Sky has made a new app available to its broadband customer here to make it easier for them to manage their children's internet and online screen time.

The Sky Broadband Buddy app is free for the 200,000 users of the firm's broadband service here.

The service is the latest in a growing list of software applications by various companies that are designed to help parents to monitor their children’s online activities.

Installed on both the parent’s phone or tablet and on devices used by children, the app can be used to pause internet access completely for one individual or all devices in the home that have it loaded.

It also allows parents control access to individual websites, apps and forms or content, or limit the overall amount of time spent online.

The service also enables parents to control devices when they are outside the home environment, provided they are connected to the internet via WiFi or 3G or 4G.

Bedtimes can also be set, blocking access after a certain time at night, while rewards of extra screen time or access to particular sites can be offered as an incentive for good behaviour.

Usage history can be reviewed by parents who wish to see what websites and apps have been accessed by their children.

A location tracking feature is also included on the app to enable the location of a child to be monitored.

The new system works across iOS and Android devices, and all mobile phone networks.

It can also be used to block internet access on other devices, such as games consoles or internet connected smart TVs.

Sky Buddy will also notify parents if a child uninstalls it on their device or tries to block its use by disconnecting the Virtual Private Network on which it depends.
 However, the company says it cannot give a complete guarantee that a clever child will not be able to find a way around the safeguards. 

It also can’t stop a child from accessing the content already downloaded on their device.