THE summer holidays are here and with children spending more time in their online world to stay connected with school friends and entertained, I'd like to offer some specific online safety advice to parents and carers.

A question many parents ask us when it comes to their child's online wellbeing is: "Should I let my child set up a YouTube account?"

YouTube is the second most visited website worldwide. With over 500 hours of content uploaded every minute and more than a billion hours of video viewed daily, the scale of content is enormous. It's very popular with children and young people, who use it for various reasons such as watching their favourite gamers (over 100 billion hours of gaming videos were watched on YouTube in 2020).

But not all content on YouTube is suitable for children and young people. As a parent, it's important to be aware that a child should be 13-years-old to create their own YouTube account. Young people aged 13-17 can have their own accounts, but only with permission of parents or carers. On Net Aware, our website co created with O2, we have lots of advice for parents on whether to allow children to have YouTube accounts.

Give it a read and talk with your child about their reasons for wanting to set up an account. Many children believe you can make lots of money by sharing videos, but whilst this is possible it is the exception rather than the norm and can put them under pressure. What do they want to achieve, or share? Talk about what is appropriate to share and what isn't. When agreeing rules and time boundaries, consider a family agreement - you can find a template of one on Net Aware. Stick it up where all the family can see it, like the fridge door, so your child understands your expectations. This agreement could include not sharing personal information, whether they are allowed to show their face in videos, suitable clothing (for example no clothing that might identify their school).

The Net Aware review of YouTube also has advice on safety features and settings for when your child is viewing content on YouTube, but what if they want to make and share their own videos? Making videos can be a great way of learning digital skills, and promoting creativity and critical thinking but there are risks such as over-sharing or disinhibition. When hidden behind a keyboard it can be easy to say or do things that you wouldn't do offline. This could include sharing videos which are inappropriate or offensive. They might feel pressure too, to create more videos to keep up with trends. This could involve sharing personal information or age inappropriate behaviour or language. Keep the conversation going with your child, if they're feeling under pressure find out why and talk to them about it. Find out about popular apps, sites and games children are using at