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How to protect your kids online; BLOCK HARMFUL SITES WITH A FEW SIMPLE STEPS.

TALK Talk has just become the first internet provider to offer a porn opt-out for broadband customers.

PM David Cameron is considering even stricter measures forcing providers to make customer opt IN for porn.

With children as young as five online, protecting them is an issue every parent should care about. And easy-touse tools are already in place no matter who provides your broadband.

Child protection expert Jim Gamble says it's vital for parents to get to grips with the problem. "Kids are being bullied, abused, groomed or gaining easy access to pornography," he says. "Many parents lack confidence in their ability to use the net. But think back to the baby that you kept safe using child locks safety gates plug covers locks, safety gates, plug covers and that complicated car seat. You did everything you could to keep them safe then.

"So take 10 minutes to look up these websites and learn how switch on the filters, safety settings and parental controls for your device. "Here are the step-by-step guides... do it today."

In each box we've provided an easy link to manufacturers' own or consumer guidance websites.

Jim Gamble, CEO of risk management firm INEQE Safe and Secure, is the former head of the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre.


KIDS simply love these easy-to-use devices, which makes parental controls even more vital. To limit what your child can see on everything from apps to movies, follow the link to Apple below then tap Settings > General > Restrictions on the machine.


Facebook Safety Center

WITHOUT doubt, a site that every parent or teacher should visit. Learn about account settings, how to control who sees what, how to block or "defriend" other users and report abusive or offensive content. If you're not on Facebook yourself, you can find out what all the jargon means too...

Sony PlayStation 3

THEY have revolutionised gaming and can also download films and surf the net. Go to Sony's parental controls page via the web address below and find out how to apply content restrictions on films and games, set chat preferences and limit in-game spending.

Xbox 360

ANOTHER multi-purpose console with access to movies and the net. The web page below helps you learn how to control ratings and content and to set limits on how long each child can play. You can also decide whether your children can connect to Xbox Live for online gaming.

Kindle Fire

KINDLES and other e-readers have made reading cool again. But they can also be used to surf the web, so there's a danger. Download a software update at the first address then follow instructions on the second one.

Virgin Media/Sky/BT Vision

THERE'S of lot of adult content on satellite and cable TV these days but it's easy to st op your children seeing it. The brilliant website below helps you stay in full control of content from all three providers simply by using your remote control and setting up a PIN code.

Google Family Safety Centre

NOT only can you learn how to stop kids seeing certain sites, you can block them from searches results too. SafeSearch restricts websites, SafeSearch Lock sets a password and YouTube Safety Mode hides inappropriate content on the video site.

Windows 7

THE current Windows operating system has a simple process for controlling what children see online. Go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts then Family Safety > Set up Parental Controls. Choose whether to set restrictions for one user or all. More at the address below...

Mac OS X

THE web address below has videos showing you how to set controls that then apply to any web browser on a Mac computer, how to restrict movies and control the time spent on the computer. Videos also walk you through Mail, iChat and keeping a log of a child's online activity.

Internet Explorer

The PC web browser has easy parental controls and the address below shows how to block sites such as those depicting drug or alcohol use, violent images, nudity or bad language. Go to the toolbar followed by Tools > Content > Content Advisor > Enable. You then have to set a password.


APPLE'S web browser, also available on PCs, offers an excellent online guide to making the internet a safer place for your children. Learn how to specify which sites can be viewed - all others, including Google searches, can be blocked - and how to control your child's time online.


INTERNET service provider AOL offers parental controls but before you can set it up you have to download specific software. It's worth the time and effort to protect your children and all the information you need to guide you through this process is found in the link.

Nintendo Wii

This interactive console is hugely popular with all ages. The parental settings page below looks a little dull and techy, but don't be put off. Within a couple of clicks there are simple instructions on how to restrict your child's access to games, Wii Connect and the internet.

Nintendo DSi and DSi XL

HAND-helds are no longer just for gaming. Many can access the internet and let you chat online. This site has a step-by-step guide to setting up parental controls. You can limit what your children can download on the internet and even monitor their conversations with other users.


ITUNES is the gateway to downloading music, TV shows and films on to your computer, iPhone or iPod. The site below makes parental controls really easy. Find out how to disable podcasts and restrict explicit content at the iTunes Store, and how to set controls on radio content.


Jim Gamble... 'Take 10 minutes'
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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 20, 2012
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