Does your child have a smartphone? Keep them safe with our parental controls

If you are buying your child their first smartphone, discover how to use parental controls to keep them safe online.

While a phone has lots of benefits for children, we realise it’s important for you to protect your children (and grandchildren) from inappropriate content online.

To keep children safe, we offer parental controls for BT Mobile and Broadband customers that can be used on smartphones. These two types of parental controls - BT Mobile and BT Parental Controls - function separately. Keep on reading to find out what they do and how to activate them.

BT Mobile Parental Controls: How do they work?

BT Mobile Parental Controls are available to all BT Mobile customers, giving parents and guardians control over what type of content their children can access using a BT Mobile smartphone.

BT Mobile Parental Controls work when the phone is connected to the internet via BT Mobile’s data network over 4G, 3G and 2G. They don’t work if you are connected to wi-fi at home or via the BT Wi-fi app, head to ‘BT Parental Controls’ below to find out how to do this.

  1. Go to and log in with your BT ID.
  2. Scroll down to Parental Controls.
  3. Look for ‘Filter mobile data content’ and you’ll notice a drop-down menu, with three options: Light, Strict and Off.

BT Mobile Parental Controls filters

Light: By default it’s set to ‘Light,’ which blocks content suitable for the over 12’s. This includes blocking access to the following types of content. To explore them in more detail visit the BT Help pages.

  • Alcohol
  • Criminal skills
  • Drugs
  • Gore
  • Hacking
  • Hate
  • Pornography
  • Self harm
  • Sex advice
  • Suicide
  • Tobacco
  • Violence
  • Texts to 18+ services

Strict: This blocks content only suitable for the over 12s. This means all of the above, but also unmoderated social networking sites, online dating and chat rooms.

Off: This setting allows everything.

Once activated, BT Mobile Parental Controls take up to 30 minutes to work.

[Read more: Cyberbullying facts and advice]

Man and girl looking at phone

BT Parental Controls: How do they work?

BT Parental Controls are different to BT Mobile controls, because they are available free to all broadband customers. These apply to every device – including smartphones - that connect to your home hub, wired or wirelessly and if you connect to a BT Wi-fi hotspot using your BT ID.

Even if you don't have broadband with us, as a BT Mobile customer, you'll get free wi-fi at 5 million hotspots around the UK via the BT Wi-fi app. To protect your child if they go online this way, you’ll need to activate BT Parental Controls.

How to activate BT Parental Controls: BT Mobile customers

  1. Go to and log in with your BT ID.
  2. Scroll down to Parental Controls, look for ‘Filter BT Wi-fi content’ and click Get started. Go to ’BT Parental Controls: Setting them up’ below.

How to activate BT Parental Controls: BT Broadband customers

  1. Go to MyBT and log-in using your BT ID.
  2. Scroll down to Your package, click 'Manage extras' and under BT Parental Controls click Set up BT Parental Controls

BT Parental Controls: Setting them up

BT Parental Controls have three options: Change filter levels, Manage allowed & blocked sites and Set filter times. 


BT Parental ControlsChange filter levels: There are three pre-set levels to choose between or you can customise your filter.

  • Light: Blocks Pornography, Alcohol and Tobacco, Obscene and Tasteless, Dating, Hate and Self-harm and Drugs.
  • Moderate: Blocks all the above and Social Networking, Gambling, Nudity, Weapons and Violence.
  • Strict: Blocks all the above and Fashion & Beauty, File Sharing, Games and Media Streaming.
  • Custom: Choose which categories you want to block, including: Search Engines and Sex Education.

Manage allowed & blocked sites: Here you can choose which websites you want to be able to access all the time, regardless of your settings. You can also enter websites you want to block.

BT Mobile Manage Filter levels

Set filter times: There may be times when you want to suspend BT Parental Controls, perhaps in the evening when the kids are in bed and adults will be online. Use the drop-down menu to select the days and time when the filter will be off.

Worried about your child being distracted when they should be studying? You can set homework filters when social media, chat and games will be blocked on top of your normal filter options.

BT Mobile Parental Controls filter levels  

Launch My BT and activate BT Parental Controls

To find out more about cyberbullying and other online safety concerns visit Internet Matters

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