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Children on computer - Something that concerns all of us, well those of us who are responsible for children at least, is what those children can find while surfing the Net - while they are online, on the internet - either because they are looking for it or just because they stumble across something.

So how can you help prevent unsuitable content being accessed online on computers in your home and office?

Well the first thing to say is that the four big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - all provide their customers with free parental controls, which can be activated at any time, and that all have videos to show you how to set them up.

However, if your computer is connected to a domain, parental controls are not readily available and you will need to access these through your internet user account. Here you can set up the number of hours a child can be online and what games and programmes they can use.

You will need to set up an Administer Account for yourself and a Standard Account for each child; this is so that different children can have different controls. In addition, you can get reporting on the child’s activity by setting up Windows Live Family Safety..

But remember that parental controls and filtering are only part of the solution.

No filter or parental controls tool is 100% effective, and many of the risks that young people face online are because of their own and other’s behaviour. Therefore, it is important to talk to your children about staying safe online and letting them know that they can always talk to you.

And don’t forget the other devices that can connect to the internet, like an iPod Touch, Xbox or smartphones. Not all of these will be protected by the standard parental controls, but each will have its own.

If you have any doubts about setting up your parental controls please ask us for advice.

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