TalkTalk filters and parental controls
By Aaron Howdle | Friday, July 30th 2021
The internet is a fantastic resource for education, social interaction and entertainment, but there is also plenty of content we wouldn’t want children to see. So how do we protect our children from inappropriate content and protect ourselves from online scams or viruses?
Like most broadband providers, TalkTalk offers a suite of online protection. Some come as standard, while other features can be added to your package. In this guide, we will take a look at the safety and security features offered by TalkTalk.
TalkTalk broadband safety and security
TalkTalk offers two levels of security and filtering for its broadband customers. All customers can use its HomeSafe feature, which is designed to filter out suspicious websites and inappropriate content. HomeSafe also warns you if a website you are about to visit contains a virus or malware. Home safe is a set of rules and filters which will apply to all content accessed via your home broadband connection. If you want specific safety features applied to different devices, which will also work outside of your home, you will need TalkTalk SuperSafe (also known as TalkTalk Online Defence). SuperSafe has a small extra monthly fee attached.
Let's take a look at some of the features of HomeSafe
- Protection for all devices connected to your wifi – Defends against unwanted attacks, such as viruses, phishing or malware-infected sites
- KidSafe – Blocks inappropriate content from search engine results so you can feel relax allowing your children to browse the internet
- Homework Time – This is designed to block distracting content such as games websites during specified periods to prevent your kids messing around on the internet instead of doing homework. This feature can also be used to help keep kids screen-free for parts of the day
- Control the filters applied by HomeSafe – There are a number of content filters you can activate or deactivate, covering content with subjects such as gambling, suicide and self-harm, drugs, weapons and pornography
SuperSafe, now known as TalkTalk Online Defence, is provided by F-Secure and can be installed on individual devices to protect them both in and out of the home. It comes at an extra monthly cost. SuperSafe allows different devices to be protected according to their user’s age and preferences. By comparison, TalkTalk HomeSafe has one set of filters that apply to all the devices in your home.
While TalkTalk HomeSafe provides virus alerts, it does not include anti-virus software. For optimum protection, it is advisable to have both. HomeSafe virus alerts will warn you if you are about to enter an infected website, but will not help if a virus finds its way onto your computer. To deal with that you will need anti-virus software. SuperSafe (TalkTalk Online Defence) includes anti-virus software which identifies and eliminates any viruses found on your device.
Parental controls are provided as a part of TalkTalk HomeSafe by switching on the KidSafe feature. The KidSafe setting applies to all devices in the house, so you may want to switch them off when the kids have gone to bed.
KidSafe features filters for various types of content which can be switched on and off, these include adult content like pornography, plus various other content types including social media sites, violence, gambling, drugs, alcohol and self-harm to name a few.
HomeSafe also features a homework time setting, which limits your child’s access to sites which will distract them from homework.
Parental controls for mobile
TalkTalk HomeSafe will work on mobile devices when they are connected to your home wifi, but what about when your kids leave the house? HomeSafe alone will not protect your kids from inappropriate content outside your home. For that you will need to upgrade to TalkTalk Supersafe (TalkTalk Online Defence). By installing this app on your child’s mobile devices, you can apply parental controls to the individual phones, tablets and computers which they use.
- Inappropriate content – The content you allow your children to see can be chosen from a list of categories, such as pornography, gaming or social media sites
- Homework time – Set times when children cannot access distracting websites
- Location monitoring – If you use an android device, this setting allows you to see your child’s current location
- Monitor device use – set time limits on the use of apps and mobile devices
Phone call screening
After all this broadband talk, it is easy to forget that your humble telephone can be a cause of stressful or irritating nuisance calls too. TalkTalk offers help with this via its CallSafe feature which screens calls and directs them in three ways.
These calls are put straight through. Numbers which are approved come from numbers on your approved list, friends and family and frequently dialled numbers. Your phone will ring as normal.
Calls from unidentified numbers will be screened. The caller records a short introduction message, your phone rings and you hear the message. You may then block or accept the call. This has the advantage that most nuisance callers will not record an introduction and will simply hang up.
Callsafe keeps its own database of unwanted callers. Calls from numbers on this database will be automatically blocked and your phone will not ring. In addition any number added to your personal blocked list will also be batted away.
Frequently asked questions
It will work on mobile devices used in the home via your home broadband connection. However, if you want your children protected when they leave the house you will need to install the SuperSafe app (now known as TalkTalk Online Defence) on their mobile devices.
Not with Homesafe alone. It protects all devices in your home with the same settings. If you want personalised settings for each device you will need to install the SuperSafe app on your devices. The app, now known as TalkTalk Online Defence, is available to customers for an extra monthly charge.
KidSafe settings can be modified or switched off by logging into your account on the TalkTalk website.
No. If your child is logged into someone else’s wifi your settings will not protect them since it only applies to your home TalkTalk broadband connection. If you want to control your children’s internet use outside the home, You can install the SuperSafe app on their devices for a small additional monthly fee.