Keep Kids From Seeing Adult Sites

Protect Your Children from Inappropriate Website Content

Boy (4-5) using laptop at home
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It should come as no surprise to hear that the internet is home to websites are adult-oriented or explicit. The language on the sites might not be something you want your children reading, and the pictures may be of things you don't want your kids to see. It isn't easy to prevent your children from seeing adult content on the internet, but software programs and apps can help you protect your kids from content you don't want them to see. 

Blocking Software and Apps

If you prefer to use one of the many site-blocking programs out there, you have plenty of good choices. There are programs designed to monitor your child's activities on mobile devices and computers. NetNanny is highly rated to monitor and restrict or control your children's internet viewing. If your child uses Android or iOS mobile devices, reliable parental control monitoring apps include MamaBear and Qustodio.

Free Parental Protection Options

Before you start shopping for software, take free steps to protect your kids.

If your family uses a Windows computer to search the internet, set up Windows parental controls directly in Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. This is an effective step, but don't stop there. You can enable parental controls in your router, your kids' game consoles, YouTube and their mobile devices.

A couple of examples are Google Family Link's SafeSearch and Internet Explorer parental controls.

Restrict Browsing With Google Family Link

Google Chrome doesn't have built-in parental controls, but Google encourages you to add your children to its Google Family Link program. With it, you can approve or block apps your child wants to download from the Google's Play Store, see how much time your kids spend on their apps, and use SafeSearch to restrict their access to explicit websites in any browser. 

To activate SafeSearch and filter explicit search results in Google Chrome and other browsers:

  1. Open Google in a browser and go to the Google preferences screen.

  2. In the SafeSearch filters section, click the box in front of Turn on SafeSearch.

  3. To prevent your children from turning SafeSearch off, click Lock SafeSearch and follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. Click Save.

Restrict Browsing With Internet Explorer

To block websites in Internet Explorer:

  1. Click Tools.

  2. Click Internet Options.

  3. Click on the Content tab

  4. In the Content Advisor section, click on Enable.

You are now in the Content Advisor. From here you can enter your settings.

  • Ratings tab - Set rating levels for language, nudity, sex, and violence.
  • Approved Sites tab - Name sites that you allow your children always to view or name sites that you never want your children to view, regardless of the site's rating.
  • General tab - Allow or disallow your child to see sites that are not rated and view or modify the rating system. This is also where you create a password, which is great for use with older children. After you set a password, if your child goes to a website they want to see, but it is a disallowed site, you can allow the site using the password. You have the option to allow the site always or only allow it one time.

Parental controls are only effective when your child is using one of the devices and login identities you equipped with controls. They don't help at all when your child visits a friend's house or is at school, although schools usually have strong website restrictions in place. Even in the best of situations, parental controls may not be 100 percent effective.