Safety Center Tools for Parents

Content Restiction Tools Help Protect Your Kids on Google and YouTube

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The Internet can be a wonderful place full of learning opportunities for your kids, but it can also be a scary place full of inappropriate content that your child might stumble upon, be it intentionally or accidentally.

When your kids embark on their Internet journey, it's up to you as a parent to make sure that trip is as safe as possible and that you do everything you can to ensure they don't take any wrong turns. This is easier said than done. Sure you may have installed anti-malware and updated their computer, you may have even turned on some parental controls, but is there anything you missed?

One of the main ways your kids access the Internet is through a search engine. They type what they want into a site like Google and — BOOM! — search results, full of what they were looking for. Maybe they got what they asked for, or maybe they got something unexpected, something they shouldn't be looking at. How can you protect them from accidental (or intentional) detours into the dark areas of the Internet?

Thankfully, search engines such as Google are taking parents' concerns seriously and have implemented a bevy of content restrictions tools and other features that parents have asked for. Google has consolidated these features into a site called "Safety Center".

Safesearch (With Lock Feature Enabled)

With regards to helping your child avoid inappropriate content, one of the first steps to take as a parent is to enable Google's Safesearch content filtering on all the browsers and devices your child uses to access the Internet.

Safesearch filters search results and will exclude explicit content that may be harmful to children. Additionally, you can lock this feature so that your child can't disable it (for a specific browser). Check out full instructions on how to enable Safesearch on Google's Safesearch Support Page.

YouTube's Reporting And Enforcement Center

If your child is being harassed or bullied by someone via YouTube videos, or if something embarrassing has been caught on video and posted on YouTube, you should use YouTube's Reporting and Enforcement Center and take action to have the content removed, additionally the poster of the offensive content may have their account sanctioned for the activity. This doesn't mean the harassment or posting will stop, but it is a proactive way to deal with it and document it.

YouTube Content Filtering

Kids watch YouTube as much as, if not more than, television these days. Unfortunately, there is no "V-chip" for YouTube like there is with standard television.

Fortunately, there is at least some content filtering available from YouTube. It doesn't have the robust restrictions options available for television content, but it's better than not having any filtering on at all. You can find out more information about restricted mode from Google's Safety Center. You can also find much more information about other parental controls available to you in our article on YouTube Parental Controls.

Safety Center seems to be Google's new jumping off point for all things related to privacy and security, especially with regards to online safety for your family. Go take a look and see the other great resources they offer.