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Sky filters and parental controls

By Aaron Howdle | Tuesday, May 30th 2023

Many of us are anxious about what our family, particularly our children may stumble upon online. Whether we are worried about scams, online bullying, or sites promoting self-harm or pornography. We would like to control what shows up on our screens.

Luckily most broadband providers offer a decent suite of online protection and Sky is no exception. Sky broadband has some fantastic safety and security features. But what are they and what settings are available to manage the content flowing through your house? In this guide we will take a look at the safety and security features offered by Sky.

Sky broadband safety and security

Sky has implemented some great safety and security features for its broadband customers. Sky Broadband Shield incorporates anti-phishing measures, configurable parental controls and warns you about malicious websites.

Sky Broadband Shield

Let’s take a look at some of the features of Sky Broadband Shield

  • Advanced protection – Which helps to defend against unwanted attacks, such as viruses, phishing or malware-infected sites
  • Safe Search – Software that helps to protect young people from adult content. Filters remove explicit content from search engine results so you can feel safer allowing your children to browse the internet
  • Works on all devices connected to wifi – meaning your children are protected whether they’re on their phone, tablet, or games console
  • Three age rating settings – Control which content is available to users of your broadband connection by choosing between PG, 13 or 18 age settings
  • Automatically switch to 18 age-rating – Choose times when you want the age restrictions lifted, so you can watch grown-up films when the kids are in bed
  • Customise which websites are blocked – change your settings to block or allow specific websites or categories

Sky Virus protection

Sky customers can choose to download the McAfee Internet Security Suite to get additional online protection. Although no longer available to buy with a discount through Sky, this software will protect your PC from viruses and malware attacks and can be bought independently to work in conjunction with Sky Broadband Shield.

Parental Controls: Sky Broadband Shield

Sky and other internet providers made a commitment to the government to offer parental controls to all of its users. Sky Broadband Shield offers the ability to control the type of content available through your internet connection with a set of filters which will affect every device in your home.

When setting the household age restrictions on Sky Broadband Shield, three different age settings can be chosen. Each setting will block content which is inappropriate for children below that age. Users can choose between the 18 – which protects from malicious websites and phishing but allows most other content through – or PG or 13. The setting you choose will apply to all devices connected to your broadband. Filters can also be set on a timer, so you can watch 18+ movies when the kids are in bed. It may also be a good idea to set up timed access at the 13 age rating if you have kids who want to play games consoles. Xbox Live and the Playstation Network are both blocked under the PG age setting.

Sky Broadband Shield categorises sites by the type of content they offer, allowing parents to filter out content they don’t want children to see. In addition, you can choose to block specific sites you find inappropriate.

Sky Broadband Shield is automatically set to 13 when you join Sky. To change the setting, visit the Sky Broadband Shield section of the Sky Website. You will need to log in to change your settings.

Parental controls for Sky Mobile

Parents want to know that their kids are protected on their mobile phone when they are at home and away from home. With this in mind, all Sky Mobile SIMs automatically block 18+ websites from all handsets. Should you want to change this setting, either for yourself or another adult, you will need to prove your age by allowing a £1 (refundable) payment from a credit card via your Sky Mobile account. If you want to change the settings again, you will have to go through the same process each time.

Frequently asked questions

Does Sky Broadband Shield work on mobile phones?

It will only work on mobile devices used in the home via your home broadband connection. If your child has a Sky Mobile SIM in their phone or tablet, they will automatically be protected from 18+ websites.

Can I choose which devices are secured using Sky Broadband Shield?

Not with the standard Sky Broadband Shield. It protects all devices in your home with the same age-restriction settings.

How do I turn off parental controls?

You can change age restriction settings by visiting the broadband section in your account on the Sky website.

Will Sky Broadband Shield work if my child is at a friend’s house?

No. If your child is logged into someone else’s wifi, your settings will not protect them since it only applies to your home Sky broadband connection.

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