TalkTalk HomeSafe Review - Internet Safety Day

Today is internet safety day. It is so very important as parents that we ensure that our children are safe online. I had a conversation with my mum earlier about my teenage years online. We had the internet in 1996 and I spent a lot of my time in AOL football chatrooms. They were incredibly basic technology wise, but ground-breaking at the time. I met two of my best friends online at that time. We met in the chatroom and agreed to meet at the match that Saturday. All of us supported the same team and my best friend and I were interested in meeting other supporters. The two boys we met up with were lovely and we remain friends to this day. One of them is the god father to my son.

So, the internet can be a wonderful place. It can make friendships happen. However, at the same time, I was in contact with a man who supported another team. Something about him didn't quite add up, but I agreed to meet him anyway. He was supposedly 17, a couple of years older than me. I agreed to meet him in a pub near his team's football ground, when my team were playing there. My best friend and I went to the pub but there were no people our age there. At the bar there was a man in his fifties who kept buying us drinks. He never spoke to us, but I am pretty positive he was the 17 year old boy I had been messaging. I didn't converse with him again online.
My mum didn't know who I was talking to. The internet was new and chatrooms were in their infancy. It was exciting. I was lucky and I was careful. I always met up with people in public places and I never felt threatened. My children are growing up in a completely different era. They have access to technology on a daily basis. We learned early on that we needed to implement safety features for their internet viewing. Our son, when aged two managed to find a doctored Thomas the Tank Engine video which was full of swearing. Quite funny for adults, but absolutely not appropriate for children.

At home we now use TalkTalk HomeSafe, available to TalkTalk customers. It offers home internet security which protects every device which is connected to TalkTalk broadband. HomeSafe® gives you control over the type of websites your children have access too. You can block particular websites and this impacts on all devices using your network. You can also define set times when the internet is or isn't available, which ensures your children are not accessing the internet when you don't want them to be. TalkTalk Homesafe has been developed in partnership with a panel of parents and online safety experts, so you can rest assured you are in safe hands.

If you are a TalkTalk customer, HomeSafe is totally free and really easy to set up. You just need to make sure that you switch it on in your account. If you are looking for top tips on internet safety, then check out TalkTalk's top ten here. They also have a quiz where you can see how internet savvy you are in comparison to a ten year old, you can find that here. I did better than I imagined and am savvier than a ten year old! Hurrah.