If you’re a parent and a Sky Broadband customer, you may have heard of Sky Broadband Shield. It is a free online protection tool available to all Sky customers and is useful if you’re concerned that your children could gain access to harmful material online. The service allows you to set your level of control, block certain categories of website or prevent access to a specifically selected website.
But if you choose the PG setting on Sky Broadband Shield, you will be blocked from accessing social media or online gaming sites. So, if the kids are in bed and you want to get back onto Facebook, or any other website you don’t want the little ones viewing, you will need to know how it works, and how to turn off your Sky Broadband Shield.
Sky Broadband Shield is a free content control service that is available to all Sky Broadband customers. It allows you to control what your family can and can’t have access to online at certain times of the day. It comes with three different age settings – PG, 13 and 18 – that block differing levels of potentially harmful websites.
The 18 age rating will allow you to access most adult material available online, from violent content and pornography to gambling and dating websites. It will however block any malicious websites that could harm your computer or let third parties gain access to your personal information, such as malware, spyware or phishing emails.
The 13 age rating will block a wide range of potentially harmful content. As well as phishing, malware and spyware, the other categories of website that will be restricted are:
The PG rating will block everything that the 13 and 18 age ratings do, as well as online gaming and social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Through the advanced settings, you can also restrict access to specific websites, or allow access to websites that would be otherwise blocked by the filter.
When setting your controls on Sky Broadband Shield, it doesn’t matter which computer you use to do so. The software is network wide, meaning all devices connected to your Sky broadband will be protected, including smartphones and tablets. However, if you’re using 3G or 4G to browse the internet on your phone, you won’t be protected. The controls will only kick in once you’re using the home Wi-Fi connection.
Not only does Sky Broadband Shield protect your kids by blocking inappropriate content, it also blocks any websites that could contain viruses or other forms of spyware. For that reason, we advise you to change the settings to the 18 age rating instead of switching it off completely, unless your device is protected by other anti-virus software such as Norton or McAfee. This way you can still access adult-suitable websites without putting your computer or personal information at risk.
To change your age rating, you need to log on to your account at broadbandshield.sky.com using your Sky iD details. You will then be shown a list of your options from PG, 13, 18 and Custom settings. Just select the one you want and click ‘Save all settings’. Whatever settings you choose will be applied to all devices connected to your Sky broadband.
If for any reason you want to switch off Sky Broadband Shield completely and browse whatever you like without restrictions, then you will also need to log into your Sky Broadband Shield account with your Sky iD details. Just scroll down to where it says ‘Switch off’ and click on this. It could take up to 15 minutes for any changes to be applied to all devices.
Yes. All the major broadband providers in the UK now offer you some form of parental control software. With all of them, you can change the settings to block different categories and levels of online content, as well as customise the settings to block and unblock specific websites. Some of them also allow time setting controls, so you can block certain types of websites like online games or social media at certain times of the day.
Similar content filters provided by other broadband providers include BT Family Protection, Virgin Media Web Safe and TalkTalk HomeSafe. If online security and parental control is important to you when searching for the best broadband deal, you should look into the different parental control software on offer and what they entail.