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How to set Parental Controls

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Protecting your child online might sometimes feel like a long and complicated journey.  But is doesn't have to.

Click on the following links for information about how to set Parental Controls:

Parental Controls on your computer's operating System.

Using Microsoft Family on your device, you can manage when your child can log into their account and which programs are appropriate for them to use.

The controls also filter Web content and provide reports of your child’s computer and Web browsing activity.

To activate them on your device, follow the steps below and then use Microsoft’s Family Safety website to manage the boundaries.

Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1

1. Make sure that your child has been set up with their own user account.

2. Select Is this a Child’s Account?

3. Decide if you would like your child to have an email address and follow the instructions accordingly.

4. You’ll then be able to manage their account from Microsoft’s Family Safety website.

For more information, visit the Microsoft Family Safety website.

Windows 10

1. Add a child to your family through the Accounts functionality.

2. Click Add a Family Member. Select Add a Child.

3. Assign the child an email address.

4. Manage the settings for your children on Microsoft's Family Safety website.

For more information, go to the Microsoft website.

You can block specific apps, websites and messages, set time limits and deny access to the built-in camera on your family computer.

To enable parental controls:

1. In System Preferences, click Parental Controls and then select the lock icon.

2. Enter your administrator name and password, select a user (you’ll need to set your child up with their own user profile if they haven’t already got one), then click Enable Parental Controls.

3. To set restrictions, follow the same process then click the relevant tabs along the top – Apps, Web, People, Time Limits and Other (eg use of the built-in camera).

For more information, go to the Apple website.

Parent Controls on your Web browser

Windows 7 and Vista

1. Click the gear icon in the top right of your browser window and select Internet options.

2. Select the Content tab, then click Enable in the Content Advisor section.

3. Next, choose from the list of categories you’d like to block (eg Language, Nudity, Violence) and adjust the slider to choose the level of restriction.

4. You can also go into the Approved Sites tab to allow specifi c websites.

5. Finally, select the General tab to set up an administrator password so no-one else can change the settings.

Find out more on the Microsoft website.

Windows 8 and above

The Content Advisor functionality is embedded in the Microsoft Family settings.

Find out more on the Microsoft website.

A Supervised User account lets you block websites you don’t want your child to use and to see the pages they’ve visited.

1. In the top right of your browser window, click the Chrome menu icon, then click Settings.

2. Under Users, click Add Person and choose a picture and name for the new user.

3. Tick Control to create a supervised account, then click Add. You’ll receive an email which will help you set up restrictions and review the new user’s browsing history.

Find out more on the Google website.

Safety Controls on search engines

1. Click the gear icon in the top right.

2. Go to Settings/General.

3. Choose either Strict, Moderate or Off for SafeSearch.

Go to the Bing website for more information

1. Click Settings in the bottom right, then Search Settings.

2. Tick the Turn on SafeSearch box on the next screen.

3. To lock SafeSearch, you’ll need to sign in to your Google/Gmail account and follow the instructions.

Go to the Google website for more information.

Parental Controls on your child's devices

Smartphones and tablets 

Android

1. To set up a restricted user account on an Android smartphone or tablet, go to Settings and select Users in the Device section.

2. Tap Add User or Profile, then select Restricted Profile and enter the passcode.

3. Tap the round icon next to New Profile to change the name of the profile, then tap OK.

4. Go through the list of features your child can access and, using the togglebuttons, choose whether you’d like them on or off.

Find out more on the Android website. 

iOS

1. To enable restrictions on your child’s iPhone or iPad, tap Settings, General, Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode.

2. Decide which features you’re happy for your child to access and, using the toggle buttons, turn the rest off.

Find out more on the Apple website. 

Windows Phone

1. Go to the Windows Phone website and select My Family.

2. Sign in using your own Microsoft account (if you don’t have an account, you can create one).

3. Click Get Started on the My Family set-up page, and then click Go to add your child’s name.

4. Enter the Microsoft account your child uses to sign in on their phone.

5. To change the app download settings, click your child’s name on the My Family homepage, click Change Settings and choose from the options provided.

Find out more on the Windows Phone website.

Games consoles 

Many children and teenagers enjoy playing on games consoles. As well as being fun, some experts say gaming helps to improve their reflexes and keep their brains active.

But it also has its risks. Young people sometimes spend too long in front of the screen or access inappropriate content. And if they take part in multiplayer gaming they might be contacted by strangers.

If your child is a keen gamer, you’ll be pleased to know that the main games consoles include parental controls to help you manage which games they play, how long they can play for and whether they can play against other people.

For example, safety features on Xbox One let you restrict games, apps and films by age rating. And on PlayStation 4 (PS4) you can also disable video and voice chat. For more information and step-by- step guides to setting up parental controls for gaming, go to your search engine and type in the name of your child’s games console (eg “PlayStation”, “Nintendo”, “Wii” or “Xbox”) + “parental controls UK”.

Parental Controls on your home internet

BT Parental Controls come free with any BT broadband package. There are three pre-set filters, plus the option to create your own and even set filters for certain times. As well as safeguarding any device connected to your BT Hub at home, BT Parental Controls work at BT wifi hotspots (eg in cafes).

Find out more on the BT website.

Virgin Media’s Web Safe works on any device that is connected to its home network. Provided free in broadband packages, it includes Child Safe, which helps to block websites unsuitable for younger users, and Virus Safe, which blocks websites that may have viruses and other security issues.

Find out more on the Virgin Media website.

Sky Broadband Shield works on all devices connected to your Sky home broadband and comes at no extra cost. You can choose between three age categories (PG, 13 and 18) or customise the protection according to your needs. The Watershed feature lets you set tighter controls at specific times of the day, when your child might be online.

Find out more on the Sky website.

Parental controls are available to anyone with a Vodafone Broadband service and protect all devices connected to your home network. Once you’ve opted in, the controls prevent access to inappropriate online content, such as violence and gambling, as well as to websites that could pose security threats.

Find out more on the Vodafone website.

HomeSafe is free to all TalkTalk customers and lets you customise filtering preferences from nine different categories and block individual websites. The Homework Time tool restricts access to content that might distract children during core homework hours.

Find out more on the TalkTalk website.