Block adult content from your home internet – For FREE

There are several ways of ensuring that inappropriate content can't be accessed and you may have tried some already. For example, plug-ins are available for most browsers but that's a hassle if you have to configure the filters for every possible browser on every PC or laptop. Stand-alone software is slightly simpler but still has to be set up separately on all PCs, and there's still the issue of smartphones and tablets in your household. Alternatively your ISP might offer a filtering service but details will differ from one ISP to another. By way of contrast, the solution we're recommending here – FamilyShield from OpenDNS – will work irrespective of the browser, the PC, smartphone or tablet and the ISP. You can also use it under Mac OS or Linux, in addition to Microsoft Windows. The only criteria is that the devices being protected must gain access to the Internet via a particular wireless router that you have access to and are, therefore, able to configure. If a smartphone connects via a different wireless router – for example, a neighbour's unsecured router – the same protection will not be enabled. Similarly, connections to the Internet from a smartphone or tablet via the mobile phone network won't be protected. The solution involves using a different DNS server from the default one which you normally use. Since DNS isn't exactly an everyday term, a word of explanation is in order. When you type a Web address into a Web browser, that address is sent to your ISP's default DNS server on the Internet which looks up its IP address, that is the actual address that computers understand. So, for example, if you entered www.microsoft.com into your browser's address bar, the IP address 64.4.11.42 would be retrieved from the DNS server and used to access the Microsoft Website (try typing http://64.4.11.42). A good analogy for the DNS server, therefore, is a telephone directory. Although you normally use your ISP's default DNS server you can use different ones by entering the IP address of your preferred DNS server in your wireless router's configuration menu. FamilyShield is a content filtering option for the OpenDNS server. It's totally free, you don't have to install any software on your PCs, and you don't even have to register. Click to visit Family Shield from OpenDNS The instructions on the OpenDNS website are fairly straight forward to follow, especially if you have one of the routers listed. If however, you need some help, we will be only too happy to help. You will need to bring your router into one of the shops and we can do that for you in 5 minutes.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection

CEOP has a number of websites about protecting children online, inlcuding www.thinkuknow.co.uk which has a lot of advice for parents of children of all different ages. For example, it realises that parents of 5-7 year old children have different needs than those with children in secondary school. CEOP has produced "Keeping up with The Joneses", a short trailer to get parents and carers thinking about getting involved in their children's online lives.

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