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Talk to Virgin Media about your internet habits and internet safety for your DCs - you could win an iPad Air! NOW CLOSED

(214 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 31-Oct-14 10:26:19

Virgin Media have asked us to find out out about Mumsnetters' internet habits, as well as internet safety for your DCs.

Virgin Media say "At Virgin Media we know that the online world offers loads of opportunities for kids to have fun, explore and learn new things. But there might also be some things that you’d rather your child didn’t see or do. The web's packed with fun and informative stuff for your kids to explore but, just like in the real world, there are things we all need to watch out for. Experts say that much of what you know about parenting in the real world also applies online, and at the end of the day, you know your kids best! So, we'd love to hear about how you and your children use the internet"

Below are a few points to get you started, but feel free to add any other comments you have:
- How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?
- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?
- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?
- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

Please note, Virgin Media may use your comments on social media and elsewhere, so please only comment if you're happy with this.

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Air (Space Grey, 16GB and Wi-Fi enabled).

Thanks, and good luck!
MNHQ

PS - Check out Virgin Media's exclusive offers for Mumsnetters here.

iwantavuvezela Fri 31-Oct-14 11:51:40

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online

My DD is 7 so I guess this will become more important as she becomes older. If she wants to look up You tube songs etc I am usually with her to make sure she chooses the correct one and not a "rude" version, but usually she is not online as such, but using pre-loaded games.

* How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?*

As she doesn't have her own device she uses mine, and she usually uses it in the sitting room or kitchen while I am pottering away. I liken it to the old telephones in my youth, when you had one central phone in the hallway and therefore most calls were moderated by your parents been around!

* Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?*

I think we went online, looked at a "package" deal that included phone, broadband and some free TV.

How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

I thought it wasn't important but do get irritated if it feels slow! however I have no idea what the speed means, although BT assure me that we have the fastest around!

ouryve Fri 31-Oct-14 12:47:40

DS1(10) uses the Internet mostly to read about, find information about and collect pictures about coins. He uses the desktop in our livingroom, so we can always see what he's up to. he has no interest in chatting, social media etc, so we have no worries, there.

I spend a lot of my online time here and on twitter, plus a few other forums, but I also use the Internet to keep up to date with news (Twitter helps with this and I have a list specifically of news, weather and traffic feeds in and around my own region and places I travel to regularly) and read about things I want to learn something about or look up knitting and sewing patterns and inspiration.

We actually do have fibre broadband. It only became available in our village in the past few months and it's wonderful in comparison to the flaky 1Mb ADSL connection we previously had. We don't have many willing providers in our area (and definitely no Virgin), so we've been with plusnet for over a decade and have had no issues with them.

CMOTDibbler Fri 31-Oct-14 12:54:00

-*How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?*
I think its about the same things - talking a lot, discussing what can happen and what you do, being very aware of what your children are doing
- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?
Ds is 8, so he doesn't have any unsupervised access. At first he was restricted to very limited websites with direct (ie adult eyes on it) supervision, now he has a little more freedom, but is limited to agreed channels on Youtube and knows that we check the history logs routinely. Our security software also emails us if he tries to access anything he's not allowed (and we have that really locked down), and if anything comes up we discuss why its not allowed - but he'll also get a ban.
- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?
Based on service, speed and customer service reviews.
- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?
Very as I work from home and do video conferencing and webinars. We have fibre optic which was a bit of a miracle in our small town

moomoo1967 Fri 31-Oct-14 13:29:16

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world?
To not take the short cut but to take the well lit route, DD is 14 so walks to and from school. To try to walk with friends, to not use her phone walking along so that she can concentrate on what is going on around her nor use her headphones. Online, not to add anyone on any app or social media that she doesn't know in RL, the same as she wouldn't talk to anyone she doesn't know in RL

How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?
They have had the IT sessions at school about internet awareness and I monitor her apps and social media regularly.

Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?
Cost(ie Virgin charge for equipment installation, Sky don't if you get an offer and the reason why I chose Sky to take my broadband and TV with not Virgin) and speed of usage were the main factors, I do check out reviews and personal recommendations, I usually purchase online via Topcashback.

* How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?*

Speed is very important as we both use out WIFI connection on our phones as well as laptops, and yes I know what speed I get but am not sure about fibre optic.

forago Fri 31-Oct-14 13:51:33

- How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?

Think the general principle about think before you act works in both. So with my 9 year old I suppose I am trying to gently introduce the idea that you shouldn't necessarily trust what strangers say, and to check with a trusted adult if worried.

- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?

They don't need any help tbh! Their generation already know that you can "google it" and all about social media, internet shopping etc.

- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?

When we moved to a Virgin area I switched to Virgin because I work in IT and am a power user so fast broadband and HD TV were my priority so Virgin was the obvious choice, at the time. I also like to be able to set safe settings on the WiFi router for all devices in the house. I always buy online or over the phone.

- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

Very important, we have recently upgraded to 150MB. I am aware the virgin is the only separate infrastructure in the UK for broadband and that everyone else uses BT infrastructure. 100MB is a minimum for our household and I wouldn't switch below this, though I do think Virgin is becoming too expensive and the value for money is dropping as the other service providers upgrade and are starting to offer faster speeds.

Overall I am pretty happy with mine and my children's experience of the online world. My only major concern, now that my eldest will soon have his own devices, is how to protect them from inappropriate content at other peoples houses. I know they are protected by Virgin web sense or whatever its called at home, google safe search, pins etc that I have implemented at home. And I know their school uses an appropriate commercial content filterimg system. But I am very worried about many of their friends houses where the parents aren't very tech savvy and have complete open WiFi access to the internet. I have had their friends over for sleepovers who bring their tablets and ask me for our household wifi password, and have complete access at home. I feel annoyed really that I and their school are protecting them and making things age appropriate but that, in all reality, my DC will very probably be exposed to hardcore porn or violence on one of their friends devices, and I don't really know what to do about it.

thornrose Fri 31-Oct-14 14:01:10

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?

Lots of talking and being very open about potential dangers but keeping it in perspective. Same in real life as online.

How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?

Parental controls, not using the internet unsupervised, as in alone in their bedroom (until they are teens!) Again, a lot of open communication/discussion and reminders of how to be responsible online.

Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?

I am with Virgin grin I was previously with Sky but your TiVo adverts tempted me to move to Virgin when I moved house. I did it all online and chose a package which included broadband, tv and landline.

How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

Speed is relatively important but to be honest cost is a big consideration too. I don't know much about fibre optic broadband. I was offered it but I am happy enough with my internet speed. DD and I tend to browse, play games etc and it's fast enough for us.

lilyloo Fri 31-Oct-14 14:19:36

I would like to think that dc apply the same rules such as not talking to strangers , if they had any problems they can share them with us even if they are worried of the consequences.

We have parental controls on the internet and the laptop stays downstairs on the table so we can always see what they are accessing.

We got our broadband deal online , dp was working from home so we needed a fast broadband and it was business use. We did have sky TV but cancelled it as it became to expensive. We do use the internet a lot more since we only have freebies TV.

A fast broadband speed was more important when do worked from home not so much now. We do however have up to 5 of us using the internet on phones , iPods and the laptop so it needs to be able to handle that.

I have no idea what fibre optic broadband is , do generally sorts out our internet / TV packages.

Ds 12 does have a play station and despite me thinking he does have good safety knowledge he did get duped into giving out his password to someone pretending to be a school friend for FIFA coins. Luckily I don't connect any cards to his play station as a form of payment as that would have been an expensive lesson for ds. He was dreadfully upset at someone stealing his players and it was a harsh lesson in online safety.

Upandatem Fri 31-Oct-14 14:40:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Fri 31-Oct-14 22:12:56

I help the children to stay safe by keeping them as informed as I know how. Thankfully they lean a lot at school too. This applies to both real life and internet rules. An open dialogue is the key.

We are open about the fact that the internet is a wonderful thing as long as it is used properly, but they are aware of the many pitfalls.

Internet speed is important but we are unfortunate in that our rural location has very slow broadband, with no fibre optic for years to come. When we changed our provider we went for the only one that could offer unlimited broadband in our area (BT) but even so don't even get the speed we should.

I wish we could get the full Virgin Media package, I'd cancel Sky and BT like a shot, but we're kind of held to ransom here in the deep South-West!

TyneTeas Fri 31-Oct-14 22:57:43

(DH has contributed to the larger part of this reply)

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?

Our daughter is 10 years old, but from an early age she's been aware of the internet and how to be safe online. In a similar way to not talking to strangers in the real world. She has her own tablet of which I have activated an app that monitors her access and also only gives her access to a whitelist of sites. Anything untoward is highlighted and we can either give her access or deny it. We also have parental controls via Virgin Media as another level of protection, but to be honest, this is quite easy to circumnavigate or sometimes doesn't work. She doesn't give her email address out to anyone, and there are time and app restrictions put in place. She is unable to make in-app purchases as her account requires a password that only we know. It also requires a PIN to unlock the device, again something only we know. This is changed on a regular basis. We did have to have words with her a while ago when instead of ignoring, junking and deleting unsolicited emails she took to replying telling them off...

How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?

Currently she only uses the internet to find out information about certain aspects of her interests. She uses YouTube and Google to find out about Minecraft, Phineas and Ferb, and Gravity Falls. When she does become obsessive about a particular programme we talk to her about it, and we always make sure that she knows that real life is more important. If she chooses her tablet over something in real life then the tablet is taken from her for a set number of hours or days. She learned pretty quickly that if she does prioritise the device she looses the right to use it. She doesn't have access to Twitter or Facebook, but even though she's aware of the practice of 'Trolling' and some of their outcomes, she doesn't leave online comments. Furthermore her school run classes on the subject of online safety, which is something we talk about with her.

Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision?

The technology being offered by Sky was being surpassed by TiVo on VM, plus we already had the phone and internet connection through VM so we changed over. So far I've not seen anything that Sky can produce that TiVo is not doing already.

Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?

I did read a few reviews before we made the decision, which confirmed what technical knowledge I had on the system, and we changed over by calling the customer service line.

How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

Very important. We're on the highest speed currently, and we have just changed over to a dual band router as the conventional band was getting crowded in our area, and most of our devices connect to the 5ghz which was clear.

sanfairyanne Sat 01-Nov-14 08:58:25

we definitely need superfast unlimited broadband. kids are youtubing, xboxing, tv watching, doing homework on computer in different rooms at same time

wrt online safety we talk about how you have an online 'persona' and dont give out info. school does a good job of this too

WowOoo Sat 01-Nov-14 10:24:59

We have recently spoken a lot about safety on the internet. My son was incredibly naive.
We have parental controls set up. The computer is in full view also - no sneaking off with an iPad to the bedroom allowed. They tend to use the desktop computer.
Our friends recommended our current package and we also did some research on the best deal.
Internet speed is important to me. I stayed with friends who had very slow broadband. It was so frustration. I suppose you get used to it being fast.

flamingtoaster Sat 01-Nov-14 12:41:39

- How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online? Once the DC went online we explained that not talking to strangers online was just as important as in real life and that people might not be what they seem. When DD joined Facebook she only added people she knew well in real life.

- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet? The computers have always been in a room where we are all in and out, we discussed how to stay safe online (and, of course, avoid viruses which reduces fun time on the computer while it is "cleaned".

- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store? We were NTL which was taken over by Virgin Media. Reliability has been great so we have never changed.

- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband? Speed is important - with four of us online and DS doing University work.

HappySunflower Sat 01-Nov-14 13:07:36

I have parental controls set up which means that I can choose what sites my daughter can use and can filter those I'm not keen on her having access to.

She already has a grasp of the fact that we don't just use the internet to download stuff and play games- we look things up and do lots of finding out together as well.

I choose the deal using information (found online, ironically) regarding the best deals. I do chat to friends and family as well. I had fibre optic broadband at a good speed in my last property and it was great, but sadly Virgin can't provide a service in my area just yet, though I've been told it is on its way.
Speeds are quite important to me as I work from home so like being able to do several things at one. Current speed allows me to download stuff to my set top box which runs totally off broadband, as well as to web browse as well.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 01-Nov-14 14:05:25

How do you help your DCs be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?

I firmly believe that one of the most absurd, yet oft trotted out adages to children is the whole stranger-danger myth. It's NOT going to be some random man in the street who presents a danger to our children, and equally it's NOT going to be a faceless profile on a social media site who tries to befriend them.

If a child is going to be abused or murdered in the real world, then 9 times out of 10 it's going to be by someone they know/a member of their own family.

So, no, you can't apply that to the internet really, except to reinforce with children that they shouldn't allow themselves to get involved in anything online led by peer pressure. Whatsapp groups set up to bully others for instance is a widespread phenomenon, and lots of children probably feel they have to take part, or risk being ostracised themselves.

I think the only thing we can do as parents is make sure we do something. Too many parents use the computer as a babysitter/in house entertainer, in much the same way that previously they used the telly.

Lots of talking, open communication, and impressing upon children (without the silly talk of bogey men and paedophiles looking at us through webcams) that the internet is a monster, a monster created by man and will be what we make of it. Be that good or bad.

My dd is 11, and tbh, tends to still play Animal Jam more than anything else. There are no computers in bedrooms in our house, so I know at all times what she's doing on it. The biggest trouble kids get into online (and I speak as a teacher) are when they are let loose with something they cannot understand the gravity of. The internet is a black hole of information (and isn't something like 97% of it total and utter bollocks?) and kids need guiding round it.

We also must impress upon them that something written takes on far greater severity than something spoken. It stays. In another class at dd's school, all the parents were hauled in for a talk on keeping an eye on their children on the internet, following lots of bullying, photoshopped images etc.

I was pleased that a few weeks ago, one of dd's schoolmates sent a whatsapp message saying "the Spanish teacher has a big bum" and dd was so horrified she rushed to me saying "wipe it off wipe it off in case I called in front of the head". So she gets that you don't go around slagging people off.

How do you help your DCs make the most of the online world? And become safe and responsible users?

By helping her to find sites that are a)interesting b) suitable. Too often the two do NOT go hand in hand. We do research for homework, she looks things up, she uses Animal Jam, Pottermore, other sites like that. How to become safe/responsible? - covered that above.

Last time you were choosing broadband/tv, how did you choose? The company called us and made a good offer.

How important is internet speed? Not much. No gaming or streaming goes on here, really. Do you know what speed? Nope. Fibre optic broadband- heard of it, but don't know what it is. We might even have it for all I know. grin

GoldfishSpy Sat 01-Nov-14 15:22:38

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?
We make sure we know who they spend time with. They are only 5 now, but when they are on facebook etc as teenagers we will apply the same.

- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?
Google things they are interested in, play educational games. We have high levels of security on the computer and they only use it in our sight.

- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?
Online. Based on price.

- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

We live very rurally and superfast broadband has just become available. We will definitely buy into it as we have no TV so use the internet a lot.

Dolallytats Sat 01-Nov-14 15:50:51

- How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?
DS is only 6 and DD is 1 so at the moment I always know where they are, who with and for how long. This can be applied online, for the most part, by making sure they are in the same room as me when using the computer. My other DD is 21 and when they are teens and above it is a lot harder, especially with smartphones.
- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?
We generally only use well known sites and have good online security on the computer. I will, as they get older, be teaching them about not adding people they don't know on to Facebook, talking online to strangers and sending photos etc. It can all be quite worrying and difficult when they get to the 'know it all' stage.
- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?
My broadband was recommended by other family member and I bought this over the phone. I don't pay for a TV package, we have Freeview. We don't have the money for TV packages!!
- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?
I'm a little bit stupid when it comes to things like internet speed. I have no idea what mine is, what it should be or what fibre optic is.

FinDeSemaine Sat 01-Nov-14 17:10:05

- How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world? Can this be applied online?

I teach her to check with me before she does anything she thinks could be risky. As she is insanely cautious, there is a lot of checking but rather this than she doesn't check and does something dangerous. She is 8 so uses the laptop in the same room as me so I am always around to check on what she is up to (as I am in the rest of her life, or another responsible adult). We have parental controls on all the laptops in the house (much the same way we don't feel the need to have porn or violent DVDs lying around for children to notice) and I teach her to use her common sense both in the real world and online. If something seems dodgy in some way, your instincts are trying to tell you something.

- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet?

I suppose as above, really. We use computers as a tool for research and for entertainment mainly (watching DVDs etc). I do tell her that there is stuff that she would not like to see on the internet so to stick to sites pre-approved by me. As she is still scared of some actual children's telly, she finds this completely believable.

- Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?

Online recommendations, speed tests in the local area, previous experience. Bought online. We bought TV and internet from different suppliers in the end as I wasn't happy with the speeds available from our TV supplier.

- How important is the speed of internet in your household? Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? What do you know about fibre optic broadband?

Very important. I work from home a lot in a tech area so it needs to be fast and completely reliable. I know what our speed is. So far, we have not found fibre optic broadband necessary (but it is available in our area so I might be interested in the future, I do know what it is).

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 01-Nov-14 21:14:24

My biggest advice to dd is to never ever give her own name, town or school out. She's a teen so with guidance she needs to gradually take responsibility for her own Internet safety. We do talk about cyber bullying and she talks to me about her friends own encounters. With teens real world interactions blend in with online interactions.

Broadband speed is important to me, but upload speed as well as download. A reliable service is more important though.

saintlyjimjams Sat 01-Nov-14 22:05:52

My younger DS' (9&12) play things like minecraft & roblox - only talking on Skype to people they know.

My 12 year old is starting to use things like snapchat. As he's young I'm allowed to see any social media. Obviously as he gets older this will change - but I feel this has been a good move - we've been able to talk about issues as they've arisen.

Broadband speed very important!

avidlounger Sun 02-Nov-14 03:18:00

How do you help your DC(s) be responsible and stay safe in the real world talking to them, showing them stuff on the news, problem solving exercises, consequences for unsafe or irresponsible behaviour, praise and rewards for better behaviour
Can this be applied online? harder but to a certain extent
- How do you help your DC(s) make the most of the online world, and become a safe and responsible user(s) of the internet? talk to them, show them examples of dangers, helping them find safe alternatives, parental controls
-*Last time you were choosing your broadband and TV services, how did you make your decision? Was it based on things like recommendations from friends or family, or reviews? Did you buy online, over the phone or go into a store?* online and just got the one which was cheapest and able to be supplied (sky)
-*How important is the speed of internet in your household?* very Do you know what your broadband speeds allows you? up to 20mps What do you know about fibre optic broadband? is more efficient than telephone data wires?

RubySparks Sun 02-Nov-14 07:45:21

Keep them safe online by having play station and home computer in a small TV room next to kitchen and by everyone being in and out of the room and able to see what they are doing. Talk about social media and what not to say and do - I went to a ceops event to bring myself up to date and I'm also on facebook myself to be able to monitor some of what they do.

As they get older it is becoming less of an issue and much like everything else I have to hope I've communicated how to behave to them.

We have BT broadband and the speed is dire, no infinity available here. We will be switching soon due to high costs of BT but speed won't be any better! No cable here.

Moogdroog Sun 02-Nov-14 10:12:05

My Dcs dint really go online yet, apart from ocassionaly clicking the wrong thing on an app. I do dread the day when they do though, so am eagerly looking for best practice to ensure they are safe.
We recently changed provider and did so based in price, but had limited choice as we're in a fairly rural area. Speed is important as we watch lots of streamed tv. Fibre optic hasn't reached us yet though.

theHowlatWooooooCorner Sun 02-Nov-14 11:28:03

DD is still at an age where she won't do anything without checking with a responsible adult that its OK to do so. But I know this will very soon change and that I need to set parental controls on my phone, tablet etc.
She only uses the internet while I or DH are present.
We want to let her explore more, and encourage her to research homework, hobbies etc.
I haven't a clue about broadband. That's one responsibility I delegate to DH.

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