Officials warning parents to monitor "disguised" YouTube videos

Officials warning parents to monitor "disguised" YouTube videos

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Seemingly innocent videos are making their way into the homes of families all around the country. But those videos are disguised as something else.

Thousands of YouTube videos are emerging online containing sexual and even violent content. And your children may be looking at those. But just as easy as it is to search for these videos, it's as easy to block them.

On the surface, these videos seem innocent and fun. But a few minutes in, you'll see they are far from it.

The worst part....they are being disguised to lure in kids. And with YouTube being so popular, that isn't hard.

"The parents are actually completely oblivious to it most of the time because they're either far away from the child, or the child has headphones on and they're kind of doing their own thing and they don't realize that the child is actually watching something really inappropriate, so we can't use YouTube as a babysitter," says Brea Berry with The Bridge Amarillo. "It's just simply not safe."

Other than to lure children, it's a bit unclear why those posting these videos are doing it, but there are a few things you can do to avoid your children being exposed to them.

"Make sure that you have the parental exclusions set up in YouTube," says Andrew Brandt with All Star Computer Service. "You can do that directly on their website and what that does is excludes more adult oriented content on YouTube."

Berry says the issue is anyone can upload just about anything to YouTube and tag it however they want.

"You need to make sure that your kids are watching Disney videos on a Disney app, or on the Disney website because all of those videos have been screened, they are all authentic Disney content. The same thing with Nick Jr.," says Berry.

YouTube also has a specific kids app, another option for safety.

"Even setting up time limits, so that you only set up YouTube access maybe while you're home or certain types of the evening, things like that," says Brandt.

To turn on safety mode,

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click the Restricted Mode drop-down menu.
  3. Select Lock Restricted Mode on this browser.
  4. When prompted, enter your account password.

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