We’ve offered free parental controls to customers for years, but the protection focused on desktop computers and laptops – now the new controls cover any internet-enabled device using home broadband, from PCs, laptops and games consoles to tablets and smartphones.
The filter will still be free to all customers. Anyone joining BT can choose whether or not to activate the parental controls when setting up their internet connection for the first time. We’ll also contact all of current customers during 2014 so they can choose whether or not to set up the controls.
The new controls have been tested in trials with different customers and with help from groups such as Mumsnet - the UK’s biggest network for parents.
There will be three set filter levels – strict, moderate and light - which can be customised to suit each family’s needs. Additional websites can be added to the list to be permitted or blocked.
The filter can be turned off at specific times, and can also be set to an additional level – ‘homework time’ – for extra peace of mind when children are studying.
Pete Oliver, MD Consumer Commercial Marketing and Digital, said: “BT takes the issue of online child protection extremely seriously and we are very pleased to be able to launch the whole-home filter to help parents keep their families safe online.
“It adds to the many tools we already make available for free to our customers. We’ve been focused on the issue of online safety since we developed the world’s first Cleanfeed filter to block child abuse images and made the technology available free to other ISPs across the world a decade ago.”
While filtering is an important tool, raising awareness of the need to protect children online and providing education on how to do so is crucial. So BT, along with other major internet service providers have set-up a marketing campaign - Internet Matters: Learn about it. Talk about it. Deal with it - to increase awareness and education around online safety for children.