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Virgin Media: We will not block adult content by default

Virgin Media has confirmed that filtering of legal adult content will not be the default option. 

Contrary to reports that appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Times [paywall] and the Sun, which say that Virgin Media, along with TalkTalk, will filter access to adult content by default. Recombu Digital has been told that this is not the case. 

Virgin Media: We will not block adult content by default
Despite not being legally required to do so, the UK’s biggest ISPs have decided to introduce better adult content filters for parents;

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Parental Internet ControlsA Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We take the protection of families online very seriously and are committed to the industry-wide code of practice which will ensure everyone has a clear, unavoidable choice about whether to use the parental controls their broadband provider offers. With the new technology we’ll be introducing this year all our customers, new and existing, will choose the level of control that’s right for them. Our forthcoming whole-home solution will apply to all devices and gadgets that connect to the household’s internet.”

TalkTalk’s HomeSafe software which was launched last year, is offered to all new customers as and when they sign up, offering parents and those with responsibility of children in their home an unavoidable choice whether to apply filters or not.

Both of the newspaper reports infer that access to legal adult content will be automatically filtered by the two ISPs, linking the news to internet safety campaigns launched by both publications.

While the choice to filter access to pornographic and other potentially harmful sites will be unavoidable, automatic restriction is not on the cards.

In February, Virgin Media and TalkTalk along with Sky and BT, the UK’s biggest ISPs, all confirmed plans for what was described as ‘whole home’ solutions, giving parents the choice to filter out specific types of web content at the network level.

Sky Broadband said at the time that it would introduce filters along with a control panel for parents. Last month Recombu Digital exclusively revealed details of BT’s internet filtering measures.

Network-level filtering is thought to be a better option for parents than simply bundling free security software with broadband subscriptions.

This is because security software often only provides protection for a finite number of devices and doesn’t always extend to cover things like phones and tablets. By filtering access to certain sites at a network level, parents would be able to control what is available to every device in the home.

Recombu Digital maintains a list of the security software is available to parents from the UK’s leading ISPs. We’ve also written guides on how parents can best make use of the built-in security tools available on Windows 7 and Mac desktops and laptops. 

Image credit: Flickr user marsmet532

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