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Device Advice

Presents like tablets, phones and games can make Christmas special, but they come with risks. Be aware and give the gift of cyber-safety to your loved ones this Christmas.

Antivirus Protection helps keep your devices safe

Antivirus software protects devices like computers, laptops and tablets from harmful viruses - digital files that affect performance and steal private information. Although Windows devices come with Windows Defender as standard, Apple devices are usually seen as safer. However, no device is completely secure - we recommend installing a comprehensive antivirus package designed to protect you from different types of threats like viruses and malware. All good retailers sell antivirus protection, but many free products are available online from reputable websites. Take a few minutes to do some research a choose a package that suits your needs best. Whichever you choose, keep it up to date.

Most programmes have an option for automatic updates, and we recommend running a scan at least once a week. Remember to create back-up copies of important data, and delete any programmes or apps that you no longer use, to reduce the risk of infection.


Control Tools help you to keep your children safe

Control Tools are special programmes that allow you to monitor activity on devices that can access the internet, and restrict what content users - like your children - can access. There are many different types, available for free and to buy. They provide varying levels of control, from monitors and keyloggers that track all activity on a profile, to content filtering programmes, which block specific websites or types of website. It is possible to buy full packages that include several tools to give you maximum flexibility. For younger children, targetted web-browsers exist that fully control the content that can be accessed, ensuring all the sites they can visit are safe.

All of the latest games consoles and devices include free parental control options:

Android Phones/Devices

Sign in to the Play Store with a Google account. Access [Settings] from the menu, then [Parental Controls].

Android Settings

You can set the highest age rating for content that you are comfortable for your child to access. This places restrictions on the device, which work slightly differently depending on the type of content.

  • Applying parental controls to books prevents most sexually explicit books from the Play Store and Play Books apps being read or purchased.
  • Parental controls for music disable purchases for music that is marked as Explicit in the Play Store app. They don't change the music you can access from the Play Music app.
  • Setting up parental controls for TV programs allows you to control the age rating of shows that can be bought or played. Restricted programs aren't visible in the Play Store or Play Movies&TV app.
  • Parental controls for movies limit the movies that can be rented, watched, or bought, and hide restricted content in the Play Store and Play Movies apps.
  • In Play Games, parental controls don't change the games you see in the app, but do prevent you from installing unsuitable apps in the Play Store.


Apple Devices - iPad/iPhone

1. Access [Settings] > [General] > [Restrictions]

Apple Settings

2. Enter your current restrictions passcode. This is the same code used to lock and unlock your phone or tablet

3. Tap [Disable Restrictions], then reenter your passcode

4. Tap [Enable Restricitons]

Nintendo Switch

Through the App you can set limits to how long your children can play on their Nintendo Switch at one time, or in a single day. You can also restrict games above a particular age rating or containing certain types of content, such as violence or swearing. The App even allows you to set limits on the things they can do over the internet while using their Nintendo Switch, like sending photos or messages, accessing social media, or making purchases.

For further information about the Parental Controls App, please visit the Nintendo website here.​

Playstation Four (PS4)

  • Check the PEGI age rating of the game on its packaging or online.
  • To view the parental control level for a game on-screen, turn on the Playstation and select the game in the content area, press the OPTIONS button on the controller, and then select [Information].
  • When a game has age restions, the parental control level will appear in the [Parental Controls] field.
  • Use the table below to understand how PEGI age rating levels correspond to parental control levels.

PS4 parental control settings


Xbox One

  • Sign in to the adult's Microsoft account at Xbox.com
  • Under 'My Xbox', select 'Profile'
  • Select Privacy settings or online safety on Xbox One
  • Select the account you want to look at
  • Review the settings currently in place and update them
  • Save your changes on each tab before moving on