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New Sky Broadband customers will have their pornography filter turned on by default as soon as their connection is activated.

The Sky Broadband Shield will help to prevent young people from accessing inappropriate content and enable parents to impose limits on their children's internet usage.

This means that as soon as someone attempts to access a filtered website, the account holder will be prompted to either deactivate the filter or amend the settings.

Lyssa McGowan, Brand Director of Communications Products at Sky, commented: "It ensures a safer internet experience for millions of homes, while still giving account holders the flexibility to choose the settings most appropriate for their households."

She pointed out that customers have typically been asked if they want to have filtering turned on when they activate their broadband.

However, Ms McGowan said this has led to take-up rates of just five to ten per cent, as people have either ignored the option or automatically clicked no without thinking about the consequences.

By contrast, she noted that when the Sky Broadband Shield has been turned on by default, there has been much greater use of filtering and engagement with the tool.

Sky then intends to get in touch with existing broadband customers who have not yet made a decision about whether or not to have a filter in place.

"If they don't respond, we will switch it on for them and invite them to amend or switch it off themselves," Ms McGowan commented.

She added that Sky's commitment to helping parents keep control over their children's viewing habits extends beyond the internet.

For instance, Ms McGowan said parents were involved in the development of the Sky Kids app, which led to the inclusion of various safety features and the ability for mums and dads to limit the amount of time children spend using it.

"As well as making sure it was a fun and engaging way for children to enjoy all their favourite shows, we worked closely with parents to make sure it was something they were happy with," she stated.

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