Helping Families to Protect Their Children Online

94% parents say it’s too easy for children to view inappropriate adult content online

October 30, 2015

On Monday 2nd November Virgin Media is launching a new way to help parents protect their children from age inappropriate material on the web - Virgin Media Parental Controls. Free to all Virgin Media broadband customers, this new opt-in service is a first in Ireland and offers a one click solution to automatically restrict access to websites containing age inappropriate content.

When parents activate the Parental Controls service, Virgin Media will automatically restrict access to websites under categories including - Adult and Pornography, Hate & Racism & Violence.

Once activated, the restriction will become effective across all devices connected to the Virgin Media network in the home.

Further to research conducted by Virgin Media, 94% of parents said they believe it is too easy for their children to view adult content online and 92% expressed a desire to be able to restrict access to age inappropriate content.

Mark Coan, Vice-President of Product, Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Ireland said, “The web brings huge positives to children and families. However it also brings challenges and our customers have told us they want a service that makes it much easier for parents to control what their children access on the internet.”

“With our new service, parents will simply choose if they wish to opt in and we will then automatically restrict any inappropriate content from all devices in the home. It will be offered free to all our Broadband customers and there is no need to set it up on each individual device in the home. Once Parental Controls has been activated, any device accessing internet content via Virgin Media’s home broadband service will have the Controls automatically applied to it.”

“We wanted to empower parents by making the technology to manage web access for children really simple. Of course this isn’t a replacement for educating children about online safety or keeping an eye on them online - tips on how to do that are available on Virginmedia.ie - however we believe this is a service that will be of value to our customers.”

Scott Merkle, vice president of enterprise and strategic alliance at Webroot said, “Virgin Media is taking a proactive approach to help parents protect their children online. As a leading Internet Service Provider in Ireland, they are in a unique position to provide parents with this peace-of-mind by leveraging robust intelligence from over 27 billion websites worldwide. As a leading provider of threat intelligence services in the world, we are excited to be a strategic partner in Virgin Media’s launch of parental control services for fixed line broadband.”

The launch of Virgin Media Parental Controls is the latest initiative introduced by Virgin Media as part of the company’s overall Corporate Responsibility Programme to create a safe online environment for customers. In addition, we get involved in Safer Internet Day and have worked with our long term community partner Webwise.

We have also have created a trio of educational toolkits and tools that support parents and teachers to educate and empower young people to safeguard themselves online.

  1. ‘Play and Learn: Being Online’: ages 4-8 years, available in 16 languages, 100,000 copies distributed.
  2. ‘Family eSafety Kit’: ages 6-12 years, available in 18 languages, one million copies distributed
  3. ‘The Web We Want’: ages 13-16 years

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