How to use Plusnet SafeGuard
Using Plusnet Safeguard
What's Plusnet SafeGuard?
Plusnet SafeGuard is our online Parental Control tool. If you're worried about what your children can see online, you can use SafeGuard to help prevent access to inappropriate content. This can include sites with adult content, gambling, violence and the threat of cyber bullying through messaging and social media. Check our Internet safety jargon buster to understand the kind of cyber threats your children can also be exposed to.
Even if you're using SafeGuard, we strongly recommend parents and guardians supervise their children's activities where possible, to ensure they're acting responsibly online and don't over-share information to others. For maximum protection we strongly advise to also install a device based solution. For more details on protecting your family please see our guide to staying safe online or www.internetmatters.org.
How does it work?
When you start using Plusnet SafeGuard, we'll make a change in our network that means if you, or someone in your household tries to access content that you've asked to be blocked, you'll be shown a 'blocked' page in your browser.
Will you track what I look at on the Internet?
No, we won't record what you do online. When you or your children use the Internet, we'll check your list of Allowed and Blocked websites to make sure no inappropriate content is shown.
How do I access the service?
Once your broadband service is ready, you can activate and manage Plusnet SafeGuard via the Plusnet SafeGuard control panel in the Member Centre. Here you can block specific categories and websites that you don't want to see.
What's my username and password?
It's the same username and password you use to log in to the Member Centre. You'll have chosen these when you joined Plusnet.
- If you've forgotten your username take a look at the letter we sent when you first signed up with us. You should find it on there.
- If it's your password you can't remember fill out our forgotten password form and we'll send you details on how to reset it.
How do I turn Plusnet SafeGuard on or off?
Once your broadband service is ready, go to the Plusnet SafeGuard control panel and click the ON/OFF button at the top of the screen.
Next, switch your router off and on again. After 2 hours, Plusnet SafeGuard will start filtering content.
If you want to switch it off, follow the same steps and after 2 hours you'll be able to browse as normal.
How do I block content or websites?
Plusnet SafeGuard lets you block content in two ways:
- Category blocking – this means you can block groups of sites with similar content. Pornography, Hate & Intolerance and Tasteless categories are blocked as standard but you can change this at any time
- Website blocking – you can add a specific website's URL that you want to be blocked, e.g. to block Facebook just click on 'Blocked websites' and enter facebook.com into the address box (you don't need to type 'http' or 'www.' before the address). You can add up to 30 individual websites to your blocklist
How do I allow access to a safe site that's been blocked by SafeGuard?
You can do this by adding the address to your Allow Websites list. You might want to do this if:
- you never want a certain site to be blocked
- a website has been blocked under a specific category, but you believe its content is safe
- a specific website address has been incorrectly blocked by the filter and you want to allow access to it
You can have up to 30 allowed websites.
Can I set up Plusnet SafeGuard to filter at specific times?
Yes, Plusnet SafeGuard includes a Timer function that means protection is only in place when it needs to be, e.g. on when the kids are awake but off in the evening when you want to go online.
Simply set the times when you want the filters to be active and save your changes, and content will be filtered during these times every day.
Will it work on my mobile phone or tablet?
Yes, as long as your device is connected to your Plusnet router and accesses the Internet through the Wi-Fi connection.
- Websites viewed in the browser will be filtered like they are on your computer or laptop
- Apps that use the web to access blocked content may not work properly
If your device accesses the Internet via a mobile network (3G/4G) SafeGuard won't work.
Can I use Plusnet SafeGuard and Plusnet Protect together?
Yes. They offer different protection. Plusnet SafeGuard only protects over your fibre or broadband connection and doesn't offer the virus or malware protection that Plusnet Protect does, so it's a good idea to use both.
I've switched on Plusnet SafeGuard – why isn't it working?
You need to reboot your router and allow a couple of hours for SafeGuard to start working.
If you've done the above, you may need to clear your browser cache - sometimes web pages are stored locally (cached), giving the impression that the content is still accessible when it's actually blocked.
SafeGuard can only work if you're using Plusnet DNS servers, so if you've changed these (either on your router settings or computer) try changing it back. For more on this see About DNS server and website settings.
If that hasn't helped, get in touch with us.
Why am I getting blocked from websites that should be allowed?
Adding the page to your Allowed Websites list should sort this out.
Why can I still see blocked content on Google?
Google uses caching to help return search results quickly. Basically this means they copy the information from its source onto Google's own servers. The content is then classified as Google rather than its original source.
You might also want to switch on time filters for appropriate parts of the day.
There's more information and advice on helping younger children get the most from the Internet on www.internetmatters.org.
Why am I seeing a blank page or connection error on my browser?
This could be because the site's blocked and the content of the page is encrypted using https (some browsers show this type of address with a padlock).
Plusnet SafeGuard will block the page, but due to the secure nature of https you would see a blank screen or "connection error", rather than being shown a block page.
Can SafeGuard affect other software or equipment I'm using?
When Plusnet SafeGuard is active on your account all your traffic passes through Plusnet's DNS platform, this ensures that filters are applied to all devices. In most cases this won't be noticeable, but occasionally some devices and software might experience a problem or error.
If you think this may be causing a problem, try turning off Plusnet SafeGuard temporarily:
- turn the service off via the SafeGuard control panel
- then switch your router off and on again
Why aren't my Blocked Sites working?
Plusnet SafeGuard will try to match as much of the web address as possible. How well this works can depend on how you enter the address.
e.g. if you add www.website.com to your block list:
- Browsing to www.website.com exactly matches the address on your list and will be blocked
- Browsing to m.website.com doesn't match the entry on your list and won't be blocked
To make sure a website is always blocked, add it to your list without the prefix.
e.g. if you add website.com to your block list:
- Browsing to all areas of website.com will be blocked - www.website.com, m.website.com etc
I've allowed a specific webpage, but the whole website is visible – why is this?
Plusnet SafeGuard works at a website level, so it's not possible to allow or block specific pages of a website. If you add a webpage or URL to the Allow Websites list, it'll open the whole website.