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Mar 2016

YouTube Parental Controls

Our kids are growing up as part of the internet generation and, if they are anything like mine, love watching videos online. As much as we would love to let them loose on YouTube to watch their cat videos, there is a huge amount of rubbish that kids shouldn't have access to, despite it being vetted for extremely explicit offensive content.

The good news is that YouTube has a "Safety mode" setting—its version of parental controls. It doesn’t guarantee to prevent all content of an explicit nature from reaching your children's eyes, although it is better than having nothing at all.

To enable YouTube Safety Mode in Your Web Browser
    IMPORTANT!! To prevent your child from turning safety mode off, you must log out of your Google / YouTube account by clicking your username link in the top right-hand corner of the browser window to lock the setting for the browser you are using. If you have multiple browsers, you need to open each browser and repeat this process to make sure Safety Mode is turned on in each one.

    Enable YouTube Safety Mode on Your Mobile Device
    Safety Mode may also be available on your mobile device's
    YouTube app. Check the settings area of the mobile app to see if it is an option. The process for locking the feature should be similar to the process above.

    NOTE AGAIN: YouTube warns parents that the Safety Mode feature is not 100% reliable and some offensive content could get through its filters.

    YouTube has released a free mobile app called "YouTube Kids" designed to provide a safer viewing experience for young children. Its built-in features make it harder for children to view the type of videos parents don't want them watching. It also blocks many search terms that young people might type in that parents find inappropriate.
    Other features of the app include a parental "timer" which allows parents to limit how long their children can use YouTube Kids before the app automatically turns off as well as an option that allows parents to turn off search.

    Buyer Beware

    When buying a new computer cheap does not always mean cheerful. There are some computer manufacturers who have started selling VERY cheap laptops and netbooks, which sounds fabulous if you have a small budget. However, the majority of these PCs have VERY limited specifications.
    Two thirds of the cheap PCs recently on sale at one of the big out-of-town outlets did not have enough hard drive storage to let Windows 10 update to the latest version without the purchase of additional storage items. They have 32 Giga Byte eMMC drives, often sold as little Solid State Hard Drives, which is a type of disk often favoured because of the speed increase you can get with them, but they are very much not little Solid State Hard Drives
    . These are in fact the same type of chips that you’ll find in USB or Camera SD Cards, meaning they are slow. This, in my humble opinion, makes them not fit for purpose.
    To quote Microsoft, who have mentioned this in the system specifications for Windows 10,
    “Small storage devices, like devices with 32GB hard drives or older devices with full hard drives, may need additional storage to complete the upgrade. You'll see instructions during the upgrade telling you what to do. You may need to either remove unneeded files from your device, or insert a USB flash drive to complete the upgrade.”
    Not only do these aforementioned laptops have insufficient hard drive storage, they also have, by today’s standards, a tiny amount of RAM, just 2Gb! And what’s worse is that there is no way to upgrade either the internal storage or the RAM!
    So, how much hard drive storage and memory (RAM) should you need as a minimum when buying a new computer?
    Storage or Hard Drive - this is the part of the laptop on which all of your data is stored. It is measured in Giga Bytes. Each Giga Byte (GB) represents 1000 Mega Bytes (MB). The minimum we would recommend is 128GB, on which you can store about 30,000 photos or MP3’s. If you play around with video files, you should look to 1000 GB drives, which can store about 24 hours of HD video.
    Memory (RAM) – this too is measured in Giga Bytes. RAM is a fast, temporary type of storage that Windows uses to load both itself and whatever it is you are doing at the time. So when you surf the internet you are using some RAM for Windows, a little more for the web browser, a little more for your anti-virus program, a little more for the nice picture on your desktop, etc. The rule of thumb with the current generation of laptops is 4GB of RAM is good start and more is obviously better.