Plusnet filters and parental controls
By Claire Nottage | Tuesday, December 29th 2020
With a plethora of online nasties ever ready to take advantage of a weakness in your internet security, it is important to know what your home broadband provider offers when it comes to keeping you and your family safe online.
From the reassurance of parental controls that mean you can relax when your kids are online, to comprehensive anti-virus and anti-spyware software to keep your devices and information safe from attack, this guide looks at the details of Plusnet’s internet security package.
Plusnet broadband safety and security
Powered by security experts McAfee, Plusnet Protect blocks attacks on your computer and up to six other devices connected to your router. It comes with anti-virus software that will scan your computer for viruses and remove them, and also prevents viruses from getting through in the first place. It also comes with anti-spyware that removes and stops spyware from getting in and stealing your personal data, along with anti-phishing software that will warn you against entering any malicious websites in order to prevent identity theft.
As a bonus, it also comes with a virtual shredder, which allows you to delete files permanently – in particular those that contain personal information that you no longer need. The vulnerability scanner will automatically find and install any updates to keep your security settings at optimum levels, and QuickClean gets rid of any unnecessary system or browser files which will declutter your PC and help it to run more efficiently.
You can also keep an eye on who is connected to your wifi with My Home Network, which shows all the devices that are connected to your network at any time – a good way to find out if someone is using your wifi who shouldn’t be.
Plusnet Protect is free for Unlimited Broadband and Fibre Unlimited Extra customers. Unlimited Fibre customers can get it free for three months and after that it costs £2 per month. To activate it, you need to log in to your Plusnet account online and go to Add-Ons. Once it is ready to download, Plusnet will send you an email. Installation time takes roughly 30 minutes.
Plusnet anti-virus for Plusnet email
If you have a Plusnet email address, Plusnet’s anti-virus software will scan every message sent to your account for viruses that might be lurking. If it suspects an email of being malicious it will be put into quarantine and you will receive a message from Plusnet alerting you to this fact. If you know for certain that the email is not malicious, then you can just ask Plusnet to send it on to you, but make sure you do so within seven days.
To activate Plusnet anti-virus for email, simply go to Manage my Mail and then switch on the anti-virus which you will find under Spam.
Requirements for Plusnet Protect
Plusnet Protect currently only works with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome operating on Windows devices. Supported Windows devices include those running on Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Your computer will need to have 2GB of RAM, 500MB of free hard disk space and a 1Ghz processor. Note that Plusnet Protect does not work with Apple computers, tablets and phones, or Android tablets and phones, so customers with these devices should look for alternative security software.
Plusnet Parental Controls
Bundled up within Plusnet Protect is Plusnet Safeguard, Plusnet’s parental controls software. This enables parents to block content by category and also by specific website. Parents can block topics such as violence, hate and intolerance, and pornography. You can also block specific websites that sit outside of those topics that you do not want your child to access, such as social media websites including Facebook and TikTok.
In contrast, you can permit certain websites to be accessed if you believe them to be harmless. You can ‘allow’ up to 30 websites within the parental controls setting, which your child will then be able to access without limitation.
Safeguard also comes with an optional timer function, enabling you to set times of day when you want the filters to be off, for example in the evenings once the children are safely tucked up in bed.
Parental controls with Plusnet TV
For customers that also subscribe to Plusnet TV, there is an option to set up parental controls within YouView. To do this, select Parental Controls within the Settings tab on your YouView box and click on Restrict Rated Programmes. You can then choose which age-rated programmes you want to restrict and set a Parental PIN.
If you subscribe to any streaming services and have set up parental controls in YouView, you will be asked to input your PIN whenever you launch Netflix, Amazon Prime or NOW TV.
Call management and filtering for Plusnet phone
Although many people no longer use their landline, for many it is still useful and it’s good to know that you can block any unwanted nuisance calls with your Plusnet phone package. All Plusnet phone deals come with 1471 to find out who called, 141 to hide your own number before calling, 1571 for voicemail, Caller Display to see who is calling you, and Plusnet Call Protect to block unwanted numbers. If you wish to use the last three features listed, you will need to activate them in your Plusnet account online.
There are also optional – and chargeable – extras for managing and filtering your calls including Ringback, which costs 20 pence per call, and Reminder call, also 20 pence per call.
Parental controls for Plusnet mobile
If your son or daughter has a Plusnet SIM for their mobile phone, you can be reassured that all adult content is automatically blocked, whether they are out and about and connected to 4G or at home.
Frequently asked questions
Does Plusnet Safeguard work on a mobile phone?
No. Unfortunately Plusnet Protect and Safeguard do not work on either Apple or Android mobile devices.
Can I choose to add Plusnet Protect mid contract?
Yes. If you have a Plusnet broadband package, you can choose to add it to your package at any time. If you are an Unlimited Broadband or Fibre Unlimited Extra customer, the software is free. If you have Fibre Unlimited, the software is free for three months and then costs £2 per month.
Do I need any additional security packages if I have Plusnet Protect?
If you choose to run Plusnet Protect on your home wifi connection, you cannot run any other security packages alongside it. You can, however, choose to use a third-party piece of security software instead, which will protect all your devices, including mobile phones and Apple products.
Will Safeguard protect my child at a friend’s house?
No. Safeguard will only protect your child when they are at home using a Plusnet Protect compatible device.
How do I run a virus check on my computer with Plusnet Protect?>
Once you have downloaded and activated the software, you can run a virus check on your computer whenever you wish, by clicking Real-Time Scanning in Plusnet Protect.