Category: Online Safety for Kids

Online Safety Tips | Safe YouTube | Privacy

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 and apps.

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

5 Tips to Make YouTube Safer

  1. Set up a Family Account. By creating a shared Google account, parents 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. Monitor and 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screen (or the video editing screen after uploading is complete) you can disable comments altogether or keep them unpublished until you are able to review them. 
  5. 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.

Read more about Parental Controls for YouTube

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 key component of internet safety 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.

Explore Social Media Safety and Privacy Settings.

How to Ensure Internet Safety for Kids

Almost everyone owns an electronic gadget, and the internet has become part of our daily life. While the internet furnishes us with a wealth of information and convenience, it can be a liability, especially to children. Some reports say that approximately 36% of kids age 12 – 17 have experienced cyberbullying online!

Because of these startling stats, it’s never been more important for every parent to ensure internet safety for kids. Fortunately, there are different ways of safeguard your child’s internet safety.

Below are tips on how to protect your kid on the internet, including a helpful info graphic.

1. Train Them About Online Threats

Teach your children on the many online perils. For instance, let them know why it’s risky to converse with strangers online. Educate them on the sites which contain inappropriate information and let them know why they shouldn’t share personal information online. If your child doesn’t require a phone, speak to them about getting rid of their gadgets. Besides, there are many places you can sell your iPhone.

2. Know How to Use a Computer

While this might seem odd, it works for most parents. It’s surprising how much children know about the family computer than even the parents. The first step to ensuring internet safety for kids is by becoming computer literate.

This way, you can monitor what your kid does online and block specific sites containing inappropriate information with ease. More so, you can access our child’s internet history to ensure that they aren’t surfing in the wrong places. You can do all this when you know how to use a computer.

3. Acquire Monitoring Software

Parents should use a parental control app to keep an eye on their child’s access to the internet, and you can achieve this with the use of apps for parental controls. You can even install it discreetly without their knowledge. With such software, you can track all their movements online, including messages, chats as well as websites visited.

cybersecurity tips for gamers

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 gaming 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 video 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.

The Dangers of Texting and Walking

 

Safe Video Search (Safe YouTube Videos)

Safe Video Search

Here you can search for safe videos from a variety of kid friendly websites. Our safe video search engine delivers filtered and screened videos from a variety of sources including YouTube. You can search for these videos using the safe search tool above.

KidzTube Video Search is designed for kids in grades K-8, however, teens and even adults still enjoy using it. Each safe video included is carefully reviewed by educators for both learning quality, safety, engagement factors, production quality, and other items.

Safe YouTube

Only the “best of the best” videos make it – the most safe videos from YouTube and other video platforms.  This means that anything a child watches will have value to it.

We even take our “fun” videos section seriously in terms of delivering quality wholesome entertainment. This is very different from a typical experience on YouTube or other video sites where just about anything, including very inappropriate “r-rated” or worse videos often surface.

Furthermore, most videos on YouTube are not screened for educational quality, so kids might be learning incorrect facts.

On a near daily basis, videos on KidzTube get submitted by people in the education field that work with us. You can access these videos by using the video search tool at the top of our website. We also have strategic partnerships with some of the best teaching resources, like Khan Academy, to get early access to their content.

Safer Videos

Once a video is approved for inclusion and passes all our tests, we carefully categorize it in the appropriate subjects and subcategories. This helps to ensure better search results and improved related video content during browsing.

Created by KidzSearch, it as has over 30,000 safe video titles and the video library keeps growing each week. After all, kids need to have some fun too as a way of encouraging them to come back and keep learning things in our educational library.

One way we achieve this is by providing reviewed safe videos in areas such as music videos (designed for kids), movies/tv shows for kids, magic tricks, arts/crafts, cute animal videos, quality non-violent cartoons, toy reviews, and sports.

Safe Video subject areas include:

  • English
  • Fine Arts
  • Health
  • Math
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Social Science
  • History and more.

KidzTube is more than a safe YouTube alternative.  Our related videos software carefully mixes relevant educational videos with our fun content to help guide kids towards learning new concepts that they might otherwise never explore. For example, a cartoon that features lasers might have an educational video that talks about how lasers work next to it for viewing.

In addition, you’ll find content dealing with emotional health issues that are very important to kids in our Psychology and Motivational videos section. These videos all teach very important concepts that all children should learn to be better students and to get along better with other kids.

Each and every video on KidzTube has our quality of approval seal on it, so you can be certain that it will be safe, educational, and enjoyable for kids to watch.

Best of all, our content is 100% free to watch and works on desktop, mobile tablets/phones, and in our KidzSearch App available for Android, Apple iOS, and Amazon Kindle devices.

Parental Controls for YouTube

Cell Phones for Kids (and Tips for Cell Phone Safety)

cell phone safety tips

Once upon a time… kids would have to go outside to play a game with friends, get up to change the TV channel manually, and would have to walk 3 miles to school—uphill, both ways. A little further down the road, kids have access to newfangled technology and their parents are struggling to keep up with it all.

If you’re the parent of a teenager (or even an almost-teenager, tween) you may already be familiar with the pressure but still the the numbers are still shocking:

  • A whopping 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • Furthermore, 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone!
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • A large group of parents were asked what age would be appropriate for a child to get their first cell phone. 22% of those parents felt that 10 was a good age!

So if you haven’t been asked the following question yet… get ready, it’s coming very soon.  There are a lot of options regarding phones for kids to ease them into the world of cell phone use. You may even want to do some research before you hear that inevitable request:

“Mom/Dad, Can I Have a Cell Phone?”

In all honesty, it becomes harder and harder to say no. We all remember being on the other end of “but everyone else has one!” and how frustrating it felt when your parents didn’t understand. So, we try to understand because we remember feeling excluded from their generation, and we don’t want to put our kids through that same torture.

Most parents will set forth ground rules similar to giving a child a puppy (remember when that was what they wanted?!). Here’s a sample:

Cell Phone Contract for a Teenager:

  • I do not own this phone. My parents are awesome, and they are giving me the privilege of using this phone.
  • Nothing is free. This phone, and the ability to use it, costs money. I will work hard to earn this privilege.
  • (Prepaid phones / limited texts are a good idea for teenagers.) I will not exceed my limit for monthly calls or texts.
  • I will take care of my phone. If I break it, I have to replace it. If I lose it, I have to replace it.
  • I will adhere to all instruction on how to use my phone safety.
  • I will never use this phone in an inappropriate way.

More specifically, I will never use this phone to:

– Send a mean or hurtful text. If I have a disagreement with somebody, we will talk face to face.

– Talk or text after 9 PM.

– Have inappropriate text conversations.

– Send or receive inappropriate images.

– Follow policies regarding cell phone use in school.

– Talk or text while driving.

– If I decide to put a lock screen on my phone, my parents will know the password or code. My parents will have access to all of my phone call history and text message history.

{Parents} agree to respect my privacy and will only use their rights of access if I have shown suspicious behavior.

– I understand that this phone may be taken away if I am on it too much, or if I express negative behavior including talking back or failing to keep up with my chores.

– If my grades drop, I will lose this phone until I have brought my grades back up.

– If my phone has the ability to surf the internet, I will use a Safe Search Engine.

These are sample items that you may use or modify to create a cell phone contract with your teenager. However, it doesn’t stop there.

As parents of a teenager with a smart phone, you are responsible for:

• Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.

• Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.

• Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.

• Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.

• Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

• Enforcing the rules.

In the end, you are the parent. Unless your teenager has a job and is paying for his or her own phone and phone bill, you should have full control over the situation. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and revoke– or deny– the privilege until your teenager shows full responsibility on their end.

Safe Internet Use on Smart Phones

*The ability to browse the internet (for tweens and teens that have access to the internet on their cell phone) opens up an entirely new area of safety concerns. Not only can kids search the web more discreetly, most parents do not view this activity as of much of a risk as they do allowing their kids to search on a regular computer. The fact is, the dangers are just as real and even worse when you consider that with a smart phone, kids can search the internet outside of the watchful eye of parents while using their cell phone in school.

We have a safe search tool for kids. It is an app version of safe search for phones that automatically ensures safe search is on.

Having your tweens and teens agree to use this version of search will automatically ensure safe filtering is always on. That said, you still need to set up guidelines that allow you to view history on their phone when needed, as well has having them promise to not delete their history knowing you may look at it.

An open conversation about all of these issues is vital to instilling responsible behavior from kids of all ages. To explore internet filtering with more parental controls, which can also be activated on smart phones, explore internet filtering software.

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