Lesson 11: Parental Controls and Safety Mode


Parental controls and Safety Mode

While there's a lot of great, creative, and educational content on YouTube, there's also plenty of adult content, crude humor, violence, and otherwise inappropriate videos you may not want your children to see. Fortunately, you can turn on YouTube's Safety Mode to automatically filter and restrict inappropriate videos.

The other main feature of Safety Mode is that it automatically hides the comments below videos. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of comments on YouTube can be mean, sarcastic, and contain offensive and derogatory language. As a result, many people prefer to turn on Safety Mode as a way to avoid seeing comments. Watch this video from the YouTube Help channel to learn how to enable Safety Mode:

To turn on Safety Mode:

  1. Go to the bottom of any YouTube page and select the Safety button.

    screenshot of YouTube
  2. Select On, then choose Lock safety mode on this browser.

    screenshot of YouTube
  3. Enter you Google account information, and choose Sign In.

    screenshot of YouTube
  4. Safety Mode will be enabled and locked in your web browser. You'll need to unlock Safety Mode if you want to turn it off.

    screenshot of YouTube

How effective is Safety Mode?

In our experience, we've found that Safety Mode does a good job of blocking a majority of obviously inappropriate videos—anything that contains nudity, excessive violence, or obscene language. However, it's important to realize that there's a lot that Safety Mode can't do.

For example, Safety Mode won't be able to understand the context of a video and recognize why something might be offensive to you. Ultimately, if you're concerned about what your children may see on YouTube, you'll probably want to view the videos on your own before showing them to your children or restrict their access to YouTube completely.

Further limitations of Safety mode

Safety Mode only works if your child is viewing YouTube in the same web browser and if you're signed in to your Google account. This means Safety Mode won't be enabled if your child opens a private browser tab or uses a different web browser or device to access YouTube.

Simply put, Safety Mode isn't foolproof—a tech-savvy user will be able to find a way around it. Again, if you're truly concerned about the type of content your children may see, you'll probably want to restrict their access to YouTube instead of relying on Safety Mode.