Definitive guide for blocking pornographic content
The web is filled with pornographic content that you may not want your kids or family to see. In this guide, we will teach you how to block pornography on any device - for free.
How to block pornographic content
The Internet is an amazing resource, full of information and entertainment for all ages. However, a good chunk of the web is filled with adult and pornographic content that kids should not be exposed, and some adults don't want to visit.
In this guide, we will provide some step by step tools and techniques to allow you to quickly and easily block pornographic content across any device that access the web. That will help you be confident that your kids are not accessing any explicit content and your home computers are clean.
Step 1: Restrict access to adult content.
The first step to block access to pornographic content is by setting up an Internet Filter to actually block access to those sites. There are multiple options available, from browser extensions to installing nanny-like software. In this guide, we will recommend using one of the most simple, but very powerful forms of Internet filtering: via DNS.
"DNS is the Internet protocol that converts website names (called domain names) to IP addresses. Filters at that level prevents the DNS resolution for the blocked sites, so their content is never loaded. It is the fastest way to block sites. This kind of filtering is the one done by OpenDNS, Norton Family Filter and similar services."
Every device needs to use DNS to connect to the Internet, so this type of filtering works everywhere. All you have to do is open the device Settings, look for Network Settings or Wifi Settings and change the DNS servers (also called NameServers) to the IP address provided by your Internet Filter. In this example, we will use the free CleanBrowsing service:
For Mac and Linux computers: Go to Settings->Network->Wifi->Advanced and change the DNS servers to point to: 184.108.40.206
For ChromeBook: Go to Settings->Network->Wifi and configure the Custom NameServers to point to: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
For Windows: Go to Control Panel->Network->Internet->Network Properties and configure the DNS servers to point to: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199
For iPhone, Android and iPads: Go to Settings->Wifi settings and configure the Nameserver to point to: 188.8.131.52
For your home router and full house protection: Login to your router, look for Settings or DNS Settings and change the Nameserver to point to: 184.108.40.206
Whenever possible, we recommend setting up the DNS at your home router, to get all devices in your house covered. It applies to any internet-connected TV, gaming console (xBox, Playstation, Nintendo Wii) and computer. It also helps whenever visitors (kids) come over and use your Wifi, they will be automatically restricted.
Step 2: Restrict search engines to Safe Search mode.
In addition to blocking adult sites, you also need to restrict access on search engines that might display pornographic images on their results. If you are using CleanBrowsing, that we recommended above, it will automatically force Safe Search on Google, Bing, Youtube and all major search engines. If you are using some other Internet Filter, you might need to manually configure each browser and search engine to Safe mode.
More details about Google is available here and for Bing here.
Step 3: Enable parental control.
Most operating systems and devices have parental control options to prevent your children from changing any settings and removing the Internet filter that you configured. We highly recommend enabling them as they also help to restrict access to Apps that may not be appropriated.
On IOS (iPhone/iPad), you can do it by going to Settings->General->Restrictions and filtering the content you do not want to allow your children to see. On that page, if you scroll down to Allowed Content, we recommend setting:
TV Shows: TV-14
Books: Restrict explicit content
Siri: Explicit language filtered
Websites: Restrict adult content
Each device might have a different name for Parental control, but it is generally called Parental Control or Restrictions.
Step 4: Scan their browser history.
Once you setup a filter to block pornographic content and enabled parental control, we recommend doing spot checks every day (or every week) to see what your kids are visiting online. Older kids will learn to clear their browser history, but works with younger kids that are not aware of it. Some devices (like the Mac), allows parents to prevent the kids to remove their browser history.
Step 5: Spot check their social media chats, friends and photos.
If your children is older and has access to social media, whatsapp and similar tools, we also recommend doing spot checks every few days or weekly. Looks for the photos they are taking and sharing (including deleted photos on the trash), and who they are talking to. It will help you to catch any children breaking the rules and help them stay safe online.
And finally, stay present and talk to them. None of this will work if you are not around to watch what they are doing and enforcing the rules. Talk to them, enjoy the Internet together whenever possible and you will both benefit from it.
Browse the web without surprises. CleanBrowsing automatically blocks adult content, while allowing Google, Youtube, Bing and the rest of the web to load safely. It only takes 5 minutes to enable the service for free and with nothing to install.