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Sky is to block adult content on the web by default unless broadband customers opt out.

The service provider is making its Sky Broadband Shield service, which has been offered to new subscribers for the past year, available to its entire UK customer base.

The filtering tool will be turned on by default unless Sky customers make an active choice to switch it off.

Lyssa McGowan, Brand Director for Communications Products at Sky, said the service provider is taking steps to protect children using the web, with a "user and family-friendly" approach to internet safety.

"We want to ensure no one misses the opportunity to benefit from better protection," she stated.

"When it comes to online safety for all, we take our responsibility very seriously and we want what is best for our customers."

Ms McGowan explained that Sky will be emailing customers who have not yet chosen to activate or disable Sky Broadband Shield, 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," she noted.

In order to adjust the filter settings, Sky customers will need to log in to their user account and alter the Broadband Shield settings.

Ms McGowan acknowledged that Sky has a diverse base of over 5.3 million customers, and some will not want or need Sky Broadband Shield.

She explained that customers can decline to activate the filter, in which case they will not receive any emails regarding online filtering.

Ms McGowan claimed it is better for customers to make their own choice, but until they do, turning Sky Broadband Shield on by default is the safest option.

This means children are protected from phishing, malware and sites unsuitable for their viewing.

She said Sky is "happy to act in the interest of customer security and online safety", and believes turning on Sky Broadband Shield by default is "the right and simplest solution".

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