Ofcom
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Parental controls – help your children manage their media

The advent of digital technology has provided a wealth of new opportunities for children and young people.

The internet, digital TV, mobiles and games consoles have transforming everything from how they learn and play to how they keep in touch.

Children are often the first to learn about new technology – and are embracing it at a younger and younger age.

But not everything may be suitable for them – there will be programmes you don’t want them to watch, and web sites you don’t want them to visit.

Parental controls help manage what your children access online or view on TV.

The following Ofcom guides explain more about the various parental controls on offer.

Protecting your children in a digital world

More children than ever before can now access the internet directly from their bedrooms.

But Ofcom research found that more than one in ten parents didn’t know they could filter what their child viewed on the internet.

This guide will help you know more about how to manage your children’s access to digital TV and internet content.

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Parental controls for mobile phones

More and more children now have their own mobile phones.

If the handset has internet access then the phone will come with parental controls so that you can help manage what your children can view on the web.

For example, all mobile phone providers offer free parental control services which limit the content children can access via the mobile network to items suitable for under 18s.

But they may not always be automatically switched on.

This guide will show you how to find information to help keep children safe online when using a mobile phone.

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Mobile location based services

Ofcom research found that nearly three quarters of all parents are concerned that other people could locate their child through their mobile phone using location based services.

A location-based service uses technology to find your mobile phone’s position and provide services related to where you are.

For example, it can send details to your phone if you search for the nearest cash machine, rail or bus station, or for a map or directions to a particular address.

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Parental controls for games consoles/portable media players

Games consoles and portable media players now let you go onto the internet at the touch of a button.

This guide will show you how to find information to help keep children safe online when using games consoles and portable media players.

The games console guide looks at some of the more popular models today.

These include the Microsoft Xbox 360, the Nintendo DS and DS Lite, the Nintendo Wii and the Sony Playstation 3 and Sony PSP.

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