Internet Safety for Kids

Resource Guide

Internet Radio Safety Tips for Kids

In the world of Internet radio there are very few censors. Unlike the radio shows on local stations, hosts and DJs can say whatever they want, and no one is bleeping out the explicative words. Kids can listen to just about anything they want online. More tech-savvy kids are also beginning to create their own podcasts, which could lead to other safety concerns.

From Pandora to Sirius to individual podcasts, the tips below can help protect kids from inappropriate Internet radio content.

Kid Safety Tips for Listening to Internet Radio

Block Unsavory Websites and Other Users - If you have read our article on Internet video safety for kids you may recall that there are ways to use software, apps and browser settings to control which websites can be accessed. Any podcast or radio sites that could have adult content should be added to the no-access list. Kidz Bop BoomBox is a popular app for cleaning up streaming services like Spotify. There are also ways to block other users that upload inappropriate audio files on services like SoundCloud.

Lay Down Internet Radio Listening Rules - When establishing family rules for the Internet, make it clear that adult radio shows and music are off-limits just like other websites. This should include prohibiting kids from downloading apps that provide access to podcasts and radio shows.

Be Careful When Creating Accounts - Kids and teens should practice account creation and password safety precautions when signing up on an Internet radio website. For example, users must be 13 or older to sign up on Pandora, but the profile information will be public.

Adjust the Settings Within the Station - Sites like Pandora also offer controls and filters that make accessible content more appropriate for young users. In Pandora enable the explicit filter that is locked by a PIN number you set. Whenever possible also disable the social and commenting features to help keep things more kid-friendly.

Choose a Family Plan - Some Internet radio providers such as Beats Music offer family plans. These can be useful in monitoring use, but keep in mind whatever you listen to could be accessed by your kids.

Kid Safety Tips for Creating Podcasts

Check the Privacy Policy Where They'll Be Uploading Audio Files - There are a number of platforms like Blog Talk Radio or SoundCloud for broadcasting a podcast. Each one will have their own privacy policy which outlines how the site will protect your information.

Lay Down Internet Radio Recording Rules - If your kid wants to create a podcast lay down rules before the first show. Decide which topics are off-limits and make it clear that they are never to divulge their real name, your name, their school, age or location.

Preview Each Show Before They Post - Make it a rule that before a podcast can be uploaded you have to approve it first.

Use a Safe Username - Decide on a safe, neutral username that doesn't give away private information. The podcast name and show titles also need to be nondescript.

Additional Resources:

Privacy Policy - Pandora

Manage your Privacy Settings - Pandora

SoundCloud Privacy Policy - SoundCloud

Privacy Policy - Beats Music

Privacy Policy - Spotify

"1 in 20 children– has arranged a secret meeting with someone they met online."

- Netmums survey of 825 kids

Teaching kids Internet safety is as important as teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street. Don't wait until their safety, your financial security or a family member's identity is compromised. Take action against cyber criminals that use the Internet to gain access into our lives and the lives of our children.