How does the Parental Controls web filter work?

The Parental Controls web filter rates the content of websites, and it can block some websites based on the content categories you decide are objectionable. Turning on the web filter should significantly reduce the number of objectionable websites your children might view, but it does not offer absolute protection. Because objectionable content is subjective, the filters might not block all of the content that you want them to block.

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Choose a restriction level to automatically block content

There are four restriction levels that are designed to identify content you want to block:

  • High. Children's sites include content that is understandable and usable by children, and that is appropriate for them. The language of a children's site is typically aimed at 8 to 12 year-olds, and the concepts presented are accessible to younger minds. When you choose this level, you permit your child to see children's sites, as well as any website that you add to the list of allowed websites.

  • Medium. With this level, websites are filtered based on web content categories. This lets your child explore the wide range of information on the Internet, but not see content that is inappropriate. You should review the online activity report to see what sites your child visited or tried to visit. For more information about activity reports, see Set up Parental Controls activity reports.

  • None. No web content is automatically blocked.

  • Custom. This level also uses content categories to filter websites, but allows you to filter more content categories.

Regardless of which restriction level you choose, you can always allow or block specific websites by adding them to the Allow and block list.

Choose content categories to block specific content

You can restrict web content in the following categories:

  • Pornography. The website contains sexually explicit material for the purpose of arousing a sexual interest.

  • Mature content. The website contains sexually explicit information that is not of a medical or scientific nature.

  • Sex education. The website provides information on reproduction and sexual development, sexually transmitted disease, contraception, safer sexual practices, sexuality, or sexual orientation.

  • Hate speech. The website advocates hostility or aggression toward an individual or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or other involuntary characteristics; denigrates others or justifies inequality on the basis of those characteristics; or purports to use scientific or other commonly accredited methods to justify aggression, hostility, or denigration.

  • Bomb-making. The website advocates or provides instructions for causing physical harm to people or property through use of weapons, explosives, pranks, or other types of violence.

  • Weapons. The website sells, reviews, or describes weapons such as guns, knives, or martial arts devices; or provides information on their use, accessories, or other modifications.

  • Drugs. The website promotes, offers, sells, supplies, encourages, or otherwise advocates the recreational or illegal use, cultivation, manufacture, or distribution of drugs, pharmaceuticals, intoxicating plants, chemicals, and paraphernalia.

  • Alcohol. The website promotes or offers for sale alcoholic beverages or the means to create them; supplies recipes or paraphernalia; or encourages alcohol consumption or intoxication.

  • Tobacco. The website advertises, promotes, offers for sale, or otherwise encourages the consumption of tobacco.

  • Gambling. The website lets users place a bet or participate in a betting pool (including lotteries) online; obtain information, assistance, or recommendations for placing a bet; or receive instructions, assistance, or training about participating in games of chance.

  • Unrated content. Content that is not rated by the web filter.