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Parental Controls, how to install them on the four major providers
Thursday 13 June 2013 16:26:47 by Andrew Ferguson

If the words are of Helen Goodman MP are taken as fact then it is clear that many millions of parents need to visit to watch some videos that cover how to install parental controls on the four major broadband providers in the UK.

"We know that most parents want to do what is right by their children, because 66% of people, and 78% of women, want an automatic block, according to a YouGov poll conducted last year, but the industry is not helping them enough.

At the moment, some still require people to download their own filters—a near-impossible task for many of us—some see it as a marketing device, and others want to give the option of filters only to new customers. At the current rate of turnover, it would be 2019 before that approach had any hope of reaching total coverage. It simply is not good enough."

Helen Goodman MP on Parental Controls

There are many more solutions available, but the controls supplied by the four major providers cover 90% of the UK broadband market. Interestingly when you search for parental controls on Google, the link to the videos comes very high up the first page of results, and the parental controls available to users of Windows 7 appear top of the list. Google also has a dedicated Family Safety section to help parents understand the various options including how to report inappropriate content on services Google run.

"Most filters are too complicated for someone like me to implement—a point that I kept making during the inquiry. I simply cannot do that thing where you have to type in about 25 digits and letters in order to make a filter work; and that is chronically true of mums."

Fiona Mactaggart MP

This comment by the MP for Slough is worrying, because if true it suggests that a fairly simple copy/paste task or even just re-typing a sequence that forms a software access key is more than many people can achieve. The 25 digits is probably a reference to the registration key required for the McAfee software during its install.


Posted by Blognorton over 4 years ago
Now I have always thought Members of Parliament were by definition congenitally stupid, but this takes the biscuit. I suppose we are expected to believe that Ms McTaggart MP has never typed a credit card number in order to buy something on the internet. Of course no one ever does this because she thinks they find it too difficult. It is why internet sales grow exponentially every year is it not...NOT. This is simply the typical lazy thinking that characterises most news and media reporting in this country and is parroted unchallenged by so called opinion formers.
Posted by camieabz over 4 years ago
Can't we just have a great new device called a 'parent-controlled off-switch'?

Or at least get the industry to manufacture a dongle marketed for parents. That way, everyone is happy (expect those parents who want 100% control for no cost to them - tough titty!).
Posted by MrTAToad2 over 4 years ago
The problem is that, whilst they could be derogatorily defined as Luddites, the real problem is that they don't know how to use a computer effectively or efficiently.

Even my mother finds saving an attachment in an email complicated... As for replying to someone in eBay...
Posted by zhango over 4 years ago
Fiona did recently donate over £14,000 to Comic Relief...........accidentally.
Google it.
Posted by camieabz over 4 years ago
Surely the headline - "Fiona McTaggart says Mums are stupid" would be more appropriate?

Or perhaps we techies should be laying simple basic rules...if you don't understand how to operate the technology, you shouldn't use it.
Posted by camieabz over 4 years ago
Just looked her up. Labour politician. Figures.
Posted by steveo2000 over 4 years ago
i would have installed the sky free mcafee protection six months ago, if it didn't require me to delete my anti virus. just another money making scheme via a third party software company.
Posted by mervl over 4 years ago
Got an idea: why don't the Labour party make a manifesto commitment to outlaw the personal use of any equipment for accessing the internet, as they really seem so anxious to make themselves unelectable for stupidity?
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
Which of these solutions works at the network level and which is client device software ?
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
Im going to email both these MPs and explain the world doesnt just evolve around children, the giffgaff situation is scary and If ear thats what they want, they want a opt out adult site block thats very diffilcult to opt out off. Why do they expect isps to do their parenting for them? why they buying smartphones for children?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Can I remind people about foul language, one slip up and post is removed.

Express your opinion but keep the language clean.
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
Sorry Andrew.
Posted by fibrebunny over 4 years ago
2013 and here we have two mindless vapid politicians playing the Penelope Pitstop weak and feeble woman routine. I think they should be less concerned with filtering software and be asking themselves are they fit to be in parliament and should they be allowed to operate machinery.

If people are so severely challenged in life then you might question their fitness to parent at all. Curiously they weren't too challenged when it came to biology 101. Maybe we need better contraception advice for politicians.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
If people engaged with society and had the ID a normal person has there aren't any issues with opting out. "Opt out" is quite a useful constraint on anyone really, challenging whether you really want / need to do that.
Posted by fibrebunny over 4 years ago
If as an adult you need such nannying then your problems are bigger than a desire to return to Victorian values.

In the case of giff gaff the obvious answer is to take your custom elsewhere. Though you will still likely need a credit card. As a lack of device control has been deemed to qualify as 'parental control'.
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
in the case of giffgaff they are a unique provider, meaning it may not be as simple as take custom elsewhere for some people. "shop elsewhere" seems to be used as a copout too often to defend bad practices.
Posted by comnut over 4 years ago
why do people FORGET so soon... if you have put 'controls' on to stop your kid seeing it, they will just goto their friends who dont have controls...

The ONLY effective solution is EDUCATION!! you have to tell the difference between unreal fantasy, and a loving relationship..
Posted by marty9999 over 4 years ago
If you want advanced parental control for the iPhone/iPad, look into FREE McGruff SafeGuard.

McGruff "Take A Bite Out of Crime" is famous in the USA for family safety for over 30 years.

They also have have a Windows Parental Control system: (

McGruff SafeGuard offers a Child Safe Browser app which is a look-alike for Safari, but offers a parent with complete control of the categories of websites that a child can visit.

It also provides a report of activity to the parent via email.

Check out

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