How to Block Websites on a Mac

The Internet is a foundation of knowledge, but it’s also a gateway to unsavoury material. The last thing we want is for our children to venture into unknown territory online, so it can be useful to know how to block certain websites.

Use a Dedicated Application

With so many tools at our disposal, it should come as no surprise that there are many different applications that can help monitor your child’s Internet use, as well as blacklisting certain sites. The kind of program you use can depend on personal preference, but among the more popular are Net Nanny and Norton Family.

If you’re looking to safeguard several devices as well as your Mac, then it may be worth looking at something that’s a little more adaptable such as Family Zone. Regardless of whether you’re looking to safeguard devices around the home or within a school, there are several options available to ensure that Internet access is safeguarded at all times.

Set-up a Child-Friendly Profile

If you’d rather set up your own restrictions, then it can be a good idea to set up a profile exclusively for use by your children. It should be noted that you cannot apply restrictions to the main administrator profile.

Setting Up the Profile

You need to tap on Open System Settings, which can be accessed via the dock, or via the Apple logo in the top-left corner.

Create a New User Account

When creating a new account, ensure you click the option that reads Create a New User with Parental Controls. Once you have selected this, simply click Continue.

Should you already have an account set up (other than the administrator account) then you will be met with a different set of instructions. If this is the case you can simply move onto Web Parental Controls.

You will then need to fill out the details for the account, which includes name, account name and password. Once all fields have been completed, click Continue.

Web Parental Controls

Once an account has been set up, you will then be able to select how you want to block websites. To ensure that you make alterations to the correct account, ensure the account you want to change is highlighted on the left and click Web.

Once you access the web parental controls, you will be given three options. The first is to allow the account to browse all sites, which we obviously want to ignore. The second option is to allow Apple to automatically block websites, which is done by clicking Try to Limit Access to Adult Websites Automatically.

Although Apple will produce a blacklist, we shouldn’t take this at face value. As an algorithm is used, it could be the case that some sites are missed. As such, we should click the Customise option. From here, you can either allow access to websites that might have been restricted incorrectly, or add more sites to the blacklist.

When it comes to Internet usage by children, it can be advisable to use the whitelist method. To do this, you simply click Allow Access to Only These Websites and then start building your list accordingly. You will find that Apple comes up with a pre-set list of child-friendly websites, and you can add to this list by clicking the + symbol. Similarly, you can also take away any websites using the – symbol.

Once you have finished with the settings, you then need to lock them. This is done by clicking the padlock on the bottom left of the screen. Only those with a password for the account will be able to make changes to the settings.

Which Method is the Most Effective?

There can be many reasons as to why you wish to restrict certain website. In some instances, it can be to shield your children away from adult-related content, or it could be that you’re worried about who they’re contacting via social media. Those looking for a record of websites visited would be better using an application such as Family Zone. However, if it is solely restriction you’re looking for, then you’ll be able to attain this without an application using the above method.