A Parent's Guide to Safe Video Streaming for Kids

The internet is filled with many things, from fun online games to educational stories. However, it’s also a melting pot of inappropriate content that can be harmful to kids. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that exist online, so you can protect your children from them. One potential hazard is watching videos that are not age appropriate.

Many streaming services, like YouTube, Netflix, Sling TV, and offer kids’ channels with shows and movies that are appropriate for younger audiences. However, there is also a lot of content on these platforms that are not meant for kids. This can include videos with violence, swearing, and sexual content. To help keep your kids safe while they stream, keep reading this guide.

Online Threats Your Kids May Encounter

Regardless of if you have fiber or satellite internet, the mere fact that your kids can connect to the internet and watch videos puts them at risk of encountering inappropriate content. Unfortunately, it only takes one click for your child to stumble across something they’re not supposed to see.

There are three primary types of threats your kids may encounter while streaming videos online:

Inappropriate content: As we briefly mentioned before, there is a ton of inappropriate content available on the internet, including on video streaming platforms. This can include videos with violence and sexual content. It can also include videos that promote harmful behavior, such as drug use.

Online Predators: Another danger kids face online is predators. These are people who pretend to be someone they’re not in order to take advantage of kids. They may try to befriend your child and get them to share personal information, such as their address or phone number. They may also try to arrange a meeting in person.

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying has become more common now than ever. This type of bullying can include posting mean comments, spreading rumors, or sending threatening messages. It can be very hurtful and make your child feel isolated and alone.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe While Streaming Videos Online

Now that you know some of the dangers that exist online, here are a few steps you can take to keep your kids safe while they stream videos:

Set up parental controls on their devices.

It can be challenging to filter out content that's not appropriate for kids online. Not only can malicious content be seen almost anywhere, but it can also be hard to tell if a video is appropriate just by looking at its thumbnail image. That's why it's important to set up parental controls on your kids' streaming devices. This way, they can only access content that you approve of. Moreover, most streaming services, like Netflix, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, and others, have this feature.

There are usually different levels of filtering that you can choose from, so you can decide how strict you want the controls to be. For example, you might only allow your kids to watch videos that are suitable for their age group. Or you could filter out all content that's not appropriate for any age.

Keep an eye out for the content they watch.

Even with parental controls in place, it’s important to monitor what your kids are watching.  This is because no filter is perfect, and some inappropriate content can still slip through. Additionally, videos that are appropriate for older kids can be interesting to younger ones.

When you can, watch TV with your kids or ask them about the shows they’re watching. This way, you can get an idea of the types of content they’re interested in and make sure that it’s appropriate for them.

Talk to them about what they’re watching.

It’s also important to talk to your kids about the content they’re consuming. This can help you gauge their understanding of what they’re seeing and ensure that they’re not being exposed to anything that’s too mature for them.

For example, you might talk to them about how violence in real life is different from what they see in movies and TV shows. Or you could discuss the implications of sexual content with them. These conversations can be difficult, but they’re important in helping your kids navigate the world of streaming safely.

Bottom Line

As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that come with streaming videos online. By following the tips above, you can help keep your kids safe while they watch their favorite shows and movies.

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