Parental controls offered by your home internet provider
How to set up filters on your home internet to help prevent age inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home.
The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce these helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider.
We know that children, particularly younger children, can be bothered by things they see online, and filters can be a helpful tool in reducing the chances of coming across something upsetting.
Remember that filtering is only part of the solution
No filter or parental controls tool is 100% effective, and many of the risks that young people face online are because of their own and other’s behaviour. It is therefore important to talk to your children about staying safe online with your child and make sure they know that they can turn to you if they get into any difficulty. For more information about key topics such as cyberbullying, sexting and social networking, see more advice for parents.
Other services that are popular with young people also provide tools that are helpful to activate in addition to filters. Find out more about YouTube Safety Mode, Google SafeSearch, 4OD Parental Control, BBC iPlayer Parental Guidance Lock, ITV Player PIN number protection and and Sky Go Parental Controls.
Devices that connect to your home internet
In addition to content filtering offered by your ISP, many devices such as games consoles, smartphones and tablets have their own parental controls, for example to limit spending or restrict access to apps based on age rating. Likewise, many web browsers have built-in tools and features to help you control the kinds of content users can view. You can find out more about this in our Parents’ Guide to Technology.
Staying safe when out and about
If children are taking their devices out of the home, it's worth bearing in mind that they could connect to public wifi, for example, in a shop, cafe or restaurant. Look out for the Friendly WiFi symbol which shows that the wifi has filters in place to limit access to pornographic content.