While your child is in school, their access to the Internet is filtered. This reduces the risk of accessing inappropriate sites, but also allows the school to prevent access to certain sites that may not be desirable for use in school, such as Facebook or Twitter. When your child is at home, their iPad and other devices are not filtered in this way. However, all major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) now offer simple ways of filtering Internet access at home. This can cover a whole range of sites with specific content and with most systems, you can also block specific sites you do not want your son to have access to. You can usually set up ‘white lists’ that allow specific sites you list to always be allowed within your house.

Here are instructions on how to set up and manage these filters for the four main ISPs:

BT Broadband

Virgin Media

Talk Talk

Sky Broadband

Something you should be aware of…

If your child has a 3G or 4G-enabled smartphone, it is very likely it will be capable of providing a wireless hotspot for any Wi-Fi-enabled device to connect through. Connecting through the hotspot on an iPad, laptop or games console will by-pass any restrictions you have set up on your home broadband. Even if you remove the phone, it is possible that the hotspot would still be active and accessible around the home (although operating distance tends to be fairly limited). If you talk to you mobile phone operator, they may be able to disable the facility to hotspot. Some contracts and operators do not allow the ability to hotspot (some call it Internet sharing) anyway, but it would be worth checking.

Further Advice

For further advice about online filtering and other e-safety issues, there are a couple of very good websites that might help:

UK Safer Internet Centre

CEOP Think You Know