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ISPs Should Offer Network Parental Controls and Customers Should Demand It

Silviu Stahie

August 13, 2020

ISPs Should Offer Network Parental Controls and Customers Should Demand It

Parental Control is something that parents will eventually come to consider when their children start to interact with technology and the online world. Not only can ISPs help with that, but ISPs should consider offering extra features to its customers to stay ahead of the competition.

There was a time when the ISP's job was to offer Internet access to customers, and that was it. We're now living in a much more competitive world than just a couple of decades ago, and the number of ISPs has increased significantly. People have more choices, and they naturally look for companies that offer the best features.

It's no longer enough for ISPs to just offer Internet access, and this is a trend they have observed themselves. Some ISPs give customers new features like cloud space or free email accounts on their domains. But while cloud storage is still a good offering, options like email accounts are no longer attractive.

It turns out that ISPs can increase their value proposition in ways that would make them indispensable to customers. Of course, it's all good when tech-savvy customers understand network security and exploit prevention, but what about something more personal that helps parents keep their children safe? It's easy to put a price on features with abstract functions, but offering a service that lets parents easily manage their children's online activity is much more valuable, especially for clients.


Parental Control should not be scary


Sometimes, the term “Parental Control” might carry a negative connotation. Either people think it's challenging to set up or they think they limit or restrict the freedom of their children. Fortunately, neither of those statements are true.

First of all, setting up Parental Controls like those offered by Bitdefender is much easier than you might imagine. Most of the work is done automatically. It usually only requires someone to activate it. The information is pulled from the cloud, allowing a care-free experience. The human engagement with the software is required only to enforce some limits or to see a history of activities.

The second part of the equation is a lot more troublesome and should worry parents. A Bitdefender study showed that 10 percent of visitors to porn video sites are younger than 10 years old. And the percentage only increases with age. Most websites have age gates, but they rely on a visitor’s honesty to establish their age.

Parents can no longer afford to let their kids online unsupervised, even if it's only incognito and without any interactions or limitations. Knowing what children do online is paramount for their later development, and a solution that allows parents to protect their kids is welcome.


Parental Controls through ISPs is good for customers and companies alike


One feature that can easily increase customer loyalty is "Network Parental Controls." First of all, parents can set up web categories, usage restrictions for apps, and keep an eye out for their kids' online activities. It also offers parents a simple way to set up screen time from a network level, which means that it works on smart devices, like a game console or TV.

On the other side of the equation, children are free to do anything they want as long as they don't bump into the limitation set up by the parents and don’t try to access something that's already deemed inappropriate.

Bitdefender includes this feature in the IoT Security Platform - a software package that can integrate into the ISP technology stack. As the name implies, the technology comes with more security features, ranging from DDoS protection to exploit prevention, and much more. It's an all-in-one solution that encompasses security protection for customers and the equipment running inside an ISP's network.

Because of its light footprint, it works with existing hardware, and ISPs don't have to worry about development costs.

One of the core strengths of the Bitdefender IoT Security Platform is that it draws data from the Bitdefender Global Protective Network (GPN), the largest threat database in the world, so everything marked as inappropriate is blocked by default.

The kids' protection doesn't stop at identifying websites that are off limits. The technology also identifies dangerous URLs from social media and can analyze images for pornographic content if they ever load on a device, from web browsers, messaging apps or other sources.

Having on-hand parental controls makes it very difficult for a customer to look for another ISP, especially if those controls come with many other functions designed to protect a smart home. In that respect, the Bitdefender IoT Security Platform is a must-have for any telecom company looking to offer something of such tremendous value.


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Silviu Stahie

Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between. He's passionate about security and the way it shapes the world, in all aspects of life. He's also a space geek, enjoying all the exciting new things the Universe has to offer.

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