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BUSINESS TIPS SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Can YouTube Access Your Camera?

As concerns about online privacy increase and the abilities of nefarious parties online continue to expand, the worry over things like websites accessing your webcam without permission naturally increases alongside them. While YouTube is not a “nefarious party” in an online security sense (though a healthy distrust of huge corporations is rarely a bad thing), users understandably still want to maintain their privacy, even from platforms like YouTube.

To give a brief answer to this question, no, YouTube cannot access your camera… unless you allow them to! And you will need to allow them to for certain activities, such as recording shorts through the YouTube app or live streaming directly through YouTube Studio.

YouTube In The Browser

Any reputable browser, such as Chrome, Firefox—or any of the other major web browsers in use today—will explicitly present you with a choice when a website wants to use your camera. We can’t speak for every browser on the market, of course, but if you use an obscure browser, you should be at least knowledgeable enough to stay secure while using that browser.

With the more well-known browsers, however, you will always be asked before a website is granted permission to anything on your device that is not part of standard web browsing protocol. You can revoke these permissions at any time, though the precise steps you need to take to do this will depend on the browser you are using.

So, when using a browser, yes, YouTube can access your camera, but you have to allow it, and you are free to revoke that permission any time you wish.

YouTube will only ask permission to use your camera if you are doing something that requires it, such as live streaming directly through the YouTube site. This is important since requests to access your camera at seemingly inappropriate times could be a sign that your computer is infected with something malicious.

YouTube On Your Phone

Things are a little more straightforward on a mobile device, such as an Android phone or iPhone, assuming you use the YouTube app and do not go through your phone’s browser.

With the app, you will likely be asked for the relevant permissions the first time you run it. If you have previously denied those permissions and now want to grant them, you can take care of that in your phone’s settings.

The scope for requiring the use of your camera for YouTube on your phone is a little narrower since you cannot live stream from your mobile device (though you can set up streams on it), but you can still record shorts through the app in much the same way that Snaps are recorded. Or, for those of you with longer-term memories; Vine videos.

Can YouTube Access Your Camera?

Is YouTube Trustworthy

It’s all well and good talking about how you can grant and deny YouTube permission to use your camera, but is YouTube trustworthy in the first place?

Unlike the aforementioned nefarious parties, YouTube is beholden to a range of international laws regarding what they can and cannot do. There is also a free market aspect to the situation; if YouTube suddenly decided to start filming you randomly without giving you a proper warning and without explicit consent, they would very quickly lose users

All of this adds up to a trustworthy company in terms of safety, though as mentioned above, it is perfectly normal to have some reservations about blindly trusting a corporation. Still, you should not have to worry about YouTube stealing your webcam for malicious purposes.

Camera Precautions

When on a computer (rather than a phone), especially if the computer in question is a laptop, you may have some warning that your camera has been hijacked. Many webcams these days have a light that is activated when the webcam is recording, and the same goes for certain models of DLSR and other more expensive cameras. If you notice your camera lit up when it shouldn’t be, you should look into that immediately. If you are not currently using a website or an application that uses your camera, your computer could be infected with a virus or other malicious software.

Of course, not all cameras give a visible or audible warning that they are active, and while having a camera that does warn you is handy, the best defence against your camera being used without your consent will always be to ensure that you are being safe on the Internet. Don’t download files from unknown sources, be careful about the links you click, and keep your anti-virus software updated with the latest definitions.

Do I Have To Give YouTube Permission To Access My Camera?

If you are not prepared to grant access to your camera to even a company like YouTube… you don’t have to. There are currently no YouTube services that are only usable with direct access to your camera. You can upload videos and shorts and live stream through third-party streaming applications.

The argument for allowing YouTube to access your camera is one of convenience. If you make a lot of shorts, your fastest and most convenient method will be to grant access to your camera and record your shorts through the YouTube app. The argument is less convincing on PC, where it is often just as easy to use a third-party streaming alternative rather than granting YouTube access to your camera in order to stream directly into YouTube.

Final Thoughts

While the threat of online security breaches is very real, YouTube is not, nor has ever been, the perpetrator of this kind of activity, and it is a safe bet they will remain so for the foreseeable future. As with most aspects of life online, it is crucial to stay on top of your security, because a missed update here or a questionable download there can be the difference between a secure computer and your bank details being available on the dark web!

If in doubt, revoke all permissions for services like YouTube, you can always grant them again later.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is it Dangerous to be a YouTuber?

Doing anything online these carries with it an inherent amount of risk, whether it is risk in the form of identity theft or risk in the form of abuse and harassment.

YouTube is a fantastic platform, but it is not exempt from these dangers.

Indeed, anyone who has spent enough time in a YouTube comments section could be forgiven for feeling that YouTube might be one of the worst examples of online dangers. At least when it comes to abuse and harassment.

The dangers a platform like YouTube poses are not only varied by their intent, but also by the person using YouTube. For example, an eleven-year-old child faces a largely different set of risks compared to an adult.

Is it dangerous to be a YouTuber? As with many things on the Internet, all but the most sinister of dangers can be mitigated by or avoided entirely by your behaviour. To borrow an example from email etiquette—you can’t get a virus from an unknown link if you don’t click on unknown links.

In this post, we’re going to look at the various ways in which YouTube can be dangerous, explore what YouTube do to prevent this, and look at how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Can I Create A Youtube Account For My Child? 1

Is it Dangerous to be a Child YouTuber?

We’re starting with children because, despite the sensitive nature of online safety for children, this is actually the most straightforward aspect of this topic to cover.

Firstly, children under the age of thirteen are not allowed to have a regular YouTube account under YouTube’s terms of service.

The only way a young child could be a YouTuber (without breaking the rules) is if they are YouTubing with an adult, such as their parent.

The child could appear in the adult’s videos, or the child could entirely run the channel while the adult manages things from behind the scenes. Either way, there will be an adult there who can guide the child through various Internet pitfalls they might otherwise have fallen down. Most social media platforms have similar rules regarding age, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about your child being exposed to the less savoury denizens of the web.

They could lie about their age, of course. Sites like Twitter don’t have any kind of age verification, how you handle that will be down to your own parenting style.

Once your children are older than thirteen, however, they are allowed to sign up for a wide range of platforms, like YouTube and Facebook. However, they will still be a minor under your care, and you would still be legally within your rights to prevent them from doing so.

Again, this is a decision that would have to be made by you based on your parenting style. You an read my blog on setting up a YouTube channel for your child here.

If you choose to allow your child onto the Internet, you must prepare them for what they may find. Have a real conversation with them about the risks, and about how people on the Internet can be less than pleasant sometimes.

Give them a thorough grounding in the basics, such as not giving usernames and passwords out, and how to spot a shady site. These are all things that your child will need to learn regardless, so getting a head start can’t hurt.

Is it Dangerous to be an Adult YouTuber?

The dangers of being a YouTuber as an adult are not much different from the general dangers of being on the Internet. Things like identity theft, fraud, and general mental well-being are all things to look out for.

If, however, you become a famous YouTuber, you should be prepared for the responsibility that brings. A person with a few thousand subscribers can make an ill-advised statement or be rude to someone, or let a bit of personal information slip out, and the world will keep turning.

A YouTuber with perhaps a few hundred thousand subscribers may see significant consequences from such behaviour. And a YouTuber with a few million subscribers could make mainstream media headlines from it.

While we understand the desire to rush to success, building a following as you would have with a successful YouTube channel is best done slowly for several reasons, not least of which is it gives you time to grow and adapt to your newfound popularity.

Another way in which being a YouTuber can be dangerous is in the real world implications of your content.

Granted, this probably won’t affect someone who is making inoffensive life hack videos, but if you have opinions of a controversial nature, and you are voicing them in your videos, it could have harmful side effects. In today’s reactionary world, your job could literally be at stake. And, while we might all have the dream of going full time with our YouTube channel, most of us still have to work a day job in the beginning.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel?

What Can YouTubers do to Keep the Negativity Away?

Beyond simply ignoring negative comments, there are things you can do as a YouTuber to keep yourself, your channel, and your community as safe as possible.

Obviously, shutting down comments entirely and not having a presence on other social media platforms will all but eliminate the opportunity for bad faith actors; however, it will also hamper your ability to grow as a channel since community involvement is crucial in the early stages of your YouTube adventure.

So, with that in mind, we’re going to assume that you don’t plan to lock your channel and social media down altogether.

Set the Tone From the Start

Think of unwanted audience behaviour like a bad habit. It is much easier to cut it off at the start than it is to deal with once it has had time to take root and become ingrained. If you make it clear from the beginning that particular behaviour will not be tolerated, and enforce those standards wherever you can, it will be far less likely that you will have a problematic audience when you start to grow as a channel.

Of course, what one channel considers unacceptable may be fine for another channel. Swearing is an example of something that can be fine depending on the channel and the community.

The point is that by setting the tone early on, you’ll have less to deal with as you grow. You may even reach a point where your community polices itself.

If it is established that you do not allow profanity in your comments section, your audience will likely start letting newcomers know when they are behaving in a manner that is not in keeping with your community.

This also applies to behaviour that, while perhaps not offensive in nature, is nonetheless a bad precedent to set. For example, while getting involved with your community is a great way to grow your audience early on, it’s important to establish boundaries.

If you make yourself too available—beyond any reasonable expectation your viewers should have—you set the expectation that you will be similarly available in the future. And, as your audience grows, it will become more challenging to devote enough time to these kinds of interactions. This can lead to a negative reaction from your viewers, who feel they are being snubbed.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 8

Separate Your Online Life From Your Real Life

Being a YouTuber can sometimes lead to problems in your real life. Those problems may be small, such as mild embarrassment over a family member seeing one of your videos, or very serious, such as your employer seeing you say or do something controversial that leads to your firing.

You may not feel like you have anything to hide from your real life, and you may be entirely correct. However, it can still sometimes be good practice to separate your YouTube personality from real life if possible. You can do this using a pseudonym, or being virtually faceless on your channel (though this can have longer-term branding implications).

You can also keep the two separate by not sharing YouTube things on your personal accounts, and not linking personal things to your YouTube account. A common practice is to have a private Facebook page where you can communicate with friends and family online, reserving places like Twitter for your “YouTube persona”.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 1

Take Extra Care With Your Personal Data

There is a myriad of ways in which sensitive personal data can find its way into the public domain. For example, did you know that when you register a domain name, the details of the owner are publicly available unless you pay extra to keep them private? What’s worse is this data typically includes your address.

Another example would be giving out your address to receive packages from viewers, or sending a package to a viewer and having your home as the return address.

It is also worth putting a little extra effort into making sure your videos are free from any sensitive information. For example, if you do an unboxing video, make sure the packing label is removed or covered up before you start filming.

Preparing Yourself Mentally

While the material risks of being a YouTuber are very real, many dangers are less obvious and can creep up on you if you are not prepared for them.

Lack of Privacy

It may seem silly to think that a lack of privacy could be an issue for someone who chooses to put themselves online in a very public way, but as we mentioned above, there should be boundaries.

Still, even with firm boundaries in place, you are putting yourself out there, and there is an unavoidable degree of vulnerability about that.

Criticism

Following directly on from that, there is the criticism. There will always be a negative contingent online who are looking to say unhelpful and hurtful things. As a YouTuber, you need to become proficient at recognising the line between criticism and insults.

Legitimate criticism should be taken on board, as it can help your channel grow, whereas insults and general hurtful behaviour serve no purpose. If a person is looking to hurt you and nothing more, you won’t gain anything by attempting to mollify them, and their words should be dismissed as they have no objective merit.

Or, to put it another way, you wouldn’t ask a friend who hates Chinese food for recommendations on where to get Chinese, so why would you listen to opinions about your YouTube channel from someone who just doesn’t like your channel.

Lack of Understanding

While YouTube has become huge over the last decade or so, and made many people very rich and very famous, it is still covered by the shadow of scepticism when it comes to people who do not spend much time on the Internet. Unfortunately, for many of us, our families and friends will include a certain number of these sceptics.

Explaining what you do and gaining the understanding of people like this can be difficult. This is especially the case if you are hoping for a supportive reaction from your friends and family if you decide to move into YouTubing full time.

The best you can do in these situations is explain things as honestly as you can, let them know how important it is to you, and then try to move past it if they refuse to take it seriously. Try not to hold grudges—YouTube is relatively new, and the idea of a YouTube career is even newer. It’s not entirely unreasonable of them to have a little skepticism about it.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Likes? 1

Lack of Patience

Unlike the last one, this one is on you. Succeeding on YouTube takes time. Attempts to cheat the system and speed things along usually end in YouTube redressing the balance—sometimes by deleting your subscribers—so there is no quick fix to success.

If you do not have the patience for the YouTube long haul, there is a very real danger that you will run out of steam and quit.

It can help to visualise your goals, but never be anything less than brutally honest with yourself about the rate of growth you can expect. That way, you won’t be disappointed when you aren’t an overnight success.