BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have launched Internet Matters, a new online safety website.
The UK’s four biggest ISPs supply the majority of British homes with broadband access and have pooled together to create one-stop resource for parents.
The site contains guides on how to deal with issues like bullying, sexting and online grooming as well as how children can manage their online reputations and not become the next Jessie Slaughter.
All four of the ISPs have launched whole-home network-level filtering software, which allow parents the ability to easily apply content filters that are applied to the whole broadband connection. Whether you’re connecting to the internet on a laptop, a phone or a tablet, the same filters will apply.
TalkTalk’s HomeSafe software launched first, followed by Sky Broadband Shield – as seen on TV – and BT Parental Controls. Earlier this year Virgin Media launched Web Safe, allowing parents to see what their kids are up to online without having to look over their shoulders.
Carolyn Bunting, general manager of Internet Matters said the portal would help parents to “understand the issues children can face online whether they’re five or 15”.
“We believe this is the first time that the major broadband providers in any country have joined forces for such a venture. The UK is therefore leading the way when it comes to child internet safety.”
Though not required to do so by law, the four ISPs set up the filtering software at the behest of the Government. Other ISPs including Plusnet and EE have spoken of plans to introduce similar software, while other ISPs have refused to do so.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he hoped the online portal would help improve parents’ knowledge and encourage family discussion.
Cameron said: “Britain’s four main service providers have thrown their weight and their investment behind this, so I want to thank them and congratulate them on leading such a vital initiative. There is nothing more important than the safety of our children.”
In January, telecoms regulator Ofcom published research showing that while many parents do not use parental controls – such as those build in to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac OS machines – 14 per cent of parents didn’t use them because they didn’t know how.