How Loving Parents Should Use Parental Controls to Block Websites (With a Mac)

Did you know that in recent years 20 percent of cyberbullying victims in the USA had to shut down their profile? While the world offers more opportunities for social networking and education than ever before, this does bring serious dangers. Sadly bullies can even enter the safety of a family home.

This is just one of the dangers that exist in 2020 thanks to our increased connections with the world. So what can loving parents do to protect their children?
Our article below will let you know how loving parents can do this using their Mac computers.

Method One: Enable Parental Controls

To enable parental controls, you will first need to go to Preferences. Select the Apple icon in the menu at the top. This same menu is available from the Application and folder and also generally from the dock.

In Preferences, select Parental Controls. This is usually a yellow item that has a clear label. Alternatively, you can enter Parental Control into the search bar in the top right section of the System Preferences window.

From here you will see a list of available user accounts. Click on the account that the child uses. Next select “Enable Parental Controls”.

If your child does not have an individual account, you can easily create one by selecting the “create a new account with parental controls” and following the instructions it provides.

If you are not able to select the user account, you may need to click on the lock icon in the corner of the window and enter an administrator password. However, by following these steps you will be able to enable the application of parental controls on your web browser.

To apply these restrictions, open the web tab. In older versions of Mac OS, it may be named “Content”. From here you will see the options available for blocking websites. Generally, there are two main methods.

Limit Access To Adult Websites Automatically

This will block websites based on information held by Apple. Apple themselves retains a list of websites that it considers containing adult content and will block access to these if you select this option. By selecting the customize button, you will be able to add or remove sites from this list.

Allow Access To Only These Websites

This option will restrict access to only websites prescribed by you. You can use the “+” and “-” buttons to edit this list.

Additional Restrictions

Apple’s parental controls are not only restricted to web browsing. They can be used to protect your child from apps with harmful content. To block access to harmful apps, select the apps tab from the same preferences menu and adjust the settings you find there.

You can also restrict the hours that the child can use the computer from the same location. To undo these restrictions simply follow the above steps but this time select “Allow unrestricted access to websites”.

Method Two: Browser Extensions

In recent years, web browser designers have realized their responsibility towards younger users of their software. Generally, most web browsers now offer some type of parental controls. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari offer particularly effective options for parents.

These browsers are not foolproof. However, they will rate each site before allowing access to it. It is important to evaluate the extension that you will use. An extension or app with a low rating or very few reviews is not as trustworthy as a well-known brand with a five-star rating.

You will need to install the extension to your web browser. It will provide a number of questions regarding the level of protection you would like to apply. After this, you will need to restart your computer. Following this, parental controls should be active.

Method Three: Adjust Your Router Settings

If you are not afraid to delve into your computer’s inner settings, this may be a good option for you. You may be able to apply some parental settings from the wifi router itself.

To do this, find system preferences. Next select Network, then Wifi. Select the Advanced tab and finally TCP/IP. Here you will be able to copy the devices IP address. Paste this into your devices web browser. The router’s settings page should display.

After entering your user name and password you should be able to locate the site-blocking options. From this menu, usually know as “Access” or “content”, you will be able to enforce restrictions on individual sites.

This method has distinct benefits. It does not restrict only one device. All devices using this router will be restricted. This is especially helpful if you have multiple children and want to restrict them in one move. It also offers the benefit of restricting the devices of your children’s friends when they come to visit and log onto your WiFi.

Other Important Considerations

If you are willing to access your Macs internal technical tools, there are many more ways that you can apply to restrict its web-behavior. These include using the Terminal interface to block access to sites.

While these methods are very effective, they do not negate normal safeguards that all computer users should take. Good communication with your children is very important. They should understand why these sites are restricted.

Apple designers generally take great care to construct their software and hardware in a secure manner. However, performing a virus scan for mac computers will protect them from hacking and some cyber-attacks.

What More Can Loving Parents Do To Protect Their Children?

The year 2020 offers unprecedented opportunities for education and business. This is because we are more connected than ever before. However, this also has inherent dangers. Loving parents are aware of this fact and do everything in their power to protect their children.

For more great parenting tips, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.

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