Sky will block porn and other adult content for new users by default

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The porn and unsuitable for children content filter will be turned on by default for anyone joining Sky Broadband

Sky has announced it will switch parental controls on by default for new customers in an attempt to keep the internet a safer place for children.

Anyone signing up to a broadband service from the provider from early next year will automatically be signed up to Sky Broadband Shield, which filters out websites it deems not suitable for children to acces, such as porn and other adult material. 

The NSPCC has praised Sky’s move, saying it’s about time all internet providers followed suit, meaning the child’s safety is put first, rather than relying on parents to turn it such filters on. 

“However, filters are only one part of any parent’s online safety toolkit,” said Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC.

“Talking to children about their digital lives and the potential risks is also vital, and the NSPCC is on hand to help parents understand what they can do to protect their children whenever and wherever they venture online.” 

New customers will be told Sky Broadband Shield has been activated when they first access the internet, preventing children under 13 from accessing certain websites that have the potential to show unsuitable content until 9pm. The age then rises to 18 afterwards, unless it is changed by the account holder.

“Customers have really come to appreciate the value of Sky Broadband Shield in protecting their families from unwanted and potentially harmful internet content,” Lyssa McGowan, director of Sky’s communications products.

“What we have learnt is that as well as the flexibility to set the right level of protection for their homes, they also want us to make it as easy as possible for them.

“The simplest thing we can do to help them is to automatically turn on filtering and then allow customers to easily choose and change their settings. This means they can have complete peace of mind that they will protected online from the word go.”