In a move designed to better inform parents and protect children online, BT is now offering parental controls automatically as part of its broadband set-up process.

The service was already free with all BT Total Broadband packages and is part of a range of security options including firewall and anti-virus protection. However, BT will now encourage better take-up by making it an integral step of setting up your new broadband package.

The move is part of a BT 'Family Protection' drive in partnership with McAfee. The phone giant is also launching a new range of printed and online safety advice in March to help parents make the right choices with regard to online safety.

BT has also said it will spam, sorry, remind customers at least once a year about the availability of Family Protection software.

BT says the parental controls settings mean that parents can "match the maturity of each of their children to what they can do on the web".

As you'd expect, parents can also block entire programs or inappropriate websites, either by age, category or by blocking an individual site. Time limits can also be set and parents can request instant alerts if children attempt to access blocked sites or post personal information that they shouldn't.