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Sky launches Broadband Shield parental security feature

Sky has announced the launch of Broadband Shield, a new network-level filtering system that lets parents control what’s accessible in the home. 

The free service, complete with a Captain America-style logo, works across all devices connected to Sky Broadband in the home, from desktops and laptops to phones, tablets and games consoles.  

Parents have the freedom to apply filters to ten main categories, including pornography, self-harm and suicide. As well as being able to select these filtering categories, Sky has also created three BBFC-style settings – PG (under 13), 13, and 18 – to make things easier. 

Sky launches Broadband Shield parental security feature
Defending the home: Sky’s Broadband Shield is a customisable network level filtering tool

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Parental Internet ControlsFor parents who want to fine tune things, there’s the option to block and unblock individual websites, overriding the pre-existing categories. 

If something that’s not harmful gets inadvertently flagged by the filtering software, unblocking it is an easy process. By the same token, if parents spot something that they think should be blocked, then they’ll be able to easily restrict access. 

Lyssa McGowan, director of Sky Broadband, said: “Protecting customers from inappropriate content in the digital world is something Sky has always taken extremely seriously. Sky has already played a leading role in protecting Sky homes from inappropriate content, as we know that’s what our customers expect of Sky. 
 
“Now we’re going one step further by offering our customers great new technology which means they can feel confident that all their devices in the home are protected. Sky Broadband Shield is a brilliantly simple tool that allows customers to easily choose how much of the internet to let into their homes.” 

Sky’s public WiFi network The Cloud was the first to block access to adult sites by default and Sky TV gives parents the option to lock access to adult channels with a PIN and hide them from the programme guide. 

Following discussions with the government, the UK’s main ISPs have agreed to roll out network-level filtering solutions. Ahead of any government talks TalkTalk launched HomeSafe. BT and Virgin Media have announced plans for similar solutions that will be in place by 2014. 

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