How do I set up the Filter?

The Covenant Eyes Filter analyzes webpages based on their content and then assigns each page an age-based rating, like T for Teen or M for Mature. Because of this age-based rating system, our Filter works best if you take a few minutes to set it up according to each person’s needs. (After all, you wouldn’t want to be under the same Filter settings as a 6-year-old.)

Overview of Filter options

Each Filter user can have customized settings, including:

Who can set up and adjust the Filter settings?

Each Filter user must have a Filter Guardian. By default, the Account Administrator will act as the Filter Guardian for all users on the account, but the Account Administrator can invite anyone, in or outside the account, to be a Filter Guardian for users on the account. This means that an Account Administrator who also uses the Filter can hand over control of their Filter to someone else, like their Accountability Partner. A Filter user can add websites to their block list, but only a Filter Guardian can make any other changes to Filter settings. In a family setting, the Filter Guardian will often be a parent.

All Filter Settings can be adjusted by the Filter Guardian under the “Manage Users” menu option. (If you are not the Filter Guardian but would like to add a website to your Block list, skip to the end of the section for directions.) You will see a list of the users on your account, as well as the services they use, making it easy to see which users have Filtering.

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To change a user’s Filter settings, click on the gear icon to the right of their name, then place your cursor over the Filter tab to bring up a drop-down menu. You will be able to choose from Filter Settings, Block/Allow List, Blocked Times, or Guardians.

Filter Tab

Block/Allow Lists

You can choose to always block or always allow certain sites. For example, if you’ve determined that Facebook is always appropriate for your teen, you can add facebook.com to  the Allow list. Conversely, if you don’t want your child accessing this site, you can add facebook.com to  the Block list. You will access these lists by clicking on Filtering and then selecting “Block/Allow List.”

To add a site to either the Block or Allow list, simply type in the URL. For example, if you wanted to always allow CNN.com, just add it to the Allow list and click “Add to List.”

Add to Allow List

To remove sites from either list, check the boxes next to the URL, then click “Remove Selected.”

For a Filter User who is not a Filter Guardian, the “Manage Users” option will more than likely be grayed out and not available as an option.  In this instance, instead of clicking on “Manage Users,” you will choose the “My Profile” option instead.

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Once you are in “My Profile,” roll your mouse over the “Filtering” up top. This will expand the Filtering Menu, and you will need to click on “Block/Allow List.”

Block allow list

Once in this section, you can type full web addresses into the “Blocked Sites” category, then either hit “Enter” on your keyboard or the “Add Site” button to officially add it to the list.

NOTE: If the user is signed into Covenant Eyes, he will need to refresh Covenant Eyes for these changes to take effect.

Filter Sensitivity Level

An important step in setting up the Filter is matching the “Filter Sensitivity Level” to the maturity of the user. If the Filter is too sensitive, the user will have too many pages blocked, yet if it is not sensitive enough, pages will be allowed that should have been blocked for that person.

There are six sensitivity settings based on our Web rating system (read: What do the ratings mean?). These default ratings will differ depending on whether the user is marked as a Child or Adult in our system.

  1. Allow List Only – Filtering at this level will block all websites except the ones pre-approved by the Filter Guardian.
  2. E (Everyone) Level – This level will allow all websites rated E, but block everything rated higher.
  3. Y (Youth) Level – This level will allow all websites rated Y and lower, but block everything rated T and higher. Users marked as Child (Under 10) will be set to this level by default.
  4. T (Teen) Level – This level will allow all websites rated T and lower, but block everything rated MT and higher. Users marked as Child (11-14) will be set to this level by default.
  5. MT (Mature Teen) Level – This level will allow all websites rated MT and lower, but block everything rated MT and higher. Users marked as Child (15-17) will be set to this level by default.
  6. M (Mature) Level – This level will allow all websites rated M and lower, but block everything rated HM (Highly Mature). Users marked as Adult (Parent or Non-Parent) will be set to this level by default.

Once you are signed in to My Account and in “Manage Users,” you will choose the user whose Filter you wish to change by clicking on the gear icon. Click on “Filtering” and choose “Filter Settings.” Once you have chosen the Filter level, click “Save Settings” at the bottom of the page.

If you wish for this user to have override rights, check the box next to Overrides. (Learn more about Filter Overrides.) Then select the Filter Sensitivity Level appropriate for this user. Be sure to click “Save Settings” when you are done.

NOTE: If the user is signed into Covenant Eyes, he will need to refresh Covenant Eyes for these changes to take effect.

Filter Settings

Blocked Times of Day

Note: This feature is not available for mobile devices.

Blocked Times allow you to restrict the Filter user from going online at certain times each day. From “Manager Users,” select the gear icon by the user you wish to add Blocked Times to. Under the “Filtering” tab  select “Blocked Times” for the user you wish to help. Then select the time and day you wish to stop access to the Internet, as well as the time and day you wish it to resume.

For example, if you wish to block Internet access every day from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m., you would select 10:30 p.m. on Sunday from the start time drop down and 7 a.m. on Monday from the end time drop down. Click “Add Rule.” Then duplicate this for Monday night to Tuesday morning, and so on.

Time Controls

You may modify any rule at any time by clicking the “Edit” button on that rule, or delete the rule completely by clicking “Remove.”

NOTE: If the user is signed into Covenant Eyes, he will need to refresh Covenant Eyes for these changes to take effect.

YouTube Restricted Mode

Note: This feature is only available for Android and iOS users.

For users who have Covenant Eyes installed on their Android or iOS devices, we have given Filter Guardians the option of enabling YouTube’s Restricted Mode. This would restrict YouTube videos across all browsers and the YouTube app.

To access the YouTube restricted mode setting, sign in to My Account and in “Manage Users.” Choose the user whose Filter you wish to change by clicking on the gear icon. To the right of the page will be the YouTube Restricted box. To enable restricted mode you will click on the box and a check mark will appear. If you wish to disable restricted mode click on the box again and the check mark will disappear.

NOTE: The user will have to restart their device for this change to take effect.

Filter Guardians

Each user can have a personal Filter Guardian. By default, the Account Administrator will act as the Filter Guardian for all users on the account, but the Account Administrator can invite anyone to be a Filter Guardian for users on the account. This means that an Account Administrator who also uses the Filter can hand over control of their Filter to someone else, like their Accountability Partner.

To assign or invite a Filter Guardian, click on “Manage Users” in My Account. Choose the user by clicking on the gear next to their name and then Click the “Filtering” tab. Choose “Guardians” from the list in order to assign or invite a Filter Guardian. Assign another user from the account as the Filter Guardian, or invite someone from outside the account by entering an e-mail address. Once you have finished, simply choose “Save.”

Updating Filter Settings

As Filter Guardian, you’ll want to stay informed as to how the Filter is working for your Filter users. Over time, you’ll want to adjust the settings as you learn more about your users’ Internet activity habits, and in the case of children, as they grow older. You can always return to “My Account” to fine tune the Filter settings.