- Check the comments on the video before playing it.Unless the user who uploaded the video disabled commenting, you will often quickly find out if the video is prankster's work by reading the irritated responses. Disabled commenting itself might also be a clue, as is a large number of "dislike" votes.
- Some clues might alert you to screamers.Clumsier ones ask you to turn up the volume on the speakers for some reason, or no reason at all. Better ones simply have low volume, forcing you to turn it up. Look at the time. If its under 30 seconds, its most likely a screamer. Thankfully, on Youtube, you're spared flash game screamers, the best of all, as they make you concentrate.
- Turn your speakers down.Don't get blamed for waking the neighbors up with an earsplitting scream from your volumed-up speakers! This applies to headphones as well, for your own sake.
- Flag the video as inappropriate, or at the very least, click the thumbs-down button.The more dislikes a video has, the less popular it is. Additionally, if a video is flagged as inappropriate multiple times, it may be removed by site management.
- Watch the video with sound muted.If you can't hear the scream, it actually might be fun to watch.
- Don't get fooled when browsing for something to watch.The pranksters who upload these videos often tag them and title them with popular search results, so that music video or sports car commercial may not really be as they seem.
- Preview the video frames without playing the video.Pause the video, and slowly move the mouse pointer left and right over the grey bar between the video and the controls. You will see a small thumbnail pop up above the mouse pointer.
- You can save yourself the shock by avoiding videos like Where's Waldo, Find 10 Things Wrong With this Picture, Don't Touch The Walls, Scary Maze, and scary kitchen optical illusion, etc. Do not look up pornographic videos either; most of those are screamers as well.
- Not all screamers are under 30 seconds, or have quiet music in the beginning. Beware!
- Trust your instincts. If the video looks innocent but you feel suspicious by the comments, it's probably something worth skipping.
- Look out for a second screamer!
- Sometimes people fake the link by tinyurl, bit.ly and others