Every Day Should be Safer Internet Day

In recognition of Safer Internet Day, razorblue gives advice on how to protect the vulnerable from the internet.

Safer Internet Day falls on 9th February and has become an annual landmark event in the online security calendar. It is an opportunity for people and organisations around the world to join forces in a series of activities and events dedicated towards creating a more secure and safer internet.

A topic that is becoming increasingly important now that children are spending more time online with e-learning. It is reported that 77% of young people say being online is a more important part of their life than ever before, with 65% enjoying online lessons during lockdown amidst school closures. Sadly, 48% of young people are seeing misleading content every day, with more than one in 10 seeing it more than six times a day – often leaving them feeling annoyed, upset, sad, angry, attacked or scared.

This poses the question:

How do we keep children and vulnerable people safe online while ensuring their technology is positive and purposeful?

The good news is you don’t need to be a tech expert. Our advice will walk you through the right precautions to take to ensure the internet is used safely, responsibly and positively.

Parental Controls

Parental controls help block or filter upsetting or inappropriate content, and control purchases within apps. You can install parental control software on phone, tablets, game consoles, laptops and your home Wi-Fi.

Features include:

  • planning the time of day and duration online access is granted
  • creating content filters to block apps that may have inappropriate content
  • managing the content that is available to different family members

Click here to set up parental controls on Safari.

Click here to set up parental controls on Google Chrome.

Click here to set up parental controls on Internet Explorer.

Gaming Devices

Parental controls are also available on most games’ consoles today which allow you to restrict the types of games that can be played or downloaded, block purchases and restrict and monitor your child’s activities. Here are the options on some popular devices:

  • Sony PSP, PS3, PS4
    The settings on these consoles restricts the types of games that can be played and downloaded, as well as video content that can be viewed. Found on the home screen or in the security settings.
  • Nintendo Switch
    The free Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app which you can download on your smart phone makes it easier to do so, even when you’re not at home.
  • Xbox
    Parental controls can usually be found either on the home screen or in the system or security settings or using your sign in account through the ‘Family Feature’ which allows users to group accounts; or by signing into the account you want to restrict.
  • Google Play devices
    To switch on parental controls, open the Play Store app on your Android device, scroll down to the Parental Controls option, and access the setting options.
Phones and Tablets

Content & Privacy Restrictions

With Content & Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time, you can block or limit specific apps and features on the device.

The examples below are for Apple devices. Restrict the settings on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for explicit content, purchases and downloads, and privacy.

  1. Go to Settings> Screen Time> Continue then choose “This is my device” or “This is my child’s device”
  2. Select Childs device: follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode, then enter a passcode, re-enter to confirm, you’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID and password.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then turn on Content & Privacy.

Within these Settings you can also prevent your child from being able to install or delete apps, make in-app purchases and more.

Prevent explicit content

You can prevent the playback of music with explicit content and films or TV programmes with specific ratings. Apps also have ratings that can be configured using content restrictions.

To restrict the explicit content and content ratings:

  1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then tap Content Restrictions.
  3. Choose the settings you want for each feature or setting under the allowed Store Content.

Restrict Web Content: iOS can automatically filter website content to limit access to adult content in Safari and apps on your device. You can also add specific websites to an approved or blocked list, or you can limit access to only approved websites. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and enter your Screen Time passcode.
  3. Tap Content Restrictions, then tap Web Content.
  4. Choose Unrestricted Access, Limit Adult Websites or Allowed Websites Only.

Restrict: Siri Web Search

Prevent Siri from searching the web when you ask a question and prevent Siri from displaying explicit language.

  1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then tap Content Restrictions.
  3. Scroll down to Siri, then choose your settings.

For Samsung phones visit here.

For Google phones visit here

Home WiFi Controls

One of the easiest ways to set up parental controls is by configuring them on your router. Your router functions as a filter that all the Internet traffic for your network flows through. Setting up parental controls here will allow you to perform web filtering for all the devices on your network.

The largest 4 internet providers in the UK -BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media- provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time.  If your router has this feature, it will often be advertised on the box and will be explained in the manual. You can go to the router’s web-based configuration pages and set up the parental controls for your network.

Click here for BT

Click here for Sky

Click here for TalkTalk

Click here for Virgin Media

Always use antivirus

If your child is using a laptop it is crucial to protect them against the latest viruses, spyware and malicious websites. If your child accidentally begins to download any malware and effective antivirus software will automatically block the infection before reaching your computer.

The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children, and we have relied on it more than ever this year. This guide has been created to introduce some of the most popular devices, highlighting the safety tools available and empowering parents with the knowledge to feel confident in ensuring the safety of your child.

If you have any concerns or questions, get in touch with razorblue today.