Improved legislation on the provision of safety tools for consumers means that keeping your children safe at home is now much easier.
Your Home Internet Service
All Internet Service Providers (ISP's) are required by law to offer a content filtering service for subscribers. Your broadband Internet Service Provider will supply details of their filtering when you subscribe and you should also find details in their support pages. Filters that are applied by your Internet Service Provider will affect all devices connected to your home router. Filters that are applied by your broadband Internet Service Provider will not affect mobile devices using a 3G or 4G network. The following Internet Service Provider pages describe the safety filters offered by leading broadband providers:
- Stay safe with BT Parental Controls
- Sky Broadband Shield explained
- Talk Talk Homesafe - online protection for your family
Mobile Broadband Safety Controls For Smartphones
According to Ofcom, all mobile phone operators provide safety controls with their connections, thereby enabling parents to apply usage restrictions to phones used by their child and registered in the name of the parent. A detailed checklist of things to consider where mobile Internet access is being granted to a child has been published by Ofcom and repeats many of the points made elsewhere in this guide.
It is important to remember that any access restrictions placed on your home network will only apply to smartphones when they connect to your home router. An internet connection made with a smartphone using the mobile network will not be subject to the same restrictions and it is therefore important that for any restrictions to be effective they are applied consistently across both home wifi and mobile networks.
These major network operators publish their safety intersections for parents on these pages:
- Vodafone: Parental Controls In Detail and the Vodafone Guardian App
- EE (T-Mobile): Content Lock - Change My Settings and Parental Controls With EE Home Broadband.
- Three: Accessing adult content on your phone
- Tesco Mobile: Parental Controls And Content Settings
Microsoft and Google are the most popular search providers and each offer their own e-safety resources with information aimed specifically at parents. Exploring Microsoft's e-Safety Centre will explain how to keep your Windows computer safe from online threats and also manage your search experience with Bing. Google offer a similar set of resources in their Safety Centre, with guidance on enabling safety features using your Google account that can help filter inappropriate content from users.
Whilst other search engines offer similar services, we recommend using one of the major providers with comprehensive search controls. This enables you to apply a level of safety for your children and also offers some protection for your home computers, reducing the likelihood of infection from malware and viruses, in addition to filtering content that may be inappropriate.
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