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Sky Broadband Shield – rolling out to all our customers

Lyssa McGowan

Lyssa McGowan, Brand Director, Communications Products
20 January 2015

We’re all aware that cyberspace can present security risks, and that the internet isn’t universally suitable for children. Just last week Ofcom released a study that found parents’ awareness of potential online risks has risen since the first report in 2013. And at Sky, when it comes to online safety for all, we take our responsibility very seriously and we want what is best for our customers.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a user and family-friendly approach to online safety that we’re starting to communicate to customers this week. We want to ensure no one misses the opportunity to benefit from better protection online.

We already offer award-winning Sky Broadband Shield to give Sky customers control of their household’s internet experience, as well as protecting against malware-infected or phishing sites. Its Watershed feature gives adjustable settings with age rating options (PG, 13, 18, Custom or none) for different times of the day. Customers can easily choose and change their settings in MySky depending on the level of protection they need for their home. 

What we’re doing now is simply making sure that the automatic position of Sky Broadband Shield is the safest one for all – that’s ‘on’, unless customers choose otherwise.

From January, we’ll be emailing our customers who haven’t chosen to activate or disable Sky Broadband Shield explaining its benefits and giving them the opportunity to make a decision one way or the other. Customers can activate Sky Broadband Shield, adjust or decline it at any time. Or they can simply wait for us to turn it on.

So how will it work? When trying to visit a website deemed unsuitable for children under the age of 13 during the day, customers will see a page reminding them to make a choice about filtering. At this point, they can accept the current setting, change their protection levels or simply turn Sky Broadband Shield off. 

Once Sky Broadband Shield is active, users cannot access a filtered site unless they choose to log in and alter their settings. However they can browse away from the filtering page to visit freely any site suitable for the 13 age rating, without any interruptions.

Sky’s approach helps make it as easy as possible for customers to protect their households. We are encouraging them to use the flexibility within Sky Broadband Shield in order to make the right choice for their personal circumstances. And Sky Broadband Shield doesn’t give us access to what you do online so your privacy will be protected.

Of course, with our diverse base of over 5.3 million broadband customers, we know some won’t want or need Sky Broadband Shield. That’s OK too. They can let us know their preference by going to http://broadbandshield.sky.com/choice or simply decline, in which case we won’t be sending them any emails. It’s better for people to make their own choice, but until they do, we believe this process to be the safest one. Meanwhile we can ensure that they’re protected from phishing, malware and sites unsuitable for young children.

We’re happy to act in the interest of customer security and online safety. Knowing our customers and the internet as we do, we believe this is the right and simplest solution to a problem we all know is out there.

For more about Sky Broadband Shield, click here