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Do you know what's online? Are you savvy about how to protect your kids from content like violence, pornography and gambling?
With most children having access to the internet, it can be difficult to monitor what they're seeing online and they could see content that's not age-appropriate or distressing.
It's important that you talk to your child about how to avoid unacceptable, or age inappropriate, content. Let them know that they can talk to you, or another trusted adult, without getting in trouble. Then agree some ground rules. Find out what your child likes to do online before doing some research on their favourite websites and apps. NSPCC Net Aware can help you with this.
If your child has an O2 mobile, our Parental Control service only allows them to visit websites that are suitable for children aged 12 and under. You can turn it on by calling 61818 from their mobile or visiting our Parental Control site.
You can also set up parental controls on your home wifi, as well as tablets and games consoles.
When it comes to websites, some will let you set filters - Facebook, for example, has privacy settings that prevent your child seeing unsuitable advertising. There are also search engines especially for children, like Swiggle and Kidzsearch [open in new window]. Or, if they want to continue using Google and Bing, activate the safe-m search settings. And opt for the safe mode on YouTube, iTunes and Google Play too.
Safe age limits
Talk to your children about the purpose of age limits. Most sites have a minimum age-limit of 13, including Facebook and YouTube. Explain that these limits are there to protect them from things they'd prefer not to see.
We automatically restrict websites on your O2 mobile that have material that is unsuitable for under-18s. If a site is rated 18+ you won't be able to access it unless you can prove you are over 18. If you decide to give your child a hand-me-down mobile or device, make sure you can, and do, reinstall the 18+ bar.
To prove your age you'll need a credit card handy. We'll charge you £1 and then refund it. This is to ensure that if someone uses your card without your permission, you'll know about it - because it will appear on your statement.
We also ensure that O2 Wifi content is fully filtered at all our venues and we never allow access to illegal, extreme, harmful or adult material. But while O2 Wifi is family friendly, other public wifi services won't necessarily have the same security settings.
And be sure to:
- Check your child's phone by calling our age verification automated line on 61018, or go to ageverification.o2.co.uk.
- You can use our handy site checker to see whether we've classified a website as suitable for children or not. You can also ask us to review our decisions.
- If you think a site is showing sexual images of childen, report it anonymously to the Internet Watch Foundation.
- Find out more about content classification at the British Board of Film Classification website.