A parent's guide tointernetcontrols

A parent's guide tointernetcontrolsThe internet is full of harmful content, which is why web filtering is such an important toolfor any family. When running properly it helps to protect your children from the bad thingson the internet, regardless of whether they’re trying to access that type of content onpurpose or it happens by accident.While parental controls are generally lumped together as one, there are three main waysof providing them: via your Internet Service Provider (ISP), via a router or via software thatyou install. Each has its own benefits and downsides, and the best solution is often to usea combination of techniques to catch everything and prevent a child from bypassing yourprotection. In this brochure, we’ll look at each type to see which ones are best for you.Meet our expertThis guide has been written by David Ludlow. David has been atechnology journalist for more than 20 years, covering everything frominternet security to the latest computing trends and the smart home.A father of two (a nine-year-old and a six-year-old), he’s had to controland manage how his children access online services and use apps.Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 19.06.2019

RouterfilteringcontrolsMost routers provide internet filtering. The most basic models just let you type in awebsite that’s blocked, which doesn’t provide a very practical way of locking downyour internet connection. However, many new routers and wireless mesh systemsare upping their game when it comes to parental controls. They are providing moreadvanced controls, and that’s what we’re looking at here.Although usually provided free, some manufacturers have a monthly charge for more advancedfeatures. For example, with the Netgear Orbi System, you get basic filtering for free, but moreadvanced controls are available on a monthly subscription.Using router controls, you can create profiles for each person in your home, assigning devices toeach person. A child, for example, could have a profile that associates their laptop, phone and gamesconsole to them.Filtering controls let you set which types of websites each profile can access, with more restrictiveblocking for very young children, less stringent blocking for teenagers and unfettered access foradults.In addition, profiles often let you set both when a profile can access the internet and for how long.You can even pause internet connection for a profile, blocking internet access temporarily for a child.As controls are applied for all devices, it means that a child can’t swap to a different device to carryon using the internet.The main downsides are twofold. First, protection doesn’t work outside of your home, so a child hasunrestricted internet access on other networks. Secondly, they can’t control which apps your childcan use, so you can’t lock down applications and games so easily.Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 19.06.2019

ParentalSoftwarecontrolsTraditional parental control software is typically available aspart of an anti-virus suite, although dedicated applicationsare also available. The software has to be installed on a child’sdevices, with most supporting Windows, Mac, iPhone (iOS) andAndroid. Control is typically via the web, letting you set thetypes of websites that a child can visit, and how long they’reallowed to use devices for.Parental control software has two main advantages over the other methods.First, it can be used to monitor and restrict which apps are being used, inaddition to filtering websites. Secondly, the software continues to work nomatter where the child is, so they can’t bypass protection by connecting to adifferent wireless network, for example.The downside is that the level of support is more restrictive and somedevices, such as games consoles, won’t be supported.Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 19.06.2019

ISPfilteringcontrolsYour ISP will have its own filtering controls that you turn on foryour entire internet connection. They’re provided free of chargeand provide a simple, baseline level of protection. The mainbenefit of these controls is that they don’t require any softwareto be installed and will work on any device connected to theinternet from a laptop to a games console.The main issues come from the fact that the controls are simplistic. First, ascontrols apply to every device equally, everyone in your home gets the samelevel of filtering regardless of whether they’re five-years-old or an adult.Secondly, ISP filters can’t block specific applications, such as a game. Thirdly,ISP filters only work while you’re at home; if a child takes their laptop ortablet elsewhere, there’s no active filtering (note that BT’s controls also workif you’re signed into BT Wi-Fi).Typically, ISP parental controls can be temporarily turned off (or run ona schedule) to allow adults access to other content. However, while thecontrols are turned off, the entire network is open, enabling a child to accessanything they like.It’s worth mentioning the parental controls that mobile networks provide.These can be turned on to filter all web traffic from a child’s smartphonewhen they’re using the mobile network. The downside is that the controlsaren’t in force when a child connects to a wireless network, so you’ll want tolook into additional controls.Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 19.06.2019

In truth, the best form of protection is to use multiplelayers of protection. Parental control software is a greatoption for monitoring and controlling what a child cansee and do on their computer, tablet or phone, and givesprotection outside of your home. It’s worth supplementingthis control. If your router has advanced parental controls,then use this to control internet access on all of a child’sdevices, even those that don’t support your software. ISPfiltering should be used as a last resort, as it restricts whateveryone can do, even you.That said, make sure that your child’s phone has internetfiltering turned on so that your child remains protectedeven if they use mobile data.Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 19.06.2019

Join the conversationSUBSCRIBE to our mailing list todayCALL US ON 0800 368 NESAFETY.COMAt National Online Safety we believe in empowering parents, carers and trusted adults with the information they need to hold an informed conversation about online safety with their children, should theyfeel it is needed. This guide focuses on one platform of many which we believe trusted adults should be aware of. Please visit for further guides, hints and tips for adults.