What’s up YouTube? That’s right, YouTube. Parents, do you know who your teen is following on YouTube?

With TV streaming live and thousands of channels to consider, parents have gotten smart about engaging the parental controls on the Smart TVs they purchased for Christmas, and that’s great! But what about video websites your teens are visiting; what are they watching on YouTube? Uncensored and unrestricted viewing of video websites may be putting your teen at-risk.

With the recent YouTube Logan Paul debacle it is becoming more and more apparent that not all inappropriate videos are caught and taken down before they are viewed by unsuspecting teens and tweens.

With 5 Billion videos being viewed every day, who can keep up? YouTube has 10,000 moderators constantly watching and taking down inappropriate videos, but, at ½ Million videos per moderator to review, again, I ask: who can keep up?

YouTube is not the only video website you need to guard against. According to L-Lists, YouTube is top on the list of most popular video sites, but rushing ahead to claim their shares of the market are sites like dailymotion, vimeo and metacafe to name a few.

What’s a parent to do? Carve out time at least once a week to protect your teens.

Technology expert Stephanie Humphreys was interviewed on Good Morning America and offered tips for parents to be able to better control what their teens are able to view. Humphries tells parents to go to the various Apps on your child’s computer and set restrictions. Each App may have a different area of the site to set restrictions, so if you are struggling with setting up the filters, email the website manager or open a new browser and do Google or Bing search on how to locate restrictions on YouTube or which ever Apps are on their computer. Remember to check the Apps on iPhones, Androids and tablets of all kinds. Just because the Blue Tooth is activated does not mean all of the setting will be exactly the same on each device.

Oh, you not sure which sites they visit? Check the History on the computer. What do you mean the History has been erased?! That is unacceptable.

If you are following me you already know where I stand on parent-teen privacy and devices; there is none. But for those of you just coming on to the scene, pay attention: it should be part of your Parent-Teen Contract for Living that the History on the devices your teens, tweens, young adults have access to are not erased but left for your review. I don’t care how good your son is or what clubs your daughter belongs to, I care about helping you protect them from the predators that lie one key-stroke away.

We only get one chance with our children: once they are lured away from home and sold into sex trafficking or slavery the chances of them being rescued, being rehabilitated and having a normal life are very slim.

Seriously, you mean you still have reservations about checking your teen’s devices; you feel like you are spying on them? Well don’t have reservations; you are spying on them because it is for their own safety. Furthermore, if they minors are living under your roof you are liable; it matters not that they saved their money and purchased the phone or that they reload minutes on a disposable phone. If they are on your phone plan, if you pay for their phone, internet and cable viewing privilege you are liable for every website they visit; and, every email and text message they send/receive.

Quit being a friend; be a parent.

Of course purchase the phone; it is your direct link to their friends, where they go and what they are thinking about. However, when you purchase the phone, iPad, tablet or other device, remind them it comes with rules.

  • Rule # 1: If you are on my payroll, I will install private passcodes on your all of devices.
  • Rule # 2: I reserve the right to implement restrictions on your devices.
  • Rule # 3: I will install spyware on your devices to help protect you from predators.
  • Rule # 4: I will approve all Apps before you install them.
  • Rule # 5: You will provide me with all of your passcodes for safekeeping.
  • Rule # 6: Changing or deleting my passcodes is prohibited.
  • Consequence: Violation of the rules will result in restricted phone use.

Parents, you cannot afford to be slack on this. Establish a phone check-in/charging station where phones are left at bedtime and retrieved the following day. Depending on the type of spyware you load on their devices you will be able to review all emails and text messages as they come in as you will receive copies of all of their messages. This will help you hone your attentions more quickly to potential problems.

Purchase the unlimited data plan; you will be glad you did.