Safe Video Browsing

Taylor Davies's picture

Have you ever wondered what your six-year-old might stumble upon while on YouTube? Well, you’re not alone; plenty of parents have raised the question. Here are some internet functions, sites, and tips to help minimize your concerns.

YouTube Safety Mode

YouTube has created a new feature called “Safety Mode”. When enabled, Safety Mode blocks offensive videos and hides comments, by default. It also replaces the offensive words on the comment board with asterisks.

When certain words are entered in the search box (ex: nudity, violence, etc.), videos containing those words will be blocked and prevented from popping up, or filtered, depending on the word. It also filters the related videos that appear on the side of the screen. 

When you log in to YouTube, you can install and lock the safety settings. Scroll to the bottom of the page and turn your Safety Mode on and save the settings. Be sure to do this on every browser (especially less known ones such as Opera and Junior) because the Safety Mode setting is browser specific. 

Bookmark Great Video Websites

There are a lot of great websites that are full of kid-friendly material. Here are a few of them: 

Communication is Key

Sometimes children stumble upon inappropriate material. It’s unfortunate but true in the world we live in today. Many times children feel guilt and blame themselves for these events. If parents are able to talk to their children openly, however, then they can teach their children how to avoid and properly handle these situations. Here are tips to establish better communication with your kids about the internet: 


Guest's picture
Safety mode is too easy to disable.
Guest's picture
As a Christian I feel the need to speak up to encourage video posters to use another video hosting site besides YouTube. I’m really tired of all these wonderful Christian organizations posting their videos on YouTube and asking us to access them there in the midst of all the trash that surrounds it. We filter it from our kids. I don't want to be slimed by it personally. Every anti-porn video will have some pro-porn video next to it with filthy words and crap that I don’t want to be exposed to. YouTube filters out Pro-Life videos as harmful but leave soft porn [promoting videos) on their site. They carry adult material including full nudity on their site and simply ask users to sign in as being over 18. Their safety mode does not filter out ¼ of the junk I don’t want myself or my kids to view. When are we going to get an article/broadcast by a noted organization - such as yours, asking everyone to boycott the site and post their videos on another Christian friendly site? There are other Christian based sites that they should be posting them on. godtube,, and I’m sure a number of others are safer – start your own – there is money to be made. If they want to duplicate it on YouTube to reach the un-churched fine, but they shouldn’t ask us to go into that slim-pit to view their godly video. I encourage you to post any video you are promoting on a godly site and encourage other Christian organizations to do the same.
dennacerise's picture
I appreciate you taking a stand on this. I would only like to add that it's not just Christians who try to stay away from crude media. :)
Steven Carroll's picture
I admire your dedication and desire to keep people away from dirty sites. I'd only like to point out that when you watch a video from a particular channel, the side-bar of related videos will pull up other videos from the same channel. In fact, when watching a video from my church's channel, the ONLY videos in the side suggestion bar were videos from the same channel. Either this is a default behavior of YouTube, or the owner of the channel can choose to have it this way. YouTube is great for embedding videos in other websites. For example, I can post a YouTube video from my church to my Facebook feed. My friends will see it in their feed, and they can watch it without leaving Facebook. At the end of the video, there are no suggested videos - you just have a button to play the video again. Same with Twitter. Sure, YouTube is full of filth, just like the world is full of filth. You can find anything bad you want to, just like you can in the real world. Sure, the internet is much faster. You just have to teach your kids and yourself to exercise self-control, just like in the real world (when I say real world, I mean the world outside of the virtual world created by the internet).
DallinManSmith's picture
Safety Mode sounds like a great tool. I'm going to use it and show my family.
jlepinski's picture
Quietube is another alternative for sharing youtube videos without having any adds or other videos show on the side. I just barely found out about it in the wiki glossary of this site under resources. It sounds like a good service. I don't understand how it works yet but I'm going to look into it.
DanielHoward's picture
This is a great option. However, not all videos with inappropriate content are filtered. The content filter uses tags and community flagging to determine if a video should be filtered out. Therefore, usually inappropriate videos that have few views often are allowed through the filter. The filter works great to filter out most content that will inadvertently be stumbled across, but because it is not perfect, some inappropriate videos may still come up. The best method to ensure that children do not see inappropriate content is to ensure that they are only accessing the Internet in a place that is monitored, or to deny them access to the Internet completely.
Ijesh GIri's picture
If the Safety Mode could be stored on the server side and the client didn't have to worry about setting the safety mode for each and every browser a kid could open, it would make a parent's life much easier. The only thing you would need to do for that is store the ip and the settings associated to that ip. Youtube could only allow a user logged into their youtube account save their ip for enabling this setting to avoid storing every ip they can get from the internet. This way even if the kid is able to install another browser on the computer, he/she still won't be able to change the setting.
Willard Hagen's picture
Safety Mode doesn't get everything. There are still videos that cause arousal that are not considered by youtube that should be blocked.
nhumrich's picture
There are web-filters that you can use such as k-9 Web filter (by blue coat) which are completely free. Since the filter blocks all traffic, it can not be easily turned off. You can set the level of filter you would prefer. Obviously, no solution is perfect, and some things that you might consider bad might not be blocked. A child should never be on the internet unsupervised. If you just want to block sludge content for yourself, a web-filter is a great solution.
miles123's picture
Thank you so much for sharing this. It gives me idea on how to make my video safe from others. I will visit again your page to gather more information about videos. Keep on posting. <a href="">buy u.s.a youtube subscribers</a>
celasky's picture
I would have to agree there are many web-filters that can be used to achieve a similar if not better result than the content blocker on YouTube. Personally I use the Microsoft Family Safety filter. This filter does a pretty good job. It is easily customized to meed the needs of the user. Along with this is has a report feature which will send a detailed report of "sketchy" websites or content viewed. This is a great way for parents to be able to hold their children accountable for the content they are viewing ( Along with filters I believe that it is important that parents help their children become filters themselves. The internet can be accessed anywhere. It will be impossible to filter all of the content viewed by our children. One of the best things we can do as parents is to teach our children how to be filters so because that will stick with them wherever they go. Thanks for the article.
jseidl's picture
My son is about a year old, and I'm starting to think more and more about these kind of things. I really appreciate the last section about the inevitability of viewing something inappropriate. As a parent it's important to protect your kids, but not protection is absolute. My son is going to see some things that I would never want him to see. Education is the best protection I can give him. Teaching him what is right from wrong will help him deal with situations where he is exposed to inappropriate material. Thanks for the article.