Making your child's web searches safer

Parents and carers have access to effective techniques to monitor their child’s web searches, allowing them to block unsuitable content with selected filters.

There is widespread concern about children being exposed to unpleasant or offensive material online. Parents and carers want their children to be able to benefit from the web without being exposed to this material.

Applying content filters

There are several types of parental controls. One is the content filter.

Filters are pieces of software that weed out pornographic content, violence, racism, terrorist propaganda, drug use, and other types of unsuitable content. You can select which filters to use and under what circumstances to protect your child.

Depending on what type of operating system your child is using on their desktop computer or laptop – PC/Windows or Mac OS – you can use specific software to filter content.

For PC/Windows

A Microsoft Family account allows you to block websites and monitor what your child is viewing on different websites or apps and games.

Microsoft Family is part of its Office 365 suite, offering parents:

  • screen time limits
  • filtered content
  • activity reports
  • app and game limits.

For Mac OS

The OSX Parental Controls provide a way to monitor your child’s usage of their Mac, along with time limits and limiting access to certain websites and apps.

You can log into your child’s Mac user account to set up the filters.

Or by using Apple’s Family Sharing you can control your child’s computer remotely:

  1. Log into your Mac user account and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Choose the Apple Menu
  3. Then select System Preferences and then Screen Time.
  4. Choose a child’s name from the pop-up menu in the sidebar.
  5. You can then set up downtime schedules, time limits for apps and websites, communication limits, and content and privacy restrictions.

For web browsers and devices

You can also apply filters to the internet browsers your child uses and/or their mobile devices.

You don't need to apply filters to their browsers if you have already configured them on their computer.

Instructions for applying content filters:

Other parental controls

Other tools you may choose to use to ensure a safe online experience for your child may include:

  • blocking sites
  • monitoring usage
  • anti-virus or malware
  • child-friendly search engines
  • child-friendly wi-fi


  • Teaching and learning


  • Back to school
  • Internet safety
  • Primary school
  • Safety
  • Wellbeing
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