YouTube is quickly becoming to online video sharing what Kleenex is to facial tissue, or what Band-Aid is to adhesive bandages. Are your kids safe? It's the most popular video sharing site on the Internet by a long shot, getting more than 100 million views per day. When it comes to YouTube, teach your kids to be over-protective of their own privacy – because when a video clip goes viral on YouTube everybody knows about it.
Of course there are upsides to the awesome viewing power of YouTube. Musician Oren Lavie recorded and released his debut music video “Her Morning Elegance” on YouTube in January 2009. It received over 13 million views and was nominated for a Grammy in December 2009, thanks largely to YouTube.
But the popularity of YouTube content is not always a good thing. If your child appears in a racy video that makes its way to YouTube, it can be clogging the inboxes of every student in her high school within days. Teen fight videos are often posted, as is other inappropriate content. And if your child and a group of friends make a funny Twilight parody in the front yard, is there any harm in putting it on YouTube? Maybe. Is your address on the mailbox easy for millions of strangers to see on the video? Are your kids doing or saying anything that gives away their identities or other sensitive information?
These are things that your tween or teen probably won't think about before posting. Knowing what they're posting and when can help them keep from compromising their own privacy and safety. It's hard to be as omnipresent as YouTube, but we parents still have to try.
-Article Contributed by Jenny Evans