Parents unaware of internet child-safe filters, says report

Parents unaware of internet child-safe filters, says report

Around one in eight parents that do not have family friendly internet controls did not know they existed or did not know how to install them, say Ofcom. The report highlights ways parents protect their children online.

Britain is now a recognised global leader when it comes to protecting children online and, with the tools in place, it is important to measure how they are used.

The Department for Culture commissioned Ofcom to report on the ways parents protect their 5 to 15-year-olds – including education, take up, awareness of and confidence in the tools available to keep their children safe online.

The report was commissioned in July last year following a series of summits which saw industry commit to helping to protect children from inappropriate content online.

The report aims to provide a starting point to measure progress and will be followed by a further report in a year’s time which will show the impact of the new measures.

The big four internet service providers (ISPs) – TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT – have all agreed to introduce network-level filters that will cover all internet devices in the home. This will provide parents with an easier and simpler way to introduce parental controls on their children’s access to adult content.

The agreement means parents will no longer have to install filters on each device in their home. One universal selection will mean every device connected to the home’s internet should be covered.

The research shows that 85 per cent of parents take action to protect their children online by regularly talking to them about staying safe online, using technical tools such as filters, or taking responsibility for supervising online access.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:

Britain is leading the way when it comes to protecting our children online but technology moves so fast and it is vital that we continue to stay ahead.

It is encouraging that ISPs are making it far easier and simpler to introduce family filters to home internet connections. Filters will help limit access to inappropriate and harmful content but we all need to remember that they are not a silver bullet. Parents have a central role to play in protecting their children, including by talking to them about how to stay safe online.