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Ask the Expert: How do I set up parental controls on my child's new computer?

Don't know where to start when it comes to protecting your kids online? An NSPCC online safety expert explains how to go about it

Using parental controls is one of the best ways to help keep children safe online

Q: MY EIGHT-year-old son got a tablet for Christmas, but I haven't put any parental controls on it and I don't know where to start. What should I do?

Q: Stephanie McNamee, O2 NSPCC helpline agent, says: "Along with talking to your child regularly, using parental controls is one of the best ways to help keep children safe online.

"There are different options available depending on the tablet being used. On an iPad, you can tap 'settings', then 'general', then 'restrictions' – and then set up a passcode and apply restrictions to apps, features and content. These restrictions allow you to change privacy settings, prevent in-app purchases and much more.

"On an Android tablet, you can limit the content available through the Google Play Store, so that the available apps and content are age-appropriate. Another option is to download extra parental control services with third party applications available through the Google Play Store.

"Most tablets connect to the internet through wi-fi, so you may want to consider adding parental controls to your home broadband service. Some tablets also support the use of a SIM card so that internet access is available through the mobile network, just like on a mobile phone. In most cases you can apply content restrictions to the SIM card through your mobile provider.

"On the O2 NSPCC Helpline, we can help you explore the safety features for all of your children's devices, apps, games and services. If you don't know where to start, we can talk you through steps over the phone: just give us a call on 0800 800 5002."

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