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Sky has announced that new broadband customers will receive its Broadband Shield parental control service as standard in 2016.

Broadband Shield allows users to filter what websites are seen in their home and was previously made optional to new customers.

As well as protecting against malware and phishing threats, the platform also contains a watershed feature with adjustable settings containing age rating options (PG, 13, 18, Custom or none) to restrict sites at various times of the day to suit the needs of families.

The service has been heavily pushed by Sky, with the provider recently emailing all customers that had joined up before its November 2013 launch to ask if they wanted to implement the service.

If there was no response it was automatically turned on, with 62% of customers then choosing to keep some form of parental control.

Sky says it will now repeat that process and send out messages to customers yet to sign up while also becoming the first broadband company to automatically provide filtering to all new customers.

It means that when a new customer logs on to the internet they will be informed that Sky Broadband Shield is on.

Internet use will be filtered by the 13 age rating until 9pm and then 18 afterwards unless it is amended, spreading its filtering service across all devices connected to Sky Broadband, including laptops, tablets, smartphones and game consoles.

The move already being welcomed by children's charities, with Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, stating: "Frankly this is a no-brainer; default filters on home broadband put children's safety first while still giving adults the freedom to remove them.

Lyssa McGowan, Director, Communications Products, Sky added that many of its customers had already seen the value in the service.

"What we have learnt is that as well as the flexibility to set the right level of protection for their [customers'] homes," she said.

"The simplest thing we can do to help them is to automatically turn on filtering and then allow customers to easily choose and change their settings.

"This means they can have complete peace of mind that they will protected online from the word go”.

Sky is to announce the exact date of the rollout in due course.

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