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How to restrict children’s access to pornography

Learn how to set up filters against pornography on your child's mobile, tablet, and PC.

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In one survey, almost half of young people aged 13 to 18 say that they have watched porn online. However, the first encounter with pornography may still be much earlier. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said they had watched porn online for the first time before the age of 13 (Children and Media: 2020).

According to another European media survey, 39 percent of All Norwegian children between the ages of 9 and 16 report having seen sexual images/video.

  • 10 percent of 9 – 11-year-olds have seen this type of content
  • 42 percent of 12 – 14-year-olds
  • 77 percent of 15 – 16-year-olds
    (EU Kids Online, 2020)

Parents may have various reasons for restricting access to porn, such as the children may get the wrong perception of sexuality.

The same advice is repeated from experts when it comes to children and the topic of sexuality; start early by talking to your children about this.

All the world’s filters on mobiles and machines can’t stop everything, but it’s possible to restrict porn access:

Restrict search engine access

Several of the search engines filter out adult websites. Please note that these changes only apply to the individual device (mobile/PC) on which these settings are set up. To do this:


  • Go to this link here and turn on “Safe Search.” Read more about this here.


  • Inside Bing’s main page. Tap the three horizontal lines to enter settings. Select the level of “Safe Search.” Strict, moderate, and off.

NB! Keep in mind that these settings are easy to turn on and off for your kids as well.

Parental controls on PC and Mac

If parents and children use the same computer in the house, it is possible to create user accounts for children and adults. The ‘child account’ may then have, among other things, its own restrictions on online use.

  • Parent and child accounts on PC are managed through Microsoft’s Families page. Here you can log in with a parent user and manage child users. You can then select filters that weed out inappropriate websites for children. These filters work only on the Microsoft Edge browser.
  • On Apple Mac: Choose the Apple menu and system preferences on your Mac. Click parental controls. Select create new user with parental controls. Enter administrator name and password. To change web search restrictions: Again, select the Apple menu and system preferences. Select parental controls. Enter your username and password. Select the user and select network. Select: “Restrict access to sites or allow unrestricted access.”

Read more about Mac parental controls here.  For game consoles, read here.

Restrict access to mobile and tablet

Both mobile phones and tablets have built-in settings to restrict access to adult websites, including pornographic websites. One can either set up such restrictions from the parent’s mobile (family group) or on the child’s mobile and tablet directly. To do this:

Apple mobile phones and tablets:

  • On the child’s device: Go to settings. Select Screen Time. Select this is my device, or your child’s device. Choose Content and Privacy. Select Content Restrictions. Select Online Content and Restrict Adult Websites.
  • From your device: First, you need to create your own Apple ID for kids (your child must be signed in to the mobile or tablet with this account). Enter Screen Time. Select your child. Choose Content and Privacy. Enter a code. Select Content Restrictions. Select Online Content and Restrict Adult Websites.

Android mobile phones and tablets:

  • On your child’s device: Go to the browser with this link here and turn on “secure search.” Read more about this here. Remember that children can turn this on and off unless you use the option below.
  • From your device: First, create a Google Account for each of the children younger than 13 (your child must be signed in to their mobile or tablet with this account). Install the “family link” app. Open the app. Find your child’s name in the app. Select Manage Settings. Select Google Chrome. Select Try to Block Websites That Aren’t Child-Friendly. Also, select Safe Search inside Google Search in the Family Link app.

Choose a router with parental controls

All mobiles, tablets, and computers must be connected to a wireless router to access the internet.

Very simply explained, a cable from the house wall goes into a box (router) that sends internet (WiFi) throughout the house. It is this wireless networks mobiles and tablets connect to for accessing the internet. By putting parental control directly on the router, you can block access to inappropriate websites at the root.

In practice, it will not matter what kind of settings the children have on their mobiles or tablets, because it is stopped already at the router. The advantage then is that you don’t have to go into every mobile and PC to set up parental controls individually.

But as soon as the kids are browsing on mobile data or a network that is not at home, they will have open access to all content again. Therefore, settings on mobile and tablet can be useful if your kids are using the internet outside the home.

Often you get a wireless router provided by your Internet Service Provider. It may be worthwhile to contact your ISP to hear what kind of parental control settings come with your subscription and are already built into your wireless router.

Alternatively, you can buy a separate router with built-in parental controls.

Disney has developed a router called Circle. This can do far more than just block inappropriate websites. Among other things, you can control screen time from an included app. Google has something similar called Google Nest Mesh.

What about school?

Ask the school what steps it has taken to restrict porn on the computers that children use at school. Some schools have firewalls and the like to limit this type of website visit. You can also put barriers yourself as a parent on your child’s school iPad.

Read more English articles here.

(This article was originally published on January 22, 2019, and has been updated later. Translated by Ratan Samadder)