The NSPCC has some great advice on setting up parental controls to help you keep your children safe online while they are isolating at home with you during the coronavirus outbreak.
Monitoring Your Home Internet Usage
Home internet providers can offer parental controls for your child and they can help you:
- use a filter from your internet provider to control the content that your family see;
- set up any device connected to your home broadband – see below*.
Care with Search Engines
Make sure your child uses the internet through Wi-Fi instead of mobile networks, otherwise, parental controls won’t work.
* How you do this depends on your provider and you’ll need to access your home router. For support, call the NSPCC Advice Line on 0808 800 5002.
Lots of devices have settings that help you manage what your child can do online. You can:
- check things like location settings and what information your child’s sharing;
- get more advice about setting up controls on different devices from the UK Safer Internet Centre and your mobile provider.
Game Console Security
Most games consoles have internet access which means your child can go online and chat with other players or make in-game purchases. On some devices you can:
- set up different profiles for each family member;
- deactivate internet access to the console – not all games require an internet connection to run;
- turn off chat functions.
Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results.
Make sure the content your child sees online is appropriate for their age by using parental controls and filters in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Out and About
Remember the following when you’re away from home:
- public Wi-Fi is often available when you’re out, but it’s not always safe and, if in doubt, you should only access the internet through your mobile provider;
- some public places and businesses offer family-friendly Wi-Fi. When you see the family-friendly Wi-Fi symbol, it means there are filters to stop children from seeing inappropriate or upsetting content;
- talk to your child and set boundaries on what they can and can’t do online – use the guidance available here if you’re not sure how to tackle this.
- other homes might not have the same controls set up.
Social Media, Apps and Games
It can be hard to keep track of all the apps, games or social media networks your child may be using and what they are. It can help to:
- remember some apps let young people send messages to each other or store personal information while others are for playing games or having fun;
- talk to your child about their privacy settings and explore different social networks, apps and games together;
- use Net Aware to help you set up parental controls on popular apps and networks.