Parental controls can be used to try to avoid children accessing inappropriate material, however, they are not totally secure and nothing replaces adult support, advice and encouraging responsible behaviour. Some parental controls are free whilst others must be purchased.
Parental controls can be set for either a network, for example the home broadband, or for a device such as a games console. It is important to remember that gaming devices can be used to connect to the internet to allow players to communicate with people all over the world.
Controls offer varying types of protection, from filtering out adult content from search results to preventing children from buying things when playing games. Controls can be set to apply whether the device is being used in your home or outside. Some controls can, however, be disabled easily so it is important to ensure that children know why the controls are in place and there has been a discussion about trust and responsibility.
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing allow users to filter out certain types of search results. This means parents/carers can reduce the risk of their children seeing adult content or set limits on the time they spend online.
Social media and sites like YouTube have privacy and security settings. These can prevent young people from being contacted by strangers or from seeing inappropriate material. Filters cannot, however, prevent others from sending offensive or inappropriate messages or comments to an account, so parents/carers need to control who can contact their child by ensuring they are using high level privacy settings.
More information and advice on parental controls can be found at:
The following website also gives all sorts of guides to social media communications and some of the risks attached to these: