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StreamSafely Summer Camp: Safe Streaming for Kids

As summertime activities begin, kids will be spending more time streaming content on their computers, tablets, Androids, iPhones, and iPads. But ensuring online safety becomes challenging when kids log into new devices or websites daily. StreamSafely Summer Camp provides parents and kids a safe way to enjoy all the online content available today without compromising personal data or risking potential security threats. We provide comprehensive and age-appropriate parental guidance to help kids understand the risks of streaming, how to protect themselves, and how to be responsible digital citizens.

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What is Pirated Content?

Pirated content is not family-friendly content. I think we can all agree that watching TV shows, movies, sports, and even children’s programming is very different from how it was when we were kids, but have you ever thought about the potential risks associated with streaming illegal content?

closeup of Leticia Barr

Hi, I’m Leticia Barr, founder of TechSavvyMama.com. Since 2008, I’ve shared technology, education, and parenting advice on TechSavvyMama and today I’ve partnered with StreamSafely.com to share how you and your family can stay safe when streaming favorite content.

When someone steals a car or a purse, it’s called theft. But when the item stolen is a movie, TV show, or sports broadcast, the offense is copyright infringement or what’s known as content piracy.

Pirates distribute illegal content across the world by taking advantage of the same technologies and systems that deliver legitimate content. We can stumble across pirated content when searching without even knowing. It’s so widespread you might have watched stolen content without knowing it, but it can put our families at risk. Pirated content can be distributed through purchased hardware, jailbroken streaming sticks, illegal streaming services, and file-sharing websites and apps.

Our kids are accessing content for school. Then, in their downtime, they may be utilizing a myriad of online services. And they might not know that the content they’re accessing isn’t safe.

How to Protect Your Family from Inappropriate Content

Studies have found that one in three sites that offer pirated content also deliver malware. Almost half the people who stream pirated content report malware attacks. Malware can infect your device or network, putting your personal information at risk. It also has the potential to ruin your computer. Another risk of downloading or streaming pirated content is identity theft. Criminals can use malware to infiltrate your computer and network to capture your valuable personal, medical, and financial information. Let’s be honest, we can’t watch our kids every second of every day. We want to be sure they’re not streaming content they’re not supposed to see. We want them to be safe when online but telling them isn’t enough. Educating your children about the risks associated with pirated content will help keep your family’s home network secure and your sensitive information safe. Here are some important reminders to keep your children safe from pirated content. Be sure to share with your children:

  • Nothing valuable comes for free and that includes free video streaming. Help them understand that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Inform them about different types of legal and illegal streaming services and view a list of free legal streaming services.
  • Content pirates make money by letting cybercriminals infect their customers with malware. When your kids access pirated content, they put themselves at risk.
  • Downloading or streaming pirated content significantly increases their chances of falling victim to malware attacks compared to those who don’t.
  • If a single device gets infected with malware, all the PCs and smart devices connected to your home network will become vulnerable.
  • Cybercriminals are often ahead of standard protections, so be sure to always avoid pirated content.

6 Tips for Recognizing Illegal Streaming Websites

With so many streaming services available today, it can be difficult to keep track of which are legitimate, and which are dangerous. Even social media platforms are streaming content now. Knowing which options are safe, and understanding how to identify the illegal websites, can save you from the risks of illegal streaming, including malware, fraud, and more.

Read more tips to identify illegal streaming websites, and stream safely this summer.

10 Kid-Friendly Safe Streaming Tips

We live in a world offering a vast variety of digital content and sports streaming services. Plus, there are countless choices of where and how to watch all that content. But with all the great advantages the digital world offers, we also need to be aware of the potential threats.

Here are a few tips to make sure your family stays safe when streaming content:

Keep your technology secure by ensuring that your browsers, operating systems, and security software are up to date. Set a strong password for your wireless router's security and implement parental controls and browser restrictions. Regularly back up your data and change passwords.
Be cautious of suspicious links as they may contain malware. Always scrutinize the URL to verify the source, especially when the message claims to be from a reputable organization but the URL seems suspicious.
Stick to using legitimate streaming apps and service providers like Paramount+, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Pluto and Tubi that provide kid-safe content legally and support creators' royalties. While some services have fees, there are also free options available, usually with ads.
Avoid sharing or borrowing passwords to maintain control over your login credentials. Sharing passwords can lead to an increased risk of unauthorized access and may violate service terms.
Conduct thorough research before using a service. If it appears too good to be true, such as offering free kids’ movies or an extensive library of shows at ridiculously low prices, it is likely a pirate site. Watch out for signs like the absence of a mobile app, recommendations to use a VPN, or requests to disable security protections or grant administrator permissions.
Establish a family checklist and protocol for streaming, including guidelines for malware protection and what to do in case of issues. Assigning one of the kids to oversee the checklist can involve everyone actively in maintaining security.
Utilize parental controls and filters. Some streaming services offer built-in parental control settings or services that allow you to customize the type of content your kids can access on different devices. Parental controls enable you to set screen time limits, choose titles or set curfews with the option to automatically turn the app off.
Use reputable antivirus software and keep it updated at all times. Ensure your family follows safe browsing practices such as not clicking on suspicious links or downloading content from unknown sources.
Ensure that the cybersecurity on kids' devices is regularly updated and monitored.
Finally, set expectations for your family on how to watch content safely and responsibly. Make sure they know the risks of downloading or streaming pirated content so that they can make smart decisions about what they watch.

With these tips in place, you can help protect your family from the risks associated with pirated content while they stream their favorite content. Safe streaming is easy when you know what to look for and how to set up safeguards. Educating yourself and your children sets a good foundation for online security, helping keep devices and home networks safe from cybercriminals.

Enjoy Family Streaming All Summer Long

At StreamSafely, we want to help everyone protect their families and enjoy streaming safely. We’re here to provide tips and resources for parents relating to pirated content, online safety, malware protection, and more. By following our safe streaming tips and educating your family members on the risks associated with pirated content, you can keep them safe as they stream their favorite movies and shows.