Can you get a virus from YouTube?
YES! You’d be surprised to hear that you can get a virus from YouTube, and why wouldn’t you. YouTube has billions of people entering their site every day. This is a perfect opportunity for hackers to make a lot of money by stealing your information and infecting your devices from the site.
Whilst it’s unlikely to get a virus from watching a video on YouTube, there are risks on the site. For instance, cybercriminals have figured out a way to deceive people, and that’s through Comments. They have started to use the Comments section on YouTube to put content on their channel that gets people to click on links and install dangerous software on our devices. It’s clever tricks like this that can get anyone caught out, especially children.
As parents, you need to be aware that YouTube is extremely popular among tweens and teens. Kids are technologically smart, but they are also known for being innocent and insatiably curious. Keeping your gadgets free of YouTube malware requires informing your children about the risks and warning indications. Because viruses and inappropriate information go hand in hand, parental controls can help reduce the danger. Here’s some advice on how to keep your children digitally safe on YouTube.
Avoid clicking video description links
A YouTube video’s description can contain links to harmful websites. While the majority of links lead to trustworthy websites, some lead to sites where your computer is unexpectedly infected with malicious malware.
People looking for full versions of their favourite movies are the subject of one of these frauds. Children are particularly vulnerable, as the prospect of watching their favourite Disney film might tempt them to click on anything. Don’t ever click on these links, at least not without checking with me first, is the best counsel you can give your children.
Tips on what you and your kids should look out for when it comes to videos
- Bad language and misspellings are common in online frauds and phishing attempts.
- Description in the link. YouTube itself does provide full length streaming movies, but they will never ask you to click a link in the description to access them.
- Ad promoting the “Full HD” movie. Likely to take you to a malicious site.
Be wary of comments:
In the comments section of a YouTube video, you can find links to virus sites. Cyber criminals include a link to further video footage. The viewer is prompted to upgrade their video player or other software after clicking the link. The “update” is a virus, malware, or other malicious software. The best piece of advice for keeping your children safe is to turn off the comments area (see below).
Don’t stray with Video Ads:
Video ads might sometimes lead you to unsafe locations. Botnets, a type of robot virus, are used by opportunistic hackers to infect thousands of devices. The botnet turns your computer into an automatic video-watching zombie that consumes your electricity, processes your computer’s computing power, and wears out your device. The botnet frequently mutes the videos, so you won’t even notice its happening.
Our advice is, always be cautious of ads that offer free items, or appear in videos. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.
It should be clear by now that many of the links lead away from YouTube and to fraudulent websites. It’s difficult to lock all of those doors. However, by taking a few common-sense precautions, you and your children will be less likely to infect a virus when browsing YouTube.
Turn On the Restricted Mode on YouTube:
With an option called “restricted mode, YouTube allows you and your children to manage what they see. The setting hides any videos with mature or objectionable content in their names, descriptions, or other information. The video comments section is hidden while restricted mode is enabled, so your kids won’t see any malicious links or other inappropriate content.
Download the YouTube Kids app:
YouTube does an excellent job at recommending and screening age-appropriate video in general, but no system is flawless. The YouTube Kids app allows you even more control over your child’s viewing habits. It shuts down even more possibilities for cyber crooks. Here’s some features you can start using on the app.
- Disable Search: You can disable the search function so your child can’t look for things they shouldn’t.
- Pause Search Histories: The “recommended videos” feature can be turned off. Children are prone to falling down the rabbit hole of recommendations. If they look long enough, they’ll find something you don’t want them to see or click on.
- Vetted Ads: YouTube Kids ads are all paid and reviewed. They’re safer and more likely to be from legitimate businesses.
Malware is extremely prevalent, yet it is not impossible to avoid. A lot of preventative measures are simple and require minimal effort or funds to implement.
How to protect your family from Malware
- Always used a trusted antivirus program from a reputable provider.
- Run scans regularly.
- Always update your operating systems and software.
- Use security networks, proxies, and/or VPN’s whenever possible.
- Don’t click on everything you see (a website or email link).
- Protect your username and password as if your financial future depends on it.
- Know what the latest threats are and how to prevent them.
The first steps to keeping the family digitally safe is by practising these basic precautions. Once you do that, you’ll improve your security, keep devices running smoothly and most importantly keep your family safe from the digital dangers.