Sky Broadband Shield explained
Sky Broadband Shield lets you control the level of protection you want for your home when online with Sky Broadband, across all of the devices connected to your home network. It's at no extra cost for all Sky Broadband customers, and includes additional security features to help protect your family from sites that collect private information or disrupt your device.
For more information about Sky Broadband Shield, read our frequently asked questions below.
- How does Sky Broadband Shield work?
It automatically helps protect devices connected to your Sky Broadband network from any websites containing viruses, from hacking or phishing sites and it also filters out web content flagged as unsuitable by the settings you've selected.
Simply choose an age rating suited to the people in your home to create the appropriate internet security settings. The table below lists the categories of sites that are blocked under each age rating.
- How do I activate Sky Broadband Shield?
You can set up and manage Sky Broadband Shield by signing in to My Sky with your Sky iD. If you've forgotten your Sky iD details, you can retrieve your username or reset your password online.
- Why is it important to make a choice about Sky Broadband Shield?
Sky provides the option of security and safety features with Sky Broadband Shield at no extra cost. As well as age inappropriate websites, it protects from malware-infected and phishing sites.
This year, we are asking all existing broadband customers who don’t yet have protection to make a choice of the appropriate Sky Broadband Shield age setting that’s right for their home .
If you haven't already made a choice about Sky Broadband Shield we will contact you via email or post so that you can choose the level of protection for your family . If we don’t hear from you, we will ask you to make a choice online when visiting sites unsuitable for children.
You can set up and manage Sky Broadband Shield by signing in to My Sky with your Sky iD.
- What do I do if I don't want Sky Broadband Shield?
Sky Broadband Shield is optional, so if you'd like to continue to use your broadband with no filtering, please let us know by choosing not to use Sky Broadband Shield.
- What happens if I change my mind about Sky Broadband Shield?
If you've already signed up to Sky Broadband Shield, you can switch it off at any time by signing in to your Sky Broadband Shield settings page in My Sky. However, we recommend that rather than turning it off, you change the setting to 18. This means you can access sites suitable for adults while still being protected from malicious or phishing websites.
If you've told us you don't want Sky Broadband Shield but later change your mind, don't worry. You can choose to activate Sky Broadband Shield at any time by signing in to your Sky Broadband Shield settings page.
- How long can I get Sky Broadband Shield for?
Sky Broadband Shield is available to all Sky customers as long as you have Sky Broadband. If you move to another broadband provider you won’t be protected by Sky Broadband Shield.
- How does Sky Broadband Shield differ from standard PC or Mac parental controls software?
Sky Broadband Shield allows you to quickly and easily set the level of online protection you want for your family across all the devices connected to your Sky Broadband network, without having to worry about setting up and maintaining controls on each individual device. It‘s not a replacement for your computer antivirus software and we recommend that you have antivirus software installed.
- What devices does Sky Broadband Shield work on?
It works with all the devices in your home when you connect to your Sky Broadband network. Examples of some of the devices Sky Broadband Shield will cover are smart phones, laptops, computers, tablets and game consoles. Please note, it won’t work if you’re browsing with a 3G connection.
- How do I check my Sky Broadband Shield settings, and can I change them?
You can check your settings in My Sky and change them at any time. On the Broadband Shield settings page, you’ll see if it’s switched on or off and also what your current setting is. When you set up Sky Broadband Shield or change any of its settings, we’ll send a confirmation to the account holder’s email address.
- Can I switch off Sky Broadband Shield temporarily or permanently?
Yes, you can do either of these on the Sky Broadband Shield settings page in My Sky. We recommend that rather than turning it off, you change the setting to 18. This means you can access sites suitable for adults while still being protected from malicious or phishing websites.
- Does Sky Broadband Shield keep me safe from viruses on my computer?
Sky Broadband Shield will block websites that are known to contain phishing or malware, but it is not a replacement for antivirus software and we recommend that you continue to use antivirus software.
- What are Malware and Phishing sites?
Malware sites contain malicious software (e.g. viruses) that will try and infect your machine. Phishing sites are designed specifically to trick you into providing important personal information by pretending to be a site you trust, such as your bank or an online shopping site.
- Can I block or allow individual websites?
Yes. If there are certain sites you would like to block or allow, regardless of the categories you've selected, you can enter them under the Advanced features on the Sky Broadband Shield settings page. You’ll be able to see a list of all websites you have blocked and allowed.
Please note, once you've allowed a specific site, it will never be blocked by Sky Broadband Shield while it's on your allowed list, even if it changes category or the site becomes infected with malware.
There are certain sites that we are required to block due to court orders received. You can find an up to date list of these sites in Our approach to protecting copyright.
- What do I do if I already have McAfee Parental Controls?
You can continue to use McAfee Parental Controls on devices that have this software installed, however you can use the Broadband Shield instead of, or in addition to, McAfee to cover all the devices connected to your home broadband network.
- Will Sky Broadband Shield work if I access the internet outside my house?
The Sky Broadband Shield only works for devices connected to the internet through your Sky Broadband home network and doesn’t cover other Wi-Fi or 3G networks.
- Does Sky Broadband Shield keep my family safe from online bullying and online grooming?
Sky Broadband Shield helps you protect your family online, but it’s not a guarantee and you still need to be aware of your family’s online access. It only covers devices connected to your Sky Broadband network and doesn’t cover other Wi-Fi or 3G networks.
- Does Sky Broadband Shield block unsuitable results from displaying in search engines?
Sky Broadband Shield will not block access to search engines, which means that unsuitable sites may still be displayed in search results. However, most search engines allow you to set a safe searching mode from their settings menu, which will limit this content from appearing.
- Will Sky Broadband Shield protect my family from all inappropriate content on the internet?
While Sky Broadband Shield helps you control what your family can access when online, we can't guarantee that Sky Broadband Shield will stop every inappropriate site. If you encounter a site that you believe should be blocked by your Sky Broadband Shield settings, please contact us so we can investigate further.
- How often do Sky update the list of sites blocked by each category?
We update and add new websites to our categories several times a day.
- I own a website and I believe it's been categorised incorrectly. How can I change this?
Websites are categorised for Broadband Shield by a third party, but if you think that your site is in the wrong category you can email us at CRSupport@bskyb.com. We'll review your request, and if we agree it’s in the wrong category we’ll get this updated as soon as we can.
- How will I know if someone switches off or changes my Sky Broadband Shield settings?
If Sky Broadband Shield is turned off or any settings are changed, the account holder will be sent an email or text message to let them know. If you're the account holder and you don’t currently have an email address associated with your account, you can add one on your Household details page in My Sky.
- I have more than one child in my family, can I choose a different level of protection for each of them?
Once you've selected your Sky Broadband Shield rating, this will apply to all devices connected to your Sky Broadband network. It isn't possible to choose more than one rating to apply to specific devices or individual members of your household.
If you decide you'd like to change your current Sky Broadband Shield settings, you can do so easily by signing in to My Sky at any time.
- Can Sky see what I am doing on the internet if I have Sky Broadband Shield turned on?
No. We can't see you are viewing on the internet, regardless of your Sky Broadband Shield settings.
- What appears on screen when I try to access a blocked site?
If you try to access a blocked site, you'll see a page stating that the site you are trying to access is blocked by Sky Broadband Shield.
- Why has the category Cyber bullying been removed from Sky Broadband Shield?
We have found that sites categorised within Cyber bullying, while specifically set up to bully others, are not the only sites where cyber bullying occurs. Cyber bullying can take place in many forms online, including social networking sites which are currently a separate category within Sky Broadband Shield.
For this reason Cyber bullying will no longer be a separate category. Instead all sites currently blocked as Cyber bullying will be categorised as Weapons, violence, gore and hate.
If you currently have Custom settings and have chosen to block Cyber bullying but not Weapons, violence, gore and hate, this category will be automatically added to your settings from 9th December. This is to make sure where you have chosen to block the sites in Cyber bullying, that your family are still protected from that content.
You can manage your settings by signing in to your Sky Broadband Shield settings page in My Sky.
- What is the Watershed feature?
The Watershed feature of Sky Broadband Shield allows you to automatically apply custom protection at specific times of the day. For example, you can filter websites that are unsuitable for children during the day when they’re online, and remove that filtering automatically in the evening.
You can manage your Watershed settings by signing in to your Sky Broadband Shield settings page in My Sky.
- How quickly will my Watershed settings come into effect?
The first time you activate Watershed it may take a few minutes for these settings to be applied. After that your settings will change automatically each day, at the times you’ve chosen.