Set Top Box Safety

Buying an Internet Connected Set Top box or Stick?
Play It Safe with Legitimate Content

Internet connected set top boxes and sticks are a great way to enjoy digital entertainment through the home television. But there is growing concern that families using this technology to access pirate content could be inadvertently putting their children at risk. The first ever study of its kind reveals that one in ten people engaging in Digital Television Piracy is exposed to pornographic or age-inappropriate content. While one in three children has watched pirate content in this way, two thirds of parents are unaware of the risks, the majority of parents do not realise that the parental controls they set on their device will not extend to unauthorised apps and add-ons.

To raise awareness and help families stay safe, content owners have come together with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to set out some top tips.

Top Tips


Find official content – safely and legally – and support the creators.

For Films and TV programmes – There are hundreds of legitimate digital services – from BBC iPlayer to Wuaki – where you can find great value or even free items at the click of a button. Start by visiting – a one stop-shop where you can find films and TV shows, all above board.

For Music, Games, Books, Sport, Newspapers, Magazines – and also Film and TV – Visit Get It Right From A Genuine Site where you can find sites and services that you can be confident are genuine and authorised.


Never install apps from an unofficial source – doing so could put your TV at risk and could void your manufacturer’s warranty.


Get to grips with the BBFC age ratings – Visit the BBFC website or download the app for a simple guide to the age rating of films and use the easy search tool to check film ratings.


Explore how to use parental controls – Parental controls can be used to filter out content that is deemed to be inappropriate. For example, explicit or age-inappropriate content and websites that parents would not want their children to be exposed to. Check that the settings on your set top box meet your family’s needs. Beware, however that it is not possible to apply parental controls to unauthorised apps and add-ons that are designed to access pirate entertainment


Be cautious of unrecognised and shortened links – Avoid using any app that asks you to enter a URL into your television browser in order to watch a film on the TV app.