TalkTalk launches network-level security protection

TalkTalk launches network-level security protection

Summary: Residential customers will automatically be protected from online threats if they opt in to TalkTalk's HomeSafe security service

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TOPICS: Broadband, Security
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Internet service provider TalkTalk has launched a network-level security service for its home broadband customers.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk has launched a network-level security service for its home broadband customers. Photo credit: Mark Hillary/Flickr

The service, called HomeSafe, uses a blocklist system to alert TalkTalk customers if they are connecting to a web page infected with malware. It also provides parental control tools to stop minors from accessing inappropriate content.

HomeSafe works by scanning the network's traffic and assigning websites to a whitelist or blacklist. The lists are recorded in temporary memory and are permanently deleted every 24 hours, a company spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Monday.

The company said it provides more comprehensive protection from web-borne threats than stand-alone products that run on an individual system as it protects any device registered on the network, including mobile phones, tablets and games consoles.

"This is especially important now that children are regularly using devices like phones, and not just the main family PC, to access the internet. Our research found that 33 percent of children aged 12-17 use their mobile phones to surf social-networking sites and 29 percent use it to instant message when at home," Tristia Clarke, commercial director of TalkTalk, said in a statement.

As well as alerting users to the potential threat from viruses and malware, HomeSafe provides KidsSafe parental controls that parents can use to block gambling, pornographic or violent websites. There is also a feature called Homework Time, which allows parents to block social-networking and gaming sites in the hope that it will help them focus on their homework.

Of course, it's not a silver bullet and it doesn't absolve parents from the responsibility of knowing what their children are up to online. But our research shows parents understand this.

– Tristia Clarke, TalkTalk

However, TalkTalk said the service is not a catch-all for online security.

"Of course, it's not a silver bullet and it doesn't absolve parents from the responsibility of knowing what their children are up to online. But our research shows parents understand this. They don't want their ISP to control what content they can or can't access online — they just want their ISP to give them the power to implement settings that are right for their family," Clarke said.

The feature is turned off by default but customers can choose which settings to switch on and off as they wish through the MyAccount portal, the company said.


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Topics: Broadband, Security

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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5 comments
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  • It would be nice if talk talk broadband would actually work. This is the fourth day in a row my emails are not working. What is going on.
    sandrainnorwich
  • This is all well and good when systems work as they should. What happens when they (inevitably) detect a 'false positive' and block a legitimate site? This also does not take into account that TalkTalk's services are renowned for being shoddy at best. When I was signed up with them, the service was extremely poor. Websites would take an age to load, which would now be possibly increased further by another step in the chain - you typing the address, and it needing to pass a filtered list before being allowed to load. The DSL would regularly drop, every two / three hours. Not only this but the technical support was terrible already. They would not take notes, and you'd be passed through to an Indian call centre, going through a scripted list, even after the fourth, or fifth call back about the same issue. Adding more technology outside the customers control will simply complicate this even further. I would suggest to them to get their existing systems working before trying to implement new, possibly illegal ones.
    Wraith1980
  • Never had any problems with TalkTalk ADSL broadband - excellent value for money. Network-level security is the way to go.
    anonymous
  • Talk Talk were listed as the most complained about ISP by Oftcom. ( http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/71dff626-6c0c-11e0-b36e-00144feab49a.html) Just because you have had no problems with them does not make them 'excellent value for money' to others :)

    Network Level Security is certainly NOT the way to go. It's intrusive, and infinges your privacy, and may be illegal (http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2043827/content-filtering-illegal-europe). Net Neutrality is the way to go.
    Wraith1980
  • @Andre Talk Talk are very good at being very bad. Do some research. If your limited service requirements have been serviced to your satisfaction by Talk Talk then good for you, perhaps your expectations are low enough to begin with.
    343491