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Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Townman
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.


@adamskirton wrote:

At a time when young people are suffering severe mental health issues, committing horrendous crimes and even committing suicide due to accessing inappropriate online content, protecting families should be the priority for internet providers.

Rev Adam Skirton

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Duplicate posts removed as per Forum Rules.

... and where does parental responsibility to supervise internet use by their children end and becomes something to be abdicated to someone else?

No technology "protection" can ever be 100% reliable against all risks and it takes very little technical knowledge to defeat the functionality of any ISP provided safeguarding.  All it takes is just a little configuration tweak on their individual piece of IT and the safeguarding people appear to want to so fundamentally depend upon is totally nullified ... and that has nothing to do with what ISPs can or cannot do, for they do not control the configuration of user's laptops / tablets / mobile phones.

The right place for safeguarding is on the device and the use of the device being at all times supervised.  That is why safeguarding is something which needs to be owned by parents at all times.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

daggermonkey
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

@Townman I'm sure that many parents like myself are simply using Safeguard as one tool in their toolkit of protection. That's not abdicating your parental responsibility. Plusnet offer a service, I use that service, when the service fails I don't expect to have to change to a different service, I expect my service provider to resolve it. I appreciate as an IT professional that tech savvy children can work around it if they can work out how. That doesn't mean Plusnet can allow the service to fail and not inform anyone. 

tywrshbsc
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

@daggermonkey

I agree.  I don't expect safeguard to do much more than reduce the chance of accidentally clicking on something unpleasant.  I don't expect it to be perfect and I certainly don't expect it to stop teenagers intent on viewing porn.

I'm more disappointed with Plusnet's customer relations and internal communication failure than the technical failure.  Well over a month after this was reported by several customers, Plusnet has made no attempt to warn others and is still fobbing us off with different excuses.

I thought I was finally getting somewhere when I got through to someone who didn't just tell me to switch it off and on again or blame me for not having a Plusnet router.  However, this is last official response I had, on 13th April, exactly a month ago:

 

Good afternoon

We are awaiting an update from our safeguarding team. The relevant information has been logged with them under task INFOPS-50672.

Once this has been done we will contact you accordingly.

 Still waiting for an update, never mind an actual solution.

adamskirton
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Thanks for your reply @Townman

I'm sure it is easy for techies to defeat Plusnet's Safeguard ... and we're not totally depending on Plusnet ... but the statistics show that the majority of first exposures to internet porn and other 'nasties' are accidental

It is unpleasant for us as adults to have inappropriate content appear on our screens following innocent searches ... and it can be lifechanging, in a very harmful way, for children. 

If you look at the Online Safety Bill, as announced in the Queens speech this week you will see the sort of fines that will be levied on companies in the future for such incidents. How much is 10% of Plusnet's turnover?

I take offense at you trying to blame parents for a breach in contract by Plusnet. This is the sort of lack of concern for the safety of children and slowness in action, that could lead to big penalties in the future.

Plusnet have a duty of care to protect children not bully parents.

Townman
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Plusnet is not bullying anyone.  I am like you a customer and am equally entitled to express an opinion in an open forum.

The Queen's speech and the measures government propose are not the panacea people who do not understand, hope that they might be.  It sounds good, it looks like something is being done - let's pass the responsibility to ISPs so we do not have to supervise and discipline our kids - but is is a false and empty hope, one that is sure to fail to meet expectations.  Technology can only block content that has been clearly graded.

Expecting ISP delivered safeguarding to block access to "inappropriate" content, is not unlike expecting gun laws to stop gun crime.  Gun laws only limit the behaviour of law abiding persons.

Similarly safe guarding services can only block what has been marked as "adult" (or other rated) content.  So - not intending to be overly provocative - if your church website held potentially offensive content, which was not rated appropriately, no level of technology safeguarding would block its delivery into a "safe guarded" environment.

Safe guarding technology does not "look" at an image and then by some technological marvel determine that it is "inappropriate".  Much like film censorship, content needs to be classified by the content creator, then safeguarding technology can filter out "inappropriate" content as determined by the user's settings.  If the content is not classified it cannot be filtered.

Do you really think that all purveyors of potentially "inappropriate" content mark their material appropriately?

Please read the following - Content-control software - Wikipedia - take particular note of the sections "DNS-based filtering" (as far as I know this is what Plusnet implements), "Content labelling" which clarifies the essentialness of content labelling and "Bypassing filters" which explains how safeguarding measures might be defeated.

You might find this detailed reference to how websites should specify their site's content rating so as to aid effective content classification - meta name = rating | How do I use the metatag Rating? (metatags.org) - I note with interest that the Poulner Baptist Chapel's website offers no content rating at all, not even "safe for kids".

 

Hence my firm position that sound safeguarding is a parental responsibility which can never be abdicated to technology, which by its very nature technology is imperfect - we both know that only God is perfect.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Townman
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

PS: How did you determine that it was "not working"?

Did you find you could access content which you considered to be "inappropriate"?

Were you able to determine that said content was in fact rated appropriate for its content and therefore should have been blocked?

How do you know that it is still broken?

 

There is a danger that somethings become a cause celeb, a drum to be beaten and to point blame to somewhere it does not lay.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

adamskirton
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Thanks for your detailed response @Townman

I agree with the vast majority of what you say. Certainly, parents are not to abdicate responsibility … but I still believe Plusnet could and should have acted quicker in dealing with this. I also feel that some of us have felt fobbed off and even bullied over the last 6 weeks and in recent years. And also ponder whether Plusnet should have informed parents  that what some where partly relying on was not in fact working.

I could have easily left Plusnet over this matter, as I did a few years ago. But reading the threads I’m sure you, like me, have got a sense of the pain and feelings of helplessness expressed by parents simply wanting to protect their children. And hence I made my first venture into a chat forum like this!

In your experience could you advise as to the best way of parents protecting our children …  can you recommend particular companies / websites? Many parents, myself included, are not very tach savvy,

Thanks too for the heads up on our church website about how we can add  content rating… I will ask our team to check this out 😊

The good news is … I’m told that the problem is now fixed!!

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

This is indeed fixed and @JonoH has posted Here with some detail about what the problem was.

Really sorry for the issues we've had with the service and how we've taken to fix it.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
adamskirton
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Your question is a good one @Townman and exactly the point I have been trying to make …

How do parents know if Safeguard is working? …

Throughout the last 6 weeks some parents are probably blissfully unaware of what their kids have been able to access.

I was told if you can get on ‘Bet365’ Safeguard it is not working. That is a helpful tip for parents … unless parents have a gambling addiction!

In answer to your question, I found a seemly innocent search came up with some adult content that had not previously been accessible. and in talking to one of my sons we realised that even with ‘under 18 only’ and ‘under 12 only’ parental control settings activated on our phones, adult content was still available. Hence phoning Plusnet and all the fun and games turning routers on and off etc etc

I’ve just checked if I can access Bet365 and i can’t … so looks like Safeguard is working again … is it fixed for everyone else?

I suggest parents check periodically in case this happens again.

Can you advise of other ways of knowing if it’s working?

Do you think Plusnet should inform parents if it goes down again?

tcj1971
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

@adamskirton

Now you mention gambling.

Our teenage lad obviously was able to access SkyBet as he tried to open an account but only got as far as the prove your identity, which he clearly could not do due to his age. He would not have got this far before as all gambling sites were blocked as I tested them myself when Safeguard worked. I saw the emails he received when trying to set an account up and had stern words with him

I don't think many folk out there realise why online protection is important, especially for family if it bit them on the backside. Sorry to say it that way

A website called Bigo. It's absolutely disgusting but is freely available to watch. We caught our young one was on it until we blocked it on Safeguard. Obviously it has been accessible since Safeguard went down.
daggermonkey
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

@Townman I say again..... just one tool in a parental toolkit. Not abdicating responsibility to an ISP.

As an IT professional I understand how it all works.

But it shouldn't take an ISP the amount of time it did to recognise a problem and resolve it. It shouldn't need an email to a CEO.

Better proactive problem management via customer reports and forum posts needed in my opinion.

Townman
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Indeed you might understand this, but I fear the majority of people really believe that ISP safeguarding services is all that is required.  Such is both unreasonable and a dangerous outlook.

I am sure that as an IT professional you will be very aware that there are issues which can be hard to localise ... and are not always where you might reasonably expect them to be.  No doubt you have had the have-no-idea management ask "Why is it always the last thing you think of which finally fixes the issue - why did you not think of that first?".

 

@adamskirton - I will respond to your questions directly, but probably not today.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Percy2
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

Looks like Safeguard isn't working today. I did turn it on yesterday, rebooted the router which took up the new DNS settings and it was working fine last night.
I have changed nothing but just checked a couple of adult sites now (11:20 15/05/21) and they are no longer blocked.
Checking settings, all look the same as yesterday.

 

????

tywrshbsc
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Re: Safeguard not working even though showing as active.

@Percy2 

Thanks for the warning. 

I've just checked and it seems to be working for me (blocks pornhub and betfred). 

However, following your warning I've set a reminder to check it regularly.