Online Safety

There are free parental controls and filters available, to help you set safer boundaries for your children, but you will usually be required to set them up. Your internet service provider (such as BT or TalkTalk) will provide free filters to help block age inappropriate content for children, and on the UK Safer Internet Centre website you can watch video tutorials ( that show you how to find and set these up. All Mobile phone operators (such as O2 or Vodafone) also provide such parental controls for free. The websites of device manufacturers (such as games consoles) should also outline the controls to which you have access.

Filtering options can be found within websites and services themselves, for example on YouTube or 'safe search' settings can be applied to search engines such as Google or Bing. There are even some services adapted for children (such as the YouTube Kids and BBC iPlayer Kids apps).

Parental controls can be password protected, so it’s advisable to choose a strong password and not share it. Parental controls and filters are a good starting point but it is important to recognise that they are not 100% effective. They are a great help, but not a solution, and work best in combination with parental supervision and engagement, to help your children understand how to stay safe online. As children grow and develop, so do their online needs, therefore you may want to periodically review your parental controls to accommodate this.


Childnet have also produced a useful document called 'Keeping Under-Fives Safe Online'. Childnet’s mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Childnet - Parent/Carer Info