Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Youtube

YouTube

YouTube lets you watch, create and comment on videos. You can create your own YouTube account, create a music playlist, and even create your own channel, which means you’ll have a public profile. YouTube allows live streaming.

13+

Official age rating

11+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
12+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

High Risk

Violence & hatred

High Risk

Bullying

High Risk

Suicide & self-harm

High Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

High Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On YouTube parental controls

With your child, explore Restricted Mode which will help filter out more adult content.

Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

Your child might see something upsetting or worrying on YouTube. If this happens, they might want to report videos or comments. 

YouTube has specific guidance on how to report inappropriate content.

Remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about things they see online

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about YouTube

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about YouTube;

  • People write mean things in the comments of videos
  • You can see content that’s inappropriate
  • There are a lot of adverts
  • The negative attitudes of some YouTubers

Some parts can be very safe especially in channels which are aimed at children. But there are haters, bullies and a lot of other weird people.

Boy, 12

What do children and young people like about YouTube?

  • Following your favouriteYouTubers
  • Listening to music
  • Learning new things from videos

It really depends on what you watch. I like how you can learn from videos like anti-bullying videos. But people are free to upload without getting warned or told off - there is way too much freedom and people take advantage of this.

Girl, 12

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Parents

Signing up

It seems to be very simple and anyone can access it as long as they have access to a mobile.

Mum of boys aged 3 and 8

 

Reporting

It took a while to work it out but once you know how, it is an easy process. 

Mum of 14 and 17 year olds

Privacy settings  

As long as you know that settings can be changed then it's easy to do.

Mum of a 14 year old girl

Safety and support

You have to search to find the rules, they aren't readily accessible.

Mum of 5 and 9 year olds

Stay up to date

Get emails on the latest social networks, apps and games your kids are using, so you're always up to date.

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