What is blocking software?
Blocking software is a computer programme that limits access to websites or other services available over the internet.
There are two kinds of blocking software available:
- General blocking software, which is designed to block any sites you want and set access permissions or parental controls;
- Gambling-specific blocking software, which is designed to block gambling websites.
Do I need it?
If you are gambling online you may have opened a few accounts. You might have closed one account, and then opened another. If you have now decided you want to avoid this in future, adding blocking software can help. If nothing else, it will give you thinking time when you have urges.
Where can I find blocking software?
We would always encourage you to do your own research, to find out which is the best product for you. Some blocking softwares are free, but some do charge. GamCare cannot be held responsible if there is a problem with the software you choose.
If you search online you will find there are a few to choose from. For smartphones and tablets, you can also search on the App store or the Android Market to find available products. If you are using iOS, on an iPhone or iPad, you can use the inbuilt parental blocker that will prevent access to gambling related content. You would need someone else to set the password for you.
An independent evaluation from GambleAware has found that gamban software, specificially designed to block gambling sites and content, is particularly effective at helping people to limit their access to gambling. Software may not be compatitable with all devices.
www.gamban.com (Mac OS X, Windows, Android and iOS) – all clients across our treatment network can access gamban free of charge for 12 months on up to three devices.
Please ask your GamCare Adviser or Practitioner for a promotional code.
www.netnanny.com – Netnanny is a general blocking software and has capability on Windows computers, ioS, and Android phones.
These are examples of gambling-specific blocking software – please note there may be fees for this software:
www.gamblock.com (Windows computers and Android phones)
www.betfilter.com (Windows, Mac, Android and iOS)
Will this stop me gambling?
Adding blocking software is a great start, but you may find that you need additional support.
If you are concerned about your own gambling, GamCare has a range of help, advice and support services, as well as self-help resources.
To discuss this further, speak to one of our Advisers.
What if I don’t want to add blocking software, what other strategies can I put in place?
If you haven’t done so already, you could think about self-excluding from all your accounts.
You could think about changing your bank card from a debit card to a basic bank card, or using a card from banks like Monzo or Starling which allow you to block gambling transactions.
To find out more visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
You could contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and see if they offer an option to opt out of all Adult sites or if they can offer you anti-virus software which allows you to block certain areas like gambling.
If you would like to stop receiving email or text message marketing from gambling operators, you can find more information here.
In time, you may want to do more, and if you do, there is a lot more help available. If you want to explore your options more at any point, talk to us.