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BT filters and parental controls

By Claire Nottage | Tuesday, May 30th 2023

BT offers a wide-reaching package of important online security software and parental controls with all its products, keeping you and your family safe from online attacks and inappropriate content at all times.

From blocking viruses and spyware on your devices at home to keeping teenagers safe on their mobiles when they are out with their friends, this guide looks at the options for security software and parental controls for all BT customers.

BT broadband security

BT offers a comprehensive package of online security and protection, guarding your home network and devices from viruses and other online attacks, and protecting your children from inappropriate online content.

BT Web Protect

Free for all BT broadband and fibre customers, BT Web Protect will keep all your devices safe from viruses, phishing attacks and scams. It will also protect you from such attacks when you are connected to a BT wifi hotspot if you use your BT ID.

BT Web Protect alerts you before loading a potentially harmful website and will also warn you if you click on a link that may take you to a dodgy website. If you receive an alert but you know that the site is safe, you can simply disregard the warning and proceed. Customers can switch on Web Protect by logging in to their account online.

BT Virus Protect

BT Virus Protect is an additional piece of software powered by Norton that will protect your devices both at home and when you are out. BT Broadband customers automatically receive licenses for two devices, and BT Fibre customers can have up to 15 devices covered for free. If you are a BT Broadband customer, you can choose to pay an extra fiver per month to upgrade to 15 licences if you have additional devices you wish to protect.

BT Virus Protect will scan for viruses, tracking cookies, spyware and adware and warn you before you open a risky web page. It provides firewall protection and defends all your files from attacks. It also protects you from harmful software that may get into your devices via email or direct messaging apps.

As a bonus, BT Virus Protect also comes with Norton Password Manager. This is a useful service that enables you to create complex passwords and easily store them in your own online secure vault, along with credit card and debit card information should you wish.

BT parental controls

BT’s parental controls offer tight restrictions on what your child can see online. To manage your settings, you need to log on to your BT account online. There are three re-defined levels of restriction: Light, Moderate and Strict, but you can tailor these levels to your own requirements.

The Light level blocks pornography, obscene or tasteless content, sites promoting hate or self-harm, sites that promote or sell drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and dating sites. The Moderate setting adds nudity, weapons and violence, gambling and social networking, and the Strict setting adds to this further with blocks on fashion and beauty, file sharing, games and media streaming. Within these settings you can also choose to add or remove individual sites as you wish.

In addition, you can also set Homework Time within parental settings, ensuring that your children don’t get distracted by the internet when they should be getting on with schoolwork.

BT TV parental controls

So that your younger family members don’t get access to all and sundry on the TV, BT offers parents a Parental Control PIN to restrict little ones from unsavoury content.

To enable this, customers should visit the settings section of their BT TV box, where the parental controls section is located, and select Restrict Rated Programmes. This will automatically require anyone watching the TV to put in the PIN for programmes with upper age ratings, with no age ratings attached, and for any programme shown after 9pm.

Netflix on BT TV

Your BT TV box will ask for your BT parental controls PIN when you enter the Netflix app. Once you are in, you will be able to watch whatever you wish unless you also create parental controls within Netflix. There are different ways of restricting viewing options for children. You can create separate profiles with age-appropriate content for children and lock your adult profile. You can choose to restrict viewing according to rating – U, PG, 12, 15 or 18.

To prevent hours of telly binging, you can also deactivate autoplay, whereby Netflix automatically plays the next episode of a series. For extra security, you can monitor what your child has been watching by looking at Viewing Activity.

NOW TV on YouView

Happily, your BT Parental Control PIN works within NOW TV on BT TV so there is no need to set up an additional parental control PIN with NOW TV. However, if you are watching on a device other than your BT TV box, you can set up separate parental controls and a PIN for the NOW TV app.

Amazon Prime Video on YouView

When using Prime Video, BT customers that have set up a parental control PIN will be asked to enter it before the app launches. Once you are in the app, you won’t be asked for a PIN again, so there are no restrictions on downloading paid-for content or 18-rated movies. To do this you will need to set up another PIN within Amazon’s own parental controls. Be aware that Amazon’s parental controls need to be set up for every device on which you watch the streaming app.

BT phone security and protection

With the ever-increasing volume of marketing calls, BT is moving with the times and offers BT Call Protect. This gives customers the ability to selectively block numbers or send them straight to junk voicemail, as well as the option to block numbers of their choice.

BT Blacklist will automatically divert known nuisance calls to junk voicemail, meaning you won’t have to speak to them at all. In addition to this you can create your own list of numbers you want to be diverted. You can also choose to block categories of calls, including those that withhold their number, all unrecognised numbers, or all international calls.

You can set up your phone Blacklist either by logging on to your BT account online or by calling 1572 from your landline. You can add additional numbers or make other changes at any time.

BT Mobile parental controls

Just as you want to know your children are safe at home when they are online, it is also good to know that their mobile activity is also protected. BT has now merged with EE and as a result, all its mobile deals are EE deals rather than BT mobile deals. However, you can still ensure your child will be protected. While at home using your BT wifi, your parental control settings will keep your child from seeing anything they shouldn’t on their devices.

When they are away from home, EE offers parental controls with three levels of restriction: Strict, Moderate and Off. The Moderate restriction is activated as standard and blocks access to sites that promote or provide access to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, hate, pornography, violence, sex advice, suicide and weapons. It also blocks access to sites that provide information on criminal activities, including illegal hacking. The Strict setting blocks all this and also unmoderated social media sites, online dating, and chat rooms.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to download and install BT Web Protect myself?

No, BT Web Protect is automatically activated when your connection goes live. If for some reason you want to switch it off, you can do so by visiting your BT account online.

Do I have to install BT Virus Protect myself?

Yes, but it is a simple process. You need to visit your BT account online and find the Use Your Extras section. You can then find BT Virus Protect and follow the instructions to install it. Just make sure you don’t have any other, third-party security software installed already.

How do I get BT Virus Protect on extra devices?

Within your BT account, navigate to the BT Virus Protect section and click Protect More – this will send an email to your account containing the installation instructions. Simply open the email on the device you wish to protect and follow the instructions. If you only have a licence for two devices, you can upgrade to cover a maximum of 15 for an extra fiver per month.

Will BT parental controls prevent my child from downloading apps?

No, but this can be done on your child’s Android or Apple handset.

Does BT Virus Protect work on Apple products?

Yes, BT Virus Protect will work on all Apple desktop products running OSX and iPhones and iPads running iOS. It also works on any device running Windows and on Android phones.

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