Sky Broadband parental controls to be improved

Provider confirms a 'whole home' solution to block adult content at network level with settings applied to any connected device.

Sky has confirmed it will soon offer its broadband users 'network level' parental controls.

Writing on the Sky Views blog, Lyssa McGowan, brand director for communications and products at Sky, said the "whole home solution" would be made available later this year to all four million Sky Broadband households.

Sky already offers parental controls, but they only apply to computers with Sky's free software installed. This means children with a wireless device - like a smartphone, tablet or games console - may still potentially have access to harmful content.

With a 'network level' system, broadband effectively has a built-in filter, blocking access to adult content - from online porn to violent videos and gambling sites - no matter what device is used to connect to the wireless home broadband.

McGowan assured parents the improved parental controls would also be tamper-proof, alerting mums and dads if at any point their children try to turn off restrictions.

"We will introduce reporting tools to parents so they will know each and every time any changes have been made to the settings they've applied. This is a significant step and one which will give parents even more power to keep their kids safe online," she explained.

"While computer-based parental controls are important tools for parents, on their own they're not sufficient in protecting kids who are accessing the net through a growing range of devices."

At the moment, TalkTalk is the only major UK provider to offer 'network level' parental controls. HomeSafe is free to all TalkTalk broadband customers, and blocks adult content on all devices that use the connection wirelessly.

Could providers do more to protect children online? Have your say in the comments.

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