Virgin Media to roll out ‘one click’ parental controls across Ireland

30 Oct 2015

Pictured at the launch of Virgin Media one click ‘Parental Controls’ was Mark Coan, Vice-President of Product, Sales and Marketing, Virgin Media Ireland with Brandon Noble (age 12) and Beau Rose Garrett (age 9) from Sandyford. Picture via Conor McCabe

Virgin Media, which has 20pc of the broadband market in Ireland, will on Monday roll out a new ‘one click’ opt-in parental control setting that blanket covers all devices in the home with age-appropriate content settings.

With one click, parents who want to restrict access to websites containing age-inappropriate content can do so and all smartphones, PCs, smart TVs and personal devices like iPod Touch media players will be restricted from accessing content that contains things like violence, hate, racism, adult and pornographic content.

When they wish to switch back to enabling access to restricted content they just flick the switch.

While preventing kids who often outwit parents when it comes to technology is a bit of a cat and mouse game, the opt-in service is aimed at giving parents of younger kids peace of mind.

Research conducted by Virgin Media found that 94pc of parents said they believe it is too easy for their children to view adult content online and 92pc expressed a desire to be able to restrict access to age-inappropriate content.

In August, UPC Ireland confirmed that all its operations, products and services will move to the new Virgin Media brand.

Peace of mind for parents

Virgin Media’s vice president of sales and marketing Mark Coan explained that the company has been cataloging content for over a year to ensure effectiveness.

“With our new service, parents will simply choose if they wish to opt-in and we will then automatically restrict any inappropriate content from all devices in the home.  It will be offered free to all our broadband customers and there is no need to set it up on each individual device in the home.

“Once Parental Controls has been activated, any device accessing internet content via Virgin Media’s home broadband service will have the controls automatically applied to it.”

The one-click tool was developed in partnership with Webroot, which develops intelligent endpoints and collective threat intelligence.

“Virgin Media is taking a proactive approach to help parents protect their children online,” said Scott Merkle, vice president of enterprise and strategic alliance at Webroot.

“As a leading Internet Service Provider in Ireland, they are in a unique position to provide parents with this peace of mind by leveraging robust intelligence from over 27 billion websites worldwide.  As a leading provider of threat intelligence services in the world, we are excited to be a strategic partner in Virgin Media’s launch of parental control services for fixed line broadband.”


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years