YouTube has expanded massively since its humble beginnings to become one of the biggest platforms on the internet. The popular video hosting service is available on most modern devices, with almost a billion videos on the service at the time of writing.
These videos have been uploaded by over 50 million YouTube channels, which can be created very easily. Videos can be uploaded directly from mobile devices with in-app editing tools to make it even easier to become a creator than ever before.
Many YouTubers reach a point where they can monetize their videos, which has led to many success stories of people earning great incomes from the platform. This doesn’t come easily in most cases and requires consistent, high quality content that takes plenty of time and effort to make.
This has inspired many to start their own YouTube channel, to share their passion for a particular topic or strive for some extra income. This has led many to question the safety and security of the platform and we will be examining if it is safe to start a YouTube channel.
Like many other digital platforms with internet hosting, YouTube will require you to enter some personal information. This will include details like your email address, passwords, name, date of birth and more.
If you have managed to monetize your content, you will also need to provide YouTube with some financial details so that it can pay you your earnings. As with all services on the internet, there is a risk that hackers or cyber criminals could infiltrate YouTube’s records to steal your data.
While there is not much you can do to prevent YouTube being compromised, they are striving to keep their security modern and secure. There is always a risk that someone can acquire your personal details to gain access to your account.
In this case, you should always use a strong password and security recovery questions that only you know the answers to. Be aware of email scams and never share your details outside of the YouTube platform.
If you sign in to your account on a shared or public device, be sure to sign out afterwards and do not enable any options to remember your account to avoid unwanted access.
While many YouTube content creators will not ascend to the heights of millions of subscribers, any level of following will come with some associated risk.
It has been known that subscribers can become fanatic in their appreciation of creators and there have even been reported instances of stalking, physical, and verbal abuse. This is again very unlikely but there are a few ways to mitigate the risk.
Be wary that any content you post does not reveal your exact location or home address. If you are filming a vlog in a destination for example, do not reveal where you are staying.
For videos you are creating at home, never show the exterior of your home, the street or nearby locations that viewers can use to identify your location. If you are attending an event, it may be wise to only reveal that you went to it after it has already happened.
If you are planning on opening up the possibility of receiving packages and letters from your subscriber base, be sure to use a POBox rather than your home address.
YouTube allows users to comment on videos, which opens up the possibility of offensive or inappropriate comments.
YouTube employs strict terms of service and users and creators alike have the ability to report comments, which can lead to them being removed. As a creator, you can turn off the ability to comment on your videos entirely.
YouTube has become much smarter in how it detects copyright protected content, resulting in strikes against a channel who breaches the rules.
To ensure that you are not subject to copyright claims, you should only make use of content that you have created, purchased or licensed for your videos.If you have monetized videos, using copyright protected content can result in demonetization.
YouTube has recognized the need for additional security and safety measures over the years that it has been in operation. Channel owners have a range of options available to them when publishing videos including the ability to make videos private, unlisted or public.
A private video will not be visible in YouTube search results and can instead only be viewed by people that you provide a dedicated link to. An unlisted video is similar in that it will not show up on your channel or in search results but it can still be seen and shared by anybody who has the link to it. These options can allow you to tailor your content to a specific audience and reduce the identified risks.
With all of the above considerations and the features that YouTube has implemented, it is generally safe to start a YouTube channel. That being said, you should also take careful measures to ensure your personal safety and privacy.
Be sure to manage your personal data without sharing your account details with anyone outside of YouTube itself. When producing content, never reveal your residence or location ahead of time, since viewers with malicious intent could locate you and cause you physical or emotional harm.
With robust terms of service, inappropriate content and comments will likely be removed automatically or if reported. You can always turn comments off entirely if you feel more comfortable doing so.
The final thing to keep in mind is that you should only upload content that does not contain illegal activities or controlled substances, with no copyright protected content unless you have been cleared for the rights to it.
With all of this in mind, it is safe to start a YouTube channel.