Parenting online: controls, locks and chat

Increasingly children are connecting to the internet in a variety of ways. It is easy for parents to feel left behind as their children appear to know more about the online world than they do.

Family online safety expert and founder of WISE KIDS Dr Sangeet Bhullar, visits Basil and Louise and their four children to offer advice on setting up filters and controls.

Basil and Louise have four children and the eldest three - Tre (14), Renee (11) and seven year-old Jaeden enjoy spending time online. Sangeet gives them some guidance on setting controls and filters to keep them all safe online.


BBC iPlayer & parental guidance locks

Child using desktop computer

Video on demand services like BBC iPlayer offer a password protected parental lock which can help protect children from more challenging content.

Sangeet explains that all services that connect to the internet will offer some sort of privacy control or privacy control settings. It is important to look at the settings in apps on a smartphone or other devices and make sure you are happy with them.

As a parent you need to understand that apps can reveal your children's location, and you need to decide whether this is appropriate.

There is software that allows you to set up a virtual walled garden so children can only access the sites you have approved. Some software gives you the option to set timings, this is useful if you want your children to stop using the internet at a certain time of the evening.

All ISPs (Internet Service Providers) such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media now provide family packages. This allows you to filter out inappropriate content for your children.


As Sangeet points out, it is important to remember, even with filters in place, children may go somewhere else on the internet where access is completely open.

So it is important to spend time with your children online, browse together and keep an open dialogue so if they do encounter a problem they will come to you for advice.

A challenge to parents is making sure their children take a break from their games consoles, or smartphones or tablets.

Sangeet recommends setting some rules, for example limiting the amount of time a child spends on a device. At night it can either be turned off or put in airplane mode.

TV and Radio

BBC iPlayer

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