Family Friendly Filters

What are filters?

In general terms, filters are computer programs designed to limit access to certain types of content on the internet.

Filters operate in different ways, and different filters will be better suited to different operating environments and age groups. More information about filters and staying safe online can be obtained from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

It is important to note that the use of filters is not mandatory in Australia, either under law or Industry Codes. Users can choose whether or not to install filters, and if and when to activate them. Similarly, ISPs are not required to filter or monitor internet traffic. However, Communications Alliance recognises that some families find filters a useful addition to direct parental supervision, and for that reason supports their availability.

What is the “Family Friendly Filter” program?

There are a lot of filters available on the internet which may work for your family.

To specifically qualify for Family Friendly Filter status and be listed on this page, a filter must undergo rigorous independent testing to ensure that it meets the criteria as set out in the relevant Industry Code.

These include effectiveness, ease of use, configurability, availability of support and agreement by the filter company providing the filter to update the filter as required by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, for example where the Office determines following a complaint that a specified site is prohibited under Australian law.

Classes of accredited Family Friendly Filters

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has 4 levels of classification for certified filters:

  • These filters block websites on the eSafety Commissioner’s Prohibited URL Filter (PUF) list, and are recommended for 18+ years of age
  • Class 1: Recommended for children over 15 years of age
  • Class 2: Recommended for children between 10 and 15 years of age
  • Class 3: Recommended for children under 10 years of age

Accredited Filters

All filter products are eligible to apply for Family Friendly Filter status. Upon application filters are independently tested by Enex TestLab.

The below filters have been tested and certified to be a “Family Friendly Filter.

Communications Alliance and Enex TestLab are seeking additional filter providers for certification. If you are interested, please contact Enex TestLab at (03) 9436 7454 or enquiries@testlab.com.au.

NameNorton Family Premier
Class of accreditationRecommended for children over 15 years of age (accreditation class 1)
Version3.6.4.71
ManufacturerSymantec
Date CertifiedOctober 2017

NameFamily Zone
Class of accreditationRecommended for children under 10 years of age and older (accreditation class 3)
ManufacturerFamily Zone
Date CertifiedJuly 2018

Name

Australian Private Networks

APN provides its filter as part of its suite of telecommunications services.

Class of accreditationRecommended for children over 15 years of age (accreditation class 1)
ManufacturerAustralian Private Networks
Date CertifiedJune 2018
 

Staying safe online

Filters are only one tool that can be used to encourage safe internet access. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides a range of information, tools and educational material for parents and schools. The Office also offers help with and accepts complaints regarding cyber bullying and offensive and illegal content.

Additionally, your internet provider may have tools or information available to you.

Some examples are below:

Internet Service Provider
Support
FOXTEL
Setting up parental controls for Foxtel Broadband:
https://www.foxtel.com.au/support/broadband/wifi-modem/parental-controls.html
iiNetOverview: https://www.iinet.net.au/about/legal/filtering/

Provides specific lesson plans targeted at distinct age groups, available on iiNet's website: https://www.iinet.net.au/about/community/learn/cyber-safety/
Optus

Information for Optus customers on cybersafety and cybersecurity is available at: http://www.optus.com.au/internetsecurity.

In addition, Optus runs two separate cybersafety programs in schools: Digital Thumbprint and Kids Helpline @ School. Both of these programs are certified by the eSafety Commissioner’s office, and details can be found at: https://kidshelpline.com.au/schools/sessions-optus-digital-thumbprint and https://kidshelpline.com.au/schools/kids-helpline-school.

Telstra
Various resources for children and young people are available on Telstra's website, including information on personal mobile safety: https://www.telstra.com.au/consumer-advice/cyber-safety

Telstra’s Mobile Protect helps customers set parental controls and restrict usage on mobile devices on their post-paid account: https://www.telstra.com.au/support/category/mobiles-tablets/user-guides-help/telstra-mobile-protect

Telstra’s Broadband Protect helps protect devices connected to Telstra’s home broadband service from websites hosting known malicious content, scams or viruses by blocking those websites at the Telstra network: https://www.telstra.com.au/broadband/extras/broadbandprotect

Through Telstra Foundations partners, PROJECT ROCKET and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Telstra helps connect young people and library users with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

This includes through eSmart libraries with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, launched in 2012, which will better equip 1,500 public libraries across the country and support library users with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology. This $8 million, multi-year partnership is one of the most significant community cyber-safety programs ever undertaken in Australia: https://www.esmart.org.au/esmart-libraries/
TPG
General information about online safety:
https://www.tpg.com.au/about/online_safety.php
Vodafone
http://www.vodafone.com.au/about/sustainability/cyber-safety
http://www.vodafone.com.au/about/sustainability/digital-parenting
http://www.vodafone.com.au/about/sustainability/cyber-bullying