Many parents will understand how difficult it is to protect children online. Even a simple homework research could lead them to dodgy websites like online casinos, gaming, and adult sites among others. Aside from exposing your kids to unfavorable content, some of these websites could also be teeming with malware and viruses that might compromise the computer.
Why The Need to Block Websites
If you own a business or manage a team, another reason why you might want to block websites on Mac or any device the company uses is to increase productivity among your employees, unless browsing through different websites is part of the job. According to a study done by Pew Research Center in 2016, 67% of employees check their social media accounts at work. Employees also tend to access non-work related websites like YouTube and other video streaming sites.
How to Block Websites on a Mac
There are many ways on how to block websites on a Mac. You can set up a website blocker by installing third-party apps like Norton Family or Net Nanny to monitor and restrict website access on the individual computers. However, the easiest way to block websites on Mac is to set up Parental Controls on the computer that your kids or employees are using.
The first step in setting up Parental Controls is to create a new user account for your kid’s use. To create a new account, follow these steps:
- First, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Parental Controls. You can also use Spotlight search to open the Parental Controls window.
- To create a new user account, choose ‘Create a new user account with parental controls‘ and click Continue.
- Then, you’ll be asked to fill up a form for the user account details. The account name is usually automatically filled out but you can edit it according to your preferred name. If it is the first time that you access the Parental Controls option, you will be required to input your Mac login credentials.
- Next, type in your password and password hint and then click Continue.
Now that you’ve created a child-friendly and non-administrative account, you will be able to access the different parental control options. Aside from restricting the list of website you can access, you can also use Parental Controls to limit the contacts your children can interact with and the apps that they can open. Just make sure that the account you’ve created is selected and then choose Web from the top menu. For older versions of macOS and Mac OS X, select Content. You will see three Browser Restrictions options:
- Allow unrestricted access to websites. The first option allows you to visit any websites you want. Of course, you don’t want to choose this option if you want to block websites in the first place.
- Try to limit access to adult websites. The second option does not guarantee that you won’t be able to access adult sites 100%. With thousands of new websites being created every day, it is impossible for Apple to keep track of all adult sites so there’s still a possibility that your child might stumble upon one.
- If you understand this and still want to choose this option, select ‘Try to limit access to adult websites’ and click Customize. This is where you can modify Apple’s list. You can add your own list of adult sites to block (if they are not yet part of the list). To add a website you want to block, click the + sign under ‘Never allow these websites’. Aside from adding to the block list, you can also add websites that you don’t want to restrict. To add to this list, click the + sign under ‘Always allow these websites’. Then, click OK.
- Allow access to only these websites. The third option is the safest option because you have full control over what websites your child can access. To select the third option, click Allow access to only these websites’ and look through Apple’s list of recommended websites. You can add or remove websites from this list by clicking the + or – button at the bottom.
- Once you’re done, save the changes you’ve made by clicking the padlock icon at the bottom of the window. If anyone wants to make changes, they will need an administrative password to do that. Setting up Parental Controls does not only work for adult sites. You can also use it to block other malicious websites. If you want to add or remove a website from your list, all you have to do is click the + or – button under the whitelist window. Take note that this website blocker does not only apply to Safari, but to other browsers as well, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.
Aside from using Parental Controls to block websites on Mac, it is also important to clear your computer of cache files, unneeded log files, broken downloads, diagnostic reports and other unnecessary files to keep your computer clean and functioning properly. Download Outbyte MacRepair to get rid of all unwanted files and boost your computer’s efficiency.