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Ofcom's Plan for Tackling Online Safety for Children: What You Need to Know and What We're Doing?

Online Safety & Parental Controls that provide safe internet experience for kids

Today, Ofcom announced a consultation to push for tech firms & social media sites to take measures to help keep children safe online, as part of the Online Safety Act. A significant focus is the implementation of stringent age verification processes to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content, especially pornography. Ofcom proposes using advanced methods like photo ID checks, facial age estimation, and credit card verification to ensure these age checks are not only effective but also preserve user privacy.

The Necessity of These Measures

Startling statistics reveal that many children encounter adult content prematurely, which can significantly impact their mental health and development. Ofcom’s regulations aim to curtail children's access to harmful content online, thereby reducing potential negative impacts​.

Recent findings from Internet Matters indicate that one in seven teenagers has been exposed to nude sharing online, highlighting a critical area of concern for both parents and policymakers. In response, Ofcom has urged social media companies to intensify their efforts in cracking down on such practices. This involves implementing more sophisticated content monitoring technologies and stricter enforcement of existing guidelines to prevent the sharing and exposure of inappropriate content among minors. This measure is seen as crucial in the broader strategy to ensure a safer online environment for young users.

What difference will these measures make?

Ofcom believe these measures will improve children’s online experiences in a number of ways. For example:

  • Children will not normally be able to access pornography.

  • Children will be protected from seeing, and being recommended, potentially harmful content.

  • Children will not be added to group chats without their consent.

  • It will be easier for children to complain when they see harmful content, and they can be more confident that their complaints will be acted on.

Feedback from Campaigners and the General Public

Reactions to Ofcom's proposals are varied. Many parents and guardians view these regulations as crucial for protecting children. However, some campaigners believe the proposals are insufficient and advocate for stricter and more rapidly implemented regulations to address the complexities of online dangers effectively​. Ian Russell, father of Mollie, and Esther Ghey, mother of Brianna, are part of a group of bereaved parents that signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and Leader of the opposition are calling for tougher measures that include mental health and suicide prevention be added to the school curriculum.

What should ISP's do to prevent access to harmful content?

The current consultation primarily focuses on the steps that technology companies, social media platforms, and content providers can take to implement algorithms, software, and age restriction checks. However, one of Ofcom's objectives is also to determine the likelihood of children accessing any part of a site. Access control should extend beyond these platforms, with ISPs taking active responsibility for their network within customer homes. Many ISPs already offer some level of basic time-bound parental controls, yet most lack comprehensive content-specific parental measures. We plan to urge Ofcom to hold ISPs accountable for implementing robust access controls. ISPs should promote safe internet use and provide easily manageable parental controls to safeguard children online.

What is GigabitIQ doing, and how we protect kids online?

At GigabitIQ, we offer our GigabitIQ app and managed Wi-Fi service to all current customers and those outside our network, equipped with various strong measures to enhance children's online safety. We provide enhanced parental controls through our GigabitIQ app, which includes:

  • Age-specific content controls

  • Seventeen content filters to block access to pornography, nudity, gambling, alcohol, drugs, social media, illegal activities, violence, animations, peer-to-peer/file sharing, online shopping, comics, web advertisements, and more

  • Time-limited parental controls, allowing parents to pause internet access on any device at any time

  • Safe search settings on search engines.

  • YouTube restrictions

  • Blocking capabilities for any websites e.g. Only Fans and others known for harmful adult content

  • Ability to block or time-restrict access to any social media apps

  • VPN blocking to prevent bypassing of parental controls

These features, along with many other advanced options, are accessible via our user-friendly GigabitIQ mobile app. Unlike other ISPs like BT, whose parental controls can only be managed through a web application and apply universally to all devices, our app allows for custom controls tailored to individual devices or children at any time. This flexibility avoids the cumbersome and less effective blanket policies seen in other systems, and therefore easy for parents to use & change anytime.

Check out more features of our parental controls on


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