happened.

Thankfully the government is taking notice of this issue and has started penning laws protecting underage people from identity theft. In the meantime, as a parent, there is a lot you can do to protect your child and prevent identity theft.

 

Tip 1 – Protect Your Child’s Social Security Number

Never give out your child’s social security number to anyone who doesn’t need it. Although places like schools, extracurricular activities, and even medical offices may ask for it, they don’t need it. They are not offering your child credit and limiting access to your child’s SSN is the best defense against this type of crime.

 

Tip 2 – Review the Safety of Your Child’s School Information

Pay attention to privacy policies and find out how your child’s school safeguards the personal information they store on students. Consult with their security team and even the IT department to ensure your kid’s data is safe.

 

Tip 3 – Secure Your Kid’s and Teen’s Mobile Devices

Personal information can be stolen easily from mobile devices that are not adequately secured. Teach your kids how to create complex, safe passwords and always use them. Don’t forget to teach your kids about these types of scams, along with phishing emails and never to click on links they receive.

 

Tip 4 – Be Careful and Monitor Social Media

Teach your child how to use the Internet and be safe online. Be careful what you and your kids post on social media. Monitor their posts and tweets to make sure they are not oversharing or communicating with a stranger who could be an identity thief trying to steal their information.

 

Tip 5 – Get a Copy of Your Child’s Credit Report

You can quickly get a copy of your child’s credit report at any time to see if there is any activity. Bank loans, credit cards and other things that show up will indicate someone is using their social security number. You will need to take swift action to repair the damage.

How to Fix It, if it Happens To You

If you find out your child’s identity has been stolen take the steps below as quickly as possible to resolve it before they need to use their credit.

  1. Contact all the major credit reporting agencies and ask them to remove all the credit information, inquiries, accounts and everything associated with that social security number.
  2. Next, contact every business that is associated with those accounts like banks, credit cards and other places the credit was used.
  3. Ask each creditor to place a “fraud alert” on the account.
  4. Contact the FTC and file a fraud report. You can also call them at 877-438-4338.
  5. If any of the accounts were used for medical expenses or involve taxes, you would also need to contact the police.

As a parent there are so many things you need to worry about to keep your kids safe, now there is another. Did you know that identity theft of kids and teens is on the rise? Just in 2016 alone, the FTC received 15,000 complaints of identity theft of a minor and in 2017 more than 1 million kids have their identities stolen.

Roughly 4% of all the cases reported in a year affect kids and teens. Unfortunately it quite easy for someone to steal a kid’s identity. Generally, it begins when a criminal takes your child’s social security number.

Why Do Thieves Use Children’s Identities

The top reason thieves target children with identity theft is that they have perfect credit. Kids don’t have mortgages or default loans or any credit card debt. It’s like grabbing a clean slate and using it all up before anyone finds out. Children are also easy targets because it may be years before the fraud is detected and they start to use their own identity.

How Thieves Use Children’s Identities

Criminals use kids’ identities for loans, renting property, applying for government benefits, and opening bank and credit card accounts. The most common method is when the thief steals your child’s social security number and then uses it with a different birth date. This process is known as creating a “synthetic identity.” Most the victim knows the identity thief. 22% of the time the identity theft is perpetrated by a parent, stepparent, sibling or other relatives.

The worst part is that criminals can get away with it for years as it usually goes unnoticed until the child is an adult and applies for credit. Identity theft hurts college kids chances of getting into school, applying for internships and obtaining their own real credit. Once their identity has been used and sullied, it is harder to clean up.

Protection and Prevention Tips

Like with many things, it is easier to prevent the problem than to fix it after it has happened.

Thankfully the government is taking notice of this issue and has started penning laws protecting underage people from identity theft. In the meantime, as a parent, there is a lot you can do to protect your child and prevent identity theft.

 

Tip 1 – Protect Your Child’s Social Security Number

Never give out your child’s social security number to anyone who doesn’t need it. Although places like schools, extracurricular activities, and even medical offices may ask for it, they don’t need it. They are not offering your child credit and limiting access to your child’s SSN is the best defense against this type of crime.

 

Tip 2 – Review the Safety of Your Child’s School Information

Pay attention to privacy policies and find out how your child’s school safeguards the personal information they store on students. Consult with their security team and even the IT department to ensure your kid’s data is safe.

 

Tip 3 – Secure Your Kid’s and Teen’s Mobile Devices

Personal information can be stolen easily from mobile devices that are not adequately secured. Teach your kids how to create complex, safe passwords and always use them. Don’t forget to teach your kids about these types of scams, along with phishing emails and never to click on links they receive.

 

Tip 4 – Be Careful and Monitor Social Media

Teach your child how to use the Internet and be safe online. Be careful what you and your kids post on social media. Monitor their posts and tweets to make sure they are not oversharing or communicating with a stranger who could be an identity thief trying to steal their information.

 

Tip 5 – Get a Copy of Your Child’s Credit Report

You can quickly get a copy of your child’s credit report at any time to see if there is any activity. Bank loans, credit cards and other things that show up will indicate someone is using their social security number. You will need to take swift action to repair the damage.

How to Fix It, if it Happens To You

If you find out your child’s identity has been stolen take the steps below as quickly as possible to resolve it before they need to use their credit.

  1. Contact all the major credit reporting agencies and ask them to remove all the credit information, inquiries, accounts and everything associated with that social security number.
  2. Next, contact every business that is associated with those accounts like banks, credit cards and other places the credit was used.
  3. Ask each creditor to place a “fraud alert” on the account.
  4. Contact the FTC and file a fraud report. You can also call them at 877-438-4338.
  5. If any of the accounts were used for medical expenses or involve taxes, you would also need to contact the police.

Online Safety Tips for Parents

safety tips for kids 2018

As fast as the years come and go, Internet technologies change, bringing new challenges for parents and educators when striving to keep kids safe online. Here are a few of the latest tips for online safety including on sites like YouTube*, as well as privacy settings for other websites.

*These tips are not an endorsement of YouTube as being a safe website for kids or teens. For strict filtering of videos, use our Safe Video Search Tool at the top of this website.

5 Tips to Make YouTube Safer

  1. Set up a Family Account. By creating a shared Google account, you can see what videos are viewed and shared with friends. To do this, go to Google on your browser and sign in with a new Google email address and password. You can also use your existing Google account on the computer and browser that kids use.
  2. Turn on Restricted Mode. This feature will help filter out the worst videos, making YouTube a little safer than normal. To activate, scroll down to the bottom of your YouTube account settings page and turn Restricted Mode ON. This has to be done on any browser that is being used and you always have to be logged in for it to work.
  3. Subscribe to Safe Channels. The more you subscribe to favorite ‘kid-friendly’ YouTube channels, the more positive videos will come up for viewing. Kids can also click through to their favorite safe channels and watch more safe videos related to their interests.
  4. Upload Privately. If you want to upload videos of your kids, or they want to upload videos of themselves, mark the video as Private or Unlisted. Private videos are only shared with friends your kids choose to share them with. Unlisted means that only those who are sent the specific link can view it.
  5. Disable Comments. When uploading videos, you can keep bad comments from showing up on your video. In the video upload screen (or the video editing screen after uploading is complete) you can disable comments altogether or keep them unpublished until you are able to review them.

Read more about YouTube Restricted Mode

5 Tips to Protect Your Online Privacy

  1. Make sure all sites visited are secure. Simply look for the “S” in https://. Unsecured sites will not contain the “s”, which stands for secure. Unsecured websites will start with http://.
  2. Make your passwords more complicated by using a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols.
  3. Always use privacy settings and ‘opt out’ buttons within your online accounts, including but not limited to, your social media accounts. This limits how much information is being shared.
  4. Turn off GSP settings on apps to limit the tracking of your location. With the exception of maps and Google search for the purposes of finding local events and businesses, there is really no reason for apps or websites to know where you are located.
  5. Click Carefully. Watch out for links or downloads sent to you in emails, as well as online questionnaires and giveaways. These links may infect your computer or expose kids to unwanted content.

Read more about Facebook Privacy Settings.

Resources and more Internet Safety Tips for Kids

As fast as the years come and go, Internet technologies change, bringing new challenges for parents and educators when striving to keep kids safe online. Here are a few of the latest tips for online safety including on sites like YouTube*, as well as privacy settings for other websites.

*These tips are not an endorsement of YouTube as being a safe website for kids or teens. For strict filtering of videos, use our Safe Video Search Tool at the top of this website.

5 Tips to Make YouTube Safer

  1. Set up a Family Account. By creating a shared Google account, you can see what videos are viewed and shared with friends. To do this, go to Google on your browser and sign in with a new Google email address and password. You can also use your existing Google account on the computer and browser that kids use.
  2. Turn on Restricted Mode. This feature will help filter out the worst videos, making YouTube a little safer than normal. To activate, scroll down to the bottom of your YouTube account settings page and turn Restricted Mode ON. This has to be done on any browser that is being used and you always have to be logged in for it to work.
  3. Subscribe to Safe Channels. The more you subscribe to favorite ‘kid-friendly’ YouTube channels, the more positive videos will come up for viewing. Kids can also click through to their favorite safe channels and watch more safe videos related to their interests.
  4. Upload Privately. If you want to upload videos of your kids, or they want to upload videos of themselves, mark the video as Private or Unlisted. Private videos are only shared with friends your kids choose to share them with. Unlisted means that only those who are sent the specific link can view it.
  5. Disable Comments. When uploading videos, you can keep bad comments from showing up on your video. In the video upload screen (or the video editing screen after uploading is complete) you can disable comments altogether or keep them unpublished until you are able to review them.

Read more about YouTube Restricted Mode

5 Tips to Protect Your Online Privacy

  1. Make sure all sites visited are secure. Simply look for the “S” in https://. Unsecured sites will not contain the “s”, which stands for secure. Unsecured websites will start with http://.
  2. Make your passwords more complicated by using a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols.
  3. Always use privacy settings and ‘opt out’ buttons within your online accounts, including but not limited to, your social media accounts. This limits how much information is being shared.
  4. Turn off GSP settings on apps to limit the tracking of your location. With the exception of maps and Google search for the purposes of finding local events and businesses, there is really no reason for apps or websites to know where you are located.
  5. Click Carefully. Watch out for links or downloads sent to you in emails, as well as online questionnaires and giveaways. These links may infect your computer or expose kids to unwanted content.

Read more about Facebook Privacy Settings.

Resources and more Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Online Safety While Playing Pokémon GO?

Even just a few months ago, who would have guessed we would be talking about online safety related to outdoor activity? Well, as new technologies and trends continue to emerge we should know by now not to rule anything out.

Pokémon GO is all the rage and it’s brought kids, teens and adult game lovers outside to play, and exercise, all because of a simple and fun app on their smart phones. This is a good thing.

At the very least those playing the game are putting in a lot of extra steps walking while breathing in fresh air. Others are running as their virtual reality leads them into the great outdoors.

Now, here’s where the discussion of safety comes in. There have been reports of minor injuries due to users not paying attention to their surroundings while playing the game. It can be as simple spraining an ankle while loosing your footing off a curb, or falling and landing on your elbow.

There is a verified news story about two young men who fell off a small cliff and had to be rescued. To be clear, they climbed a fence to access an area not open to the public which led them into harms way.

Now, I will say it again! The fact that people are venturing outside and getting some exercise is a very good thing. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing over a lifetime will quite frankly – shorten your life.

Bumps and scrapes are a normal part of a healthy active lifestyle. But I would also say that when caution and care is put into the equation, there are fewer broken bones.

We’ve mentioned walking and running, and we can take that to the next level for hikers, but what about biking? Yes, it’s something I saw last week in my own neighborhood.

A young boy was playing Pokémon GO while riding his bike. Parents are diligent in telling their teens not to text and drive, now you’ll also need to warn them about the dangers of riding their bike one handed while searching for Pokémon on their phone with the other.

… and yes, NO driving while playing Pokémon GO either.

Reviews of the game include comments that it’s very easy to get lost in the game to the point where kids, teens and adults alike, pay less and less attention to the ‘real’ world around them.

The moral of the story? Get outdoors, YES! Have fun, YES!

Anything that encourages any member of society to ‘get active’ is indeed a positive thing, much like Wii Fit a few years ago. But when you go outside, don’t leave common sense at the door.

Even just a few months ago, who would have guessed we would be talking about online safety related to outdoor activity? Well, as new technologies and trends continue to emerge we should know by now not to rule anything out.

Pokémon GO is all the rage and it’s brought kids, teens and adult game lovers outside to play, and exercise, all because of a simple and fun app on their smart phones. This is a good thing.

At the very least those playing the game are putting in a lot of extra steps walking while breathing in fresh air. Others are running as their virtual reality leads them into the great outdoors.

Now, here’s where the discussion of safety comes in. There have been reports of minor injuries due to users not paying attention to their surroundings while playing the game. It can be as simple spraining an ankle while loosing your footing off a curb, or falling and landing on your elbow.

There is a verified news story about two young men who fell off a small cliff and had to be rescued. To be clear, they climbed a fence to access an area not open to the public which led them into harms way.

Now, I will say it again! The fact that people are venturing outside and getting some exercise is a very good thing. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing over a lifetime will quite frankly – shorten your life.

Bumps and scrapes are a normal part of a healthy active lifestyle. But I would also say that when caution and care is put into the equation, there are fewer broken bones.

We’ve mentioned walking and running, and we can take that to the next level for hikers, but what about biking? Yes, it’s something I saw last week in my own neighborhood.

A young boy was playing Pokémon GO while riding his bike. Parents are diligent in telling their teens not to text and drive, now you’ll also need to warn them about the dangers of riding their bike one handed while searching for Pokémon on their phone with the other.

… and yes, NO driving while playing Pokémon GO either.

Reviews of the game include comments that it’s very easy to get lost in the game to the point where kids, teens and adults alike, pay less and less attention to the ‘real’ world around them.

The moral of the story? Get outdoors, YES! Have fun, YES!

Anything that encourages any member of society to ‘get active’ is indeed a positive thing, much like Wii Fit a few years ago. But when you go outside, don’t leave common sense at the door.

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.