If you have a young child in pre-school or kindergarten then you are probably familiar with the British cartoon Peppa Pig. This cartoon is so popular that young kids in America and Canada are developing British accents to be more like hers! If you have watched an episode of this show, then you are familiar with how inquisitive, cheeky and charming Peppa can be…though some parents find her a bit rude. But that’s not what should worry parents and guardians the most…
Recently, we at Eveminet noticed a viral Facebook post that worried many parents. It prompted us to make this blog and address this serious cyber safety issue.
Can The Real Peppa Pig Please Stand Up…
As far back as 2016, there have been many reports about fake You Tube Channels pretending to be the official Peppa Pig You Tube Channel. The creators of these accounts create content that promote violent behavior, suicide, drug abuse and even sex. The most alarming video showed a step by step guide on how kids can slit their wrists while attempting suicide. Another one urged young kids to switch on the gas and lock the doors after everyone gets home!
How They Trick Us…
The people responsible for these accounts, know exactly what they are doing. they hide cleverly in plain site by using misleading thumbnails and tags to trick the Google Algorithm. Others even go to the extent of creating ads. They are able to get away with this and reach millions of kids every day because of the high volume of traffic You Tube enjoys.
The fact is, that Peppa Pig fans are not the only victims. These individuals have also created fake Mickey Mouse and Calilou accounts. Clearly, we as parents and guardians have to take steps to ensure that our kids are watching the right things online. We can not leave this to chance or else our little ones will suffer.
How To Protect Your Little One
We aren’t all Steve Jobs and for some of us even operating a smart phone can be a challenge but there is nothing more powerful than the love of a parent. By using the following tips, you can ensure your child’s safety on You Tube.
1. Download The You Tube Kids App
Say goodbye to regular You Tube and install You Tube Kids on your children’s devices or the devices they have access to. The application is free and available on both Google Play Store and the Apple Store
2. Create A Profile For Your Child
Create a profile for your child, this will help identify your child’s preferences and will also make it easier if you have more than one child sharing the same device. You can create a separate profile for each of your kids.
3. Restrict Browsing on The Parental Control
Make use of the parental control feature that determines whether you have permitted your child to browse their own content or not. You Tube recommends using it, to limit the probability of harmful content that can reach your child.
4. Choose The Channels & Videos Your Child Watches
You can choose “trusted channels” and videos in the Collections section, as well as restrict the “recommended” channels to only ones that have been viewed and approved by a human. The human part is more important than ever before, because as much as Google’s safety algorithm filters out grown up content for You Tube Kids, some questionable content does manage to slip through at times.
To access these settings, you unlock the “grown-ups only” section by using either a random pass code (written out so that pre-readers can’t use it) or a custom pass code you create. Then log into your Google account and select the user whose profile you want to add controls to.
5. Regulate The Time Your Child Spends On You Tube
You Tube Kids further allows parents to regulate the amount of time their children spend watching videos thanks to a clever timer that will lock the child out once time is up. This ensures your child doesn’t become addicted to the internet and uses their time constructively.
6. Age Restrictions
Even though the application recommends that it can be used by kids as young as 4 years of age, we support the guidelines by Common Sense Media that it is better suited for kids aged 7 years and above.
NB/ Common Sense Media helps parents not just regulate You Tube content but they help identify appropriate online content as well as give their expert opinion on age restrictions. We highly recommend using them.
7. Regulate Ad Content (Optional)
If you are keen on avoiding ads and any harmful content that may be parading as an ad, you can sign up for You Tube Premium
NB: Sadly its is not yet available in Kenya but will be soon.
8. Sign Up For Parents Unplugged
There is only so much we can say in a blog! Sign up for our Parents Unplugged Training Session this April and learn more ways that you can become a Digital Parenting Champion.
Also take a look at all our other 2019 events for you and your family.