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ISP Claranet UK Launch Childsafe Network Level Adult Website Filter

Tuesday, Jul 10th, 2012 (11:45 am) - Score 853

Internet provider Claranet has today announced the launch of a new security service called Childsafe that, much like TalkTalk’s rival HomeSafe solution, aims to give families on its broadband packages access to an opt-in, network-level filtering service that restricts access to more than just websites.

The ISP claims that its solution, which allows subscribers to choose exactly what services or content are blocked, requires no technical or installation knowledge to setup. Furthermore it is also capable of restricting access to chat-rooms, Instant Messaging (IM), video calls, file-sharing (P2P) services and “other unwanted internet services” that competitors don’t normally block. On top of this it also includes additional protection against computer viruses, worms, phishing attacks and spyware.

Jason Keen, Director of Claranet Soho, said:

This is the only service on the market that allows parents who are less technically skilled to have confidence that their home Internet connection is protected. This is done through ‘channels’ created by what are called a ‘Claranet Guardian’, an organisation that the Childsafe subscriber trusts such as a school, NGO or religious body, to recommend content.

Subscribers can even create their own channel of content by simply selecting their own categories. Put simply, this means that a single, non-technical decision is all that is required to have a safe home Internet.

According to our own research 89% of parents with children under-16, believe ISPs should be providing better support in terms of Internet safety. In fact when questioned further 76% of the sample [i.e. 1000 parents] we questioned are concerned about their children viewing explicit content including pornography and graphic violence.”

Dr Sara Payne MBE, from the Phoenix Chief Advocates Consultancy, added:

When I am walking down the high street with my children, we do not hold up placards of our personal photographs and nor are we exposed to shop fronts or images that are sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate for children. We need to make sure that we can create a similar environment on the Internet – one that prevents strangers from seeing our personal information on social media; and where children cannot gain access to areas that could cause them harm. As a parent, I need to be able to ring-fence what my children see as I already do in the ‘real’ world.”

In fairness a lot of pre-watershed TV these days, especially in terms of music videos, as well as in-store underwear adverts, could perhaps be described as borderline “sexually explicit“. Most people can also stop “strangers from seeing our personal information on social media” simply by choosing to make the profile private, without the need for additional tools.

Never the less it’s good that parents are being given more choice, not that there was ever a shortage in this department. But it’s important to remember that such solutions are prone to mistakes (over-blocking, mission creep etc.) and tend to be easily avoidable.

Likewise preventing children from being able to do basic things, such as chat with their friends online, risks encouraging them to go actively seeking ways around such skin-deep restrictions; and there any many methods to do that. Parents must thus continue to remain vigilant even with filtering enabled.

But the important thing here is that subscribers are given a choice, which is despite certain MP’s demanding that such filtering be enabled by default on all internet accounts in the UK (Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection).

Childsafe Feature Summary
* No installation or technical knowledge required
* Subscribers can choose an organisation they trust to provide a safe, appropriate channel and thus determining what internet sites can be accessed
* Sites can be blocked or unblocked in a simple, secure manner
* Automatic protection against viruses, malware, phishing and worms
* Protect Internet chat, video calls, file-sharing and social networking; not just basic websites
* Will protect PCs, laptops and wifi-enabled mobile devices which are connecting to the protected Internet service
* Over 140 categories are available for those requiring even more control
* Users can also define their own set of available content themselves quickly and easily
* 450 million categorised URLs, 6 billion web pages, 200 languages checked
* Continuing review of URLs is on-going to add new blocked sites to the URL list

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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