Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the UK offer free parental controls.
If you’re a BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media or Vodafone customer, you can decide what kind of Web content your family can access. We’ve put together an overview of each set of controls and links to further information.
BT Parental Controls let you manage internet access on all devices that connect to your BT Home Hub and BT Wi-Fi hotspots (for example, cafés and other public spaces). Available for free, they include Strict, Moderate and Light filters, an option to restrict access to specific websites, and a Homework Time setting that blocks social media, gaming and homework cheat sites.
Virgin Media Web Safe works on any device connected to your home Wi-Fi. Provided free in broadband packages, it has two settings: Child Safe, which blocks websites that are unsuitable for younger users, and Virus Safe, which blocks websites that could lead to viruses and other security issues.
Sky Broadband Shield works on all devices connected to your Sky home broadband and comes at no extra cost. You can customise your settings in three steps:
- Choose a rating – PG, 13 or 18
- Use the Watershed feature to set restrictions at specific times of the day
- Add specific websites that you would like to block
Vodafone Parental Controls are free and available to anyone with Vodafone Home Broadband. They protect all devices connected to your Wi-Fi and prevent access to inappropriate online content, such as violence and gambling, as well as websites with viruses or malware. You can control your children’s access to Wi-Fi at home by creating a guest ‘family’ network for them and then setting time limits on when the Wi-Fi is available via an app on your phone. You can download the Vodafone Broadband app for free at Google Play and the App Store.
TalkTalk Home Safe lets you control internet access on all devices connected to your TalkTalk router (Wi-Fi and cable). The free package includes Kids Safe (which lets you block all or your choice from nine categories of website), Homework Time (which limits access to social media and gaming websites at certain times) and Virus Alerts (which avoids malicious websites).