Apple Makes Managing Kids Devices Easier with “Apple for Kids”

One of the most popular mobile platforms, iOS by Apple, has taken a big step forward in placing more emphasis on the tools parents have at their disposal to more easily manage their child devices with the introduction of “Apple for Kids”.

Although this feature to manage a family accounts was introduced in iOS 8, many parents often struggle deploying and managing the feature. This new portal seems to be designed to simplify and aggregate all the content a parent might need when managing their child’s device[s].

Some of the things you’ll be able to fine on this portal include things like:

But it also highlights important features you might not be aware of, like:

We really like the steps Apple is taking here to pull this to the forefront. For too long it felt as an after thought and we have worked with numerous parents struggling with what many might consider a simple task. Introducing a page wholly focused on educating parents, is amazing and we hope others will follow suit.

Take some time to play with their portal and feel free to share with them on ways they can improve to better serve parents.

How To Configure CleanBrowsing

This article is for non-technical users, specifically individuals that understand that the web is vast, but want technology to help them filter out the noise.

Whether you’re looking to work with our Free or Paid filters (learn the difference), how you configure CleanBrowsing is almost always identical.

Know the Desired End State

Focus on your desired end state. Are you doing this for a home? Are you doing this to protect all the devices you own? Are you doing this for yourself? Understanding the desired end state will help guide you in making the right deployment decision.

This matters because it helps you think through your deployment strategy. For instance, if you want to cover your entire home we always recommend starting at your router (we have a number of guides to help with this). But if you’re concerned with mobile devices (like phones) moving around you might want to augment that set up with local configurations as well.

We prepared an article to help you think through this process – Where Should I Configure CleanBrowsing?.

CleanBrowsing is a Networking Solution

First, CleanBrowsing is a networking option and depends on something known as the Domain Name System (DNS) to function. What this means to you is that any device (e.g., mobile phone, computer, TV, refrigerator, server, etc…) that connects to the internet can be configured to use this service as it almost always uses DNS.

All configurations can always be done manually as long as whatever device you’re working on has a network settings option. Where this is located is going to be highly dependent on the device you are using.

Second, not all devices are created equal. Just because a device shows you a network settings option doesn’t mean that the software that powers that device respects the changes.

Third, in most instances it can take as little as 5 minutes to configure. It typically does not require an app to be configured, but we do offer a few for the more common platforms. It can, however, take a bit longer depending on what is going on with your device and network.

The more common issues arise when you have multiple content filtering services running, your ISP has a network restrictions that prevents changes, or incorrect configurations (adding the DNS in the wrong sections).

Getting Started

This is not to dishearten any users. It is to set a basic foundation, and level set expectations, in the hopes of helping to make your experience seamless. To assist, we’ve prepared guides to help configuring the Free and Paid service.

If you have any questions, you can reach us on this community forum or via email at

Where should I configure CleanBrowsing?

A common problem we see with users of the service is confusion between deploying CleanBrowsing on a device (e.g., Windows, Mac) or on the network router. What is the right deployment?

We recommend router deployments to cover the whole network. You can deploy on devices individually, and that can complement your router configuration.

We’ll explore both configuration options in this article. The best way to think both configurations is as complimentary to each other.

Device vs Router Deployments

Where you deploy CleanBrowsing is completely dependent on what your intentions are. Below we will provide a few examples.

Type of UserDeviceRouter
ParentIf a child has a mobile device that leaves the home network, configuring locally will help ensure they have a safe browsing experience regardless of network they join. Will ensure every device at home is protected while they are on the network. This applies to all Internet of Things (IoT) devices like game consoles (e.g., XBox, Playstation, etc..), TV’s and laptops.
SchoolIf you are issuing school computers, and tablets. When students are at school every device will be picked up by the edge configuration.
BusinessConfigure on devices if they are issued, or via your company VPN so that you ensure that while they are on your network they are provided a safe-browsing experience. Configure at the edge of your network so that when they are on the network they are provide safe browsing experiences.
Religious InstitutionsNot applicable, unless you’re providing devices to your congregation.Configure at the edge of your network so that parishioners are provided a safe-browsing experience while on your Wi-Fi.
MunicipalityConfigure on devices if you are issuing your employees government devices and they switch between cellular and Wi-Fi connections.Configure at the edge of the network. This is applicable if you’re deploying this to your pool of employees, or if you’re deploying a city-wide public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Example instances of when and how
CleanBrowsing can be deployed on devices and routers.

Devices Require More Attention

Although we provide comprehensive guides for iOS and Android devices, their deployments can be tricky for some users. The issue might come in the device owner being able to disable, or uninstall the service.

This is why it’s important that parents, specifically, take a proactive approach to managing their devices. Conglomerates like Google and Apple build their technologies in such a way that they assume every user is a responsible Adult. They assume everyone is mature enough and entitled to their privacy, which results in devices that provide an all or nothing like experiences for users.

Most device owners have full control of their devices. This means that regardless of the service, tool, app you deploy, a device owner is able to undo whatever configuration is implemented. This is a bit different for organizations like schools, libraries, and government institutions. In many instances they have the ability to harden their devices.

Parent, however, do not often have that luxury. So when deploying CleanBrowsing locally on your device, be sure pay special attention to how to stop device owners from stopping or uninstalling the service.

Complementary Solutions

The net net of this article is that you can deploy it on both, devices and the router. Both deployments will complement each other.

The router will cover the entire network, while the device will cover the device only.

If you have a home, it’s advised to configure it on the router by default to cover the entire home. If you have children with devices, you can configure them on their devices so that when they leave the home they are protected.

Is Reddit Safe for Kids?

Reddit is an awesome site with great communities and subreddits. However, is it a site that you should allow your kids to visit? In this post we explore that question, and also talk to how a content filter like CleanBrowsing can help you create a safe browsing experience.

Porn, Language and Violence

Reddit is an awesome website, with some great communities for almost every topic. From technology, to math, gaming and religion. However, they also have some very explicit and adult communities that are definitely not safe, or appropriate, for young kids.

Some of their NSFW (not safe for work) pages contain pornographic images loaded directly from reddit cache, that even if you block porn sites, your kids would be able to see from reddit.

If porn alone was not an issue, they have some very abusive communities about rape, murder and similar topics that are shocking even for adults. Because of Reddit’s free speech policy, they are allowed to continue and not blocked.

Because of that, we consider Reddit NOT safe for kids and school environments and the site is blocked if you are using CleanBrowsing Family content filter.

For Adults using our Adults content filter, we implement a few rules that make Reddit accessible but strip out the image repositories.

No Enforcable Filtering

Schools trying to comply with CIPA have to block Reddit on the school network as it contains content that falls into the (a)obscene; (b)pornography; and (c) harmful to minors category. We also recommend parents from restricting the site to kids under 13, unless supervised by an adult at all times.

CleanBrowsing will block access to Reddit automatically.

Try it out and see for yourself. Step by step instructions on how to activate it are available on our Getting Started page.

Stop Changes on iOS and Android Devices

Stop Unwanted Changes on Mobile Devices

One of the biggest challenges parents face when configuring and hardening their kids devices is restricting their ability to remove applications and configurations. It’s further complicated because technology providers, like Google and Apple, approach parental control as an afterthought in many instances, which inevitably introduce new ways that can be used to bypass the controls you deploy.

To help, here is a guide that will help you be more thoughtful as you think about ways to ensure you provide your kids the safe browsing experiences they deserve.


How Kids are Bypassing Porn Content Filters

The pervasiveness of the web is such that anyone, regardless of age, is able to gain access to whatever content they please with little, to no, barriers. It is, by design, the benefit that comes with an open web and the coinciding free flow of information.

There is a dilemma that exists in which we have to ask ourselves – what is the age that warrants that level of freedom and access?

(more…) Is NOT For Children Under 13

Startpage is a privacy oriented search engine. It works by scrapping non-personalised search results of other search engines and displaying it to the visitor. This is done to prevent Search engines from “tracking” your searches. However, this privacy concern is a big fat lie.


Safe Image Search for Kids

Image search is an useful way to find content online. Unfortunately, image search can often generate some explicit surprises that young kids are not ready for.

Image Search Dangers

Searching for images is a fun way to quickly find visual results for what you are looking for. You can easily find maps, equations and graphs for almost any content. The problem, is that buried within the clean results, you may get explicity images.

The other concern is that depending on the search, explicit & adult content may be displayed right away. Not a good surprise to have.

Image Searching for Kids

Young kids – For young kids (under 10-11), we recommend Kiddle for their searches online. It blocks most suspicious keywords, including scary images and adult content. It is very restrictive, but works for most of what kids look for (homework, games, etc).

k-12 kids – For kids that are a bit older, Google’s search engine is actually one of the best and offers a strong way for parents to enforce Safe Search. If you are using CleanBrowsing, that’s auto-enforced, so your kids are good to go, and if you are not, you can configure it manually by following these steps.

Want to prevent your kids from going to unsafe image search sites? Give CleanBrowsing a try. It only takes 5 minutes to enable it by following these instructions.