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Top Tips For Staying Safe When Sharing and Watching Videos Online

Guest post by Deborah Preston

We share so much of our lives online nowadays, it has become second nature to share a video clip of friends having fun, or documenting a holiday as a video diary. Those of us who have grown up with the internet may feel like we know how to use it safely and how to protect ourselves online. However, even regular users can slip-up, possibly from being lulled into a false sense of security having previously had nothing bad happen. Just because we are used to everything being ‘ok’ in our online world doesn’t mean that will always be the case. It is important to be aware of what we upload to video sharing sites and the possible consequences.

I keep up with a couple of video content creators and they openly share which city they live in, film themselves driving to and from work and the inside of their house. I was shocked on a few occasions to see the film running as they drive past the sign to their street, as well as filming outside their house and up to the front door. The basics of video sharing safety are don’t film where you live, you never know who is watching! Maybe some of the internet safety rules get forgotten when making videos because content is so regularly uploaded by active video creators, especially if they are doing it daily, and this may lull some into a false sense of security. Video is a great medium, but it’s always important to remember to protect oneself.

I’ve put together some tips for staying safe when video-sharing online:

1. The age limit of 13 on many video sites is there for a reason: young children and teenagers should be supervised on video sites. It can be so easy to watch one video and then click onto a related video and watch something that is not age appropriate

2. Protect your details - don’t give out your address, phone number or even your social media details to anyone you don’t know.

3. Avoid filming out of a window in your home or around the outside of your house. This might give away your location. If you are filming nearby, stop filming a few roads away from your home, or better still, don’t film your neighbourhood at all.

4. Be prepared for the negative comments - Amongst all the good, the internet is a place where trolls and spammers are commonplace. If you make videos or are simply just a commenter or viewer, you may need a thick skin.

5. Think about what you are putting out there in the world of online video and, if you wouldn’t want your mum seeing it, don’t post it.

6. Do tell someone if you are creating videos, it is important to let others know, as they may have a helpful view about the content you are creating and whether what you are uploading is a good idea or not.

7. Remember you can always block users who are causing problems.

8. Video comments can be turned on and off and videos can be listed as public or private.

9. Take a look at the YouTube Safety Centre for more information on how to stay safe on YouTube

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