Most parents have concerns about what their kids can get up to online. There are many websites on the internet with content not suitable for children, so it can be important to make sure you set parental controls to keep your children safe, whether they're using a tablet, a smartphone, or a PC. There are, for example, parental control apps for iPhone and Android. However, broadband parental controls are a good first line of defence.
About BT broadband parental controls
BT Broadband can help protect your children against the risk of accessing inappropriate websites. You can also use BT Virus Protect, a free app to help guard your computers and other devices from viruses, spyware, and malware, which can be present on a large range of websites.
BT Broadband Parental Controls offer pre-made parental control options in three categories:
These three settings will block many of the same websites, but Strict parental controls will block more websites than Light or Moderate. BT Parental Controls decide which websites to block based on the overall purpose of the website, but you can also choose to block or allow specific websites – this is very useful if an educational website has been accidentally blocked by the parental controls, or if you find a harmful website that has not been blocked.
You can also choose to restrict website or internet access at certain times of the day. This can be useful for lowering restrictions once your children are asleep, or you can set a homework time to block social media or gaming sites while your children are studying.
How do BT Broadband Parental Controls work?
BT parental controls work by assessing every website or online service that a user attempts to access on your home internet. If someone tries to load a website from a restricted category, they will be directed to a page saying that the website has been blocked. The account holder can then override the blocked page if it's decided the site shouldn't be blocked.
What can I restrict with BT Broadband’s parental control?
BT parental controls allow you to block certain types of websites or apps for all devices that are connected to your internet connection. This includes PCs, laptops, tablets, iPads, phones, and more. You can select predefined categories for restriction or you can create a custom filter level.
If you're unsure what content you might want to restrict, you can also read up on online age limits and appropriate age groups for games and movies.
Can my child deactivate or bypass BT Broadband parental controls?
It is possible to bypass, pause, or turn off BT Parental Controls. However, bypassing BT Parental Controls requires inputting your BT ID log-in details, including your BT password. This minimises the chance of your child bypassing the restrictions.
However, you should be aware that your child’s devices will be able to access any websites they want if they connect to someone else’s internet – for example when they're visiting a friend, or using public Wi-Fi networks in cafes or libraries.
How to set up BT Broadband parental controls
If you are setting up a BT hub for the first time, it's very simple to set up parental controls. When setting up your hub, you will be asked if you want to set up BT Parental Controls. Select the option to set up these controls and follow the on-screen prompts.
If you already have BT Broadband and wish to add parental controls to your hub, you can do this online using your My BT account. To set up parental controls, you should:
- Log in to My BT
- Scroll down to find the option for Manage Your Extras
- Select Manage BT Parental Controls
This will automatically activate Light Filter parental controls for your BT internet. If you want to change this to Moderate or Strict, you can do this in the same menu. It may take a couple of hours for filters to take effect, so you should monitor your child’s internet use until you're certain that the parental controls are active.
TV parental controls
BT Parental Controls can help limit the potentially harmful content that your children watch online. However, since BT Parental Controls are designed to block or allow whole websites, you may find that adult-focused streaming services are blocked, while some services such as Netflix may be allowed since they offer age-appropriate content for children to watch as well.
This means that BT Parental Controls alone might not be able to stop your child from watching unsuitable content on TV streaming services. For example, you might want to check how your parental controls are working on:
- Amazon Prime
- NOW TV
However, these services also come with their own parental controls which can help you prevent your child from seeing inappropriate adult content.
How to set up TV parental controls
Parental control options have to be set up for your child’s account or your household account on each of these services. You can usually find the parental controls by accessing the settings menu, and from there you can choose what kind of content users can watch, or set it so that you need to enter your password to view certain content. As with most parental controls, you can adjust them so that your children can only watch shows that are within a certain age rating.
Some TV streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime also give the option for child accounts with automatic parental controls.
Mobile parental controls
BT Parental Controls take effect on phones and tablets that are used on your home network. This means that mobile parental controls will not work if your child is using the phone on another internet network, or if they're accessing mobile internet through your mobile phone provider.
If you're concerned about your child’s internet safety while outside of the home, you can set up parental controls on their laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Most of these will work alongside BT Parental Controls without any issues. It may also be a good idea to teach your child the basics of online safety.
Learn more about GoHenry’s parental controls
For an added layer of protection, GoHenry offers parental controls that you can use to manage your child's spending on their prepaid debit card. With GoHenry, you can set spending limits, decide if your child can spend money online or in-store, and view their transactions.