Sky has launched a new app alongside its Sky Boost broadband package that will give parents more control over what their kids are up to on the internet, with the ability to manage access to apps and websites, as well as wielding the ultimate power of pausing the internet on a whim. Maybe little Tommy will think twice before he eats the last of the Easter egg stash again. Let that be a warning for next year.
The Buddy app is supported by Internet Matters, whose prerogative is children's online safety. The organisation has previously partnered with EE to teach parents about the dangers lurking on the internet and how to use parental controls effectively. Or just at all, according to the government, who said last year that most people are clueless when it comes to protecting their kids online. And that's how the UK's new porn regulations were born. So, thanks for that. Luckily, we have VPNs to get around that and here are our top picks.
Steering the conversation away from porn, the Buddy app is touted as "the only UK service of its kind that works both in the home via WiFi and out of the home via 3G/4G connections" so you can really keep a tight leash on the family. And if you really want to, you can wade even further into the privacy of anyone whose device is subjected to the parental controls to see how they're being used and peruse usage history. Should you decide give them a bit of slack, you can unblock specific sites and hand out additional time to surf the internet. And if anyone tries to mutiny and uninstall the app, you'll know about it. It'll literally tell you.
"At Sky, we connect families to content they love so it is our responsibility to make sure they can do this safely," says Sky UK & Ireland's chief cxecutive officer, Stephen van Rooyen. "Sky Broadband Buddy is an easy way to manage and monitor children’s internet usage, and pausing the internet is a great way to ensure you can enjoy family time free from screen time – for both children and adults!”
The app works across all mobile networks and is compatible with both Android and iOS. It's a part of the Sky Broadband Boost pack which you can get for just £2.50 (per month presumably) on an 18 month contract as part of the introductory offer. That takes us well past February, 2020, and by then, telecoms companies will be required to give customers the heads up on when their contracts are ending and provide them with alternative subscription deals, so that's a bonus.