Thank you for taking a few minutes to learn a few ways to filter explicit content through Google’s search engine.
As you know, Google is a massive company, with many different products under their umbrella. As a result, they have pretty strong encryption over their search results. These security measures make it difficult for any accountability or filtering software, like Covenant Eyes, to fully filter their content. Google recognized this and created a safe search option as a result.
When this feature is turned on, it is designed to filter sexually explicit videos and images from all Google search results, as well as anything that may link externally to explicit material. (On computers and on the Covenant Eyes iPhone browser app, SafeSearch is already set.)
To use SafeSearch:
(1) Create a Google username and password. If you use Gmail, it’s the same username and password you use to access your Gmail account.
(2) For a computer or laptop, open whatever browser you’re using, for example, Chrome or Firefox.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between a browser and a search engine, just think of the browser, like Chrome or Firefox as the doorway to the Internet, and the search engine, like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, as the mathematical formula that searches the Internet for pages that best fit your request.
(3) In the search bar at the top of the browser, type in “google.com/preferences.” This will take you to the Google Search Settings page.
(4) Once you are on the Search Settings page, check the box beside “Turn On SafeSearch” under the heading “SafeSearch Filters.”
(5) You can then hit the blue text reading “Lock SafeSearch” and use your Gmail username and password to ensure nobody else can deactivate the safe search feature.
(6) Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the blue “Save” button. Repeat this process on all of the browsers on your computer.
For mobile browsers on your phone or tablet that are NOT the Google app, for example, Chrome, Opera or Safari, the directions are essentially the same but with slightly different wording:
(1) Again, navigate to google.com/preferences, but instead of checking a box beside “Turn on Safe Search,” check the box next to “Filter Explicit Results.”
If your Android or Apple device is using the Google app, there are other things to be aware of:
(1) For the Google app on Android devices, open the app and hit the three horizontal lines menu icon in the upper left corner.
(2) Go to “Settings,” and then “Accounts & Privacy.”
(3) From there, scroll down to “SafeSearch Filter.” You can turn it on by toggling the button.
For the Google app on iOS devices:
(1) Open the app and tap the gear icon in the upper left corner.
(2) Tap on “Search Settings,” then choose “Filter Explicit Results.”
(3) Hit the save button, and you’re done.
But, parents, please understand it is very easy for young Internet users to change these search settings on mobile, and revert back to “Show Most Relevant Results.” It is very important on both Apple and Android devices to monitor and possibly limit app downloads so you can limit Internet browsing to an accountable and filtered browser like Covenant Eyes.
Script author: Samantha Winchester
Video talent: Chris McKenna