SafeSearch™ is a Google search feature that surprisingly, many people don't know about. Google created the filter for parents to exclude adult websites and content from Google Search results. This feature helps to remove potentially harmful material appearing when searching the web. Google do state that no filter is 100% accurate, and they provide an online form to submit any websites that may get past their filter. You can contact Google directly and report a webpage at the official Google report page.
We have performed some extensive tests to try and find adult sites or images while having strict SafeSearch enabled. Using adult related keywords and phrases we found that it does a fairly good job at filtering adult material. All explicit websites could not be found, however some adult related images did get past the image search filter. We were also able to find many illegal file sharing websites which then show ads or banners leading to adult dating services.
How to turn on Google SafeSearch feature
1. Visit the Google Search Settings page at http://www.google.com/preferences.
2. In the "SafeSearch filters" section, check the "Filter explicit results" box.
3. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Kids Safe Search Engines
As we have found, activating SafeSearch alone is not suitable for children, but it does lower the risk of kid's accidentally viewing illicit material. There is however specialized Safe Search Engines that utilize Google's strict SafeSearch feature as the default search preference. As an added bonus, there are some websites that also maintain their own database of blacklisted websites, key phrases and keywords to additionally block adult material. For example, a search for 'lingerie' in Google, with SafeSearch activated brings back many results. To make matters worse, clicking the images tab, shows images that you may not want your children to view. However, when searching for 'lingerie' in one of the below Websites, the results are excellent. Throughout our testing, we could not find anything that could be potentially harmful to children.
Recommended Kids Search Engines
Net Nanny - Content Filtering Software
Internet filtering software acts as an additional layer of protection and can be installed onto your computer or handheld device. Parents have complete customizable control to configure allowed websites, online time management, profanity blocking and many other useful functions. Net Nanny is one of the leading brands of software which has real time categorization as you surf the web.
Keep Children Safe Online
The above websites do a great job at filtering but we also encourage educating kids with some basic cyber safety rules. Here are some general suggestions for how to keep children safe online.