Consumer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

We believe in the power of communications to make a better world. That means we want our services to help customers freely express themselves and share information. But that shouldn't be at the expense of other people's safety and rights.

That's why we have a few rules on how our services can and can't be used. This policy explains them, what we might do if you break them, and what to do if you've got any concerns.

It applies to all our services. That means bt.com and user generated content on our websites, Broadband, SmartTalk, Home Phone, Mobile, TV, BT Mail, BT Yahoo Mail and BT Sport and any equipment or software we give you to help you use these services. It also applies to different ways you might use our services (like making calls, posting bt.com comments or uploading content onto our websites).

By using our services, you agree to follow and stick to our acceptable use policy. We might update it from time-to-time. So please check bt.com/acceptableuse occasionally for updates (because by carrying on using our services after we update anything, you're accepting it). Sometimes, other companies' Terms and Conditions and rules on acceptable use might apply if you get their products via us.

Respecting other people's views, and their right to express them freely

So that everyone can express themselves freely and safely, you mustn't use our services to:

  • promote or threaten violence towards anyone
  • abuse or harass anyone, for example by making offensive, misleading or menacing comments
  • encourage hate, for example by making racist, sexist or discriminatory comments.

Protecting other people's privacy

Unsolicited communications can be distressing for people on the receiving end. To limit this, and protect people's privacy, you mustn't use our services to:

  • send unsolicited communications to people or groups without them saying it's ok (that means things like spam, "mailbombs" and nuisance calls)
  • intentionally distress, offend or worry anyone (through things like hoax calls)
  • behave deliberately in a way that might harm children or other vulnerable people, or otherwise interfere with people's right to privacy.

Stopping illegal activities

You mustn't use our services for anything illegal or unlawful. That includes:

  • promoting or advancing criminal activities, including terrorism, human trafficking or modern slavery
  • hacking computers, systems or networks whether they're ours or someone else's infringing copyright or other intellectual property rights
  • impersonating someone else, or otherwise misrepresenting who you are (like using fake email headers, sender names or address, or caller ID details)
  • falsely claiming to represent us in communications with others
  • breaching any codes, licences or other regulations that apply to our services
  • doing anything else that might otherwise harm us or our services.

What it means to be the account holder

If you're the account holder, you're responsible for the use of our services by:

  • you
  • anyone at your home or who you're responsible for (that means family, friends, tenants, visitors)
  • any other devices connected to your network

You don't "own" your phone number. So you mustn't give it away to anyone else.

You use our services at your own risk. You're responsible for:

  • materials or content you access or put online
  • what you say or do online
  • materials or data on equipment that you connect to our services
  • websites or pages you own, run or control using our services
  • making sure your network and devices are properly password protected.

You have to make sure the network and devices you connect to our service have the right firewall and anti-virus security software – and that it's all up-to-date. Software products like Net Virus Protect will help protect you against:

  • viruses, worms, Trojans and other security risks
  • people accessing your systems without your say-so
  • interruption of our services
  • someone else breaching this policy
  • someone collecting data from our services, system or network for unauthorised purposes
  • other attempts to change, adapt or misuse our services.

If you share your internet connection with other people, you must make sure your network is secure and doesn't let anyone access it without your permission. And on top of security software, we also recommend you use our parental controls, particularly if you have young children.

If we tell you that your device – or one connected to your network – contains or creates materials or data which this policy doesn't allow we will suspend it straight away. And we may ask you to disconnect it altogether and not reconnect it until you're certain it's secure.

Our rights

If we think you've breached this policy, we can act. That includes:

  • looking into the breach (we may use your personal details to phone or email you to find out more, or to share our concerns)
  • issuing you with a formal warning
  • restricting your access to any illegal material or data
  • blocking, limiting or suspending your access to any or all of our services
  • stopping your agreement with us, and your access to our services (with or without notice).

In serious cases, we can report you to the police or other law enforcement agency, and give them your personal information.

Along with the other big communications providers, we block attempts to access child sexual abuse images. We don't decide which images to block. That's done by the Internet Watch Foundation. (If they wrongly label an image, you can appeal the decision here.)

We might run network and computing systems to find and fix issues covered by this policy (for example if we think your device is vulnerable to malware).

Even though we might change things on our own websites, we can't and don't look at all material or content available on the internet or other people's activities. We're not responsible for any content or material belonging to other people or companies which you might be able to access through our services. So we can't guarantee to protect you from seeing things you might be offended by.

Sometimes, we might be asked by public bodies such as law enforcement agencies to give information about you. If those requests are lawful, we obey them. You can read more about this in our privacy policy.

How to get in touch

If you're not clear about any of the things we've explained in this policy, or if you've got any questions, get in touch at bt.com/contact.

If you think someone else has breached this policy, or you want to complain about how they're using our services, tell us at abuse@btbroadband.com.