Make sure your little ones are safe online this Christmas

Two boys, playing on tablet at home, next christmas tree

With the average 5 to 15 year old child spending at least 15 hours a week online, just think how much time they're going to be online over the Christmas holidays. You want them to relax and enjoy their time off gaming, chatting on social media and watching YouTube, but you don't want them to see inappropriate content or download viruses that might corrupt their mobiles, tablets or laptops.

For most parents, it's impossible to be looking over their shoulder the whole time. However there is a solution that will protect them online that only takes 5 minutes to set up. It's something every parent should tick off before the Christmas holidays start; installing appropriate online security software.

It's not just your PC that needs it, but also any device your child connects to the Internet, so that's your mobile, tablet and laptop too.

TalkTalk are giving all customers online security from F-Secure called SuperSafe at a reduced price of only £2 a month (saving £75 per year) for security on 8 devices. That will protect the whole family and the new phones they might get in their Christmas stocking.

First step: how to get it

Click here to add SuperSafe from My Account. You will then get an email from F-Secure to install it onto your device to protect you.

Next step: Set up parental controls

Parental controls are a useful way to adapt a mobile, tablet or computer's settings to only allow content and usage which you, as a parent, feel are appropriate.

Suitable content
TalkTalk's SuperSafe parental controls start with giving parents the option to choose settings that are appropriate for a teenager or a younger child. These allow for blocking different categories of content. For example, it's unlikely you would want a child of any age viewing information about gambling, drugs, violence or porn – so these are blocked by default (but can be unblocked if you wish). However, teens are not automatically blocked from using email and social networking.

Time limits
Time limits allow you to curb the amount of time a child spends on different applications on their smartphone or tablet each day. You may choose to only allow an hour of time of Facebook and gaming sites, compared to unlimited access to Wikipedia.

On our desktop version, you can also set homework time by only allowing access to educational sites during certain times of the day when you know your child should be working instead of getting distracted. You can also set the amount of time your child is allowed spend online in a week – a particularly useful tool during the Christmas holidays. Time limits let you wave good-bye to "just 5 more minutes Mum!"

Call blocking
For mobile phones, call blocker is a handy tool for parents of children who are worried about being bullied. Incoming calls from specific phone numbers can be blocked, meaning the dialer will receive an engaged tone and then disconnection, with no option to leave a message.

Numbers can be added to this blacklist from the incoming call register or the contacts database. Parents can also gain access to the list of blocked calls which have been received.

Locate, lock and wipe
SuperSafe's anti-theft feature means a phone or tablet can be located when lost, but it's also helpful when a parent wants to check on their child's location. It also means that, should a phone be stolen or lost, the phone can be locked and the data deleted remotely, meaning your childrens' personal information and photos can't fall into the wrong hands.

Our parental controls are password-based, which means they can't be circumvented by a tech-savvy child. Of course, the password should be strong and unique.

It's easy to activate parental controls on your internet security software. It only takes two minutes – but it will protect your child for years to come.

So install your SuperSafe today and you can get on with getting ready for Christmas without so much worry about what the kids are up to online.