Google’s search engine is comprehensive—there’s really no other word to describe it. It scours every corner of the Internet looking to match your search terms, and more importantly your child’s search terms. In a broad sense, “every corner of the Internet” can be a scary thought when it’s your child behind the keyboard; that’s why I can’t stress to parents enough just how important it is that they enable Google’s SafeSearch option. The difference between a “strict” setting and a “moderate” setting is huge, and parents need to be vigilant.
The topic is so important that I’ve actually written about the benefits of Google SafeSearch a couple of times already. However, I don’t think there are enough parents who know about it, or the difference it can make in their child’s search results. So, to keep things simple, the Yoursphere editorial team put together a video guide that shows you just how easy it is to enable SafeSearch on your home computer or your child’s laptop.
- Go to Google.com
- Click the little gear icon in the top right corner and select “Search Settings”. You will need to be logged into your Google account to do this.
- On the Preferences page, scroll down to the SafeSearch Filtering section and choose the first option – “Use strict filtering (Filter both explicit text and explicit images)”
- CRITICAL: Click the “Lock SafeSearch” link.
- You’ll be required to enter your password. Then just click the Lock SafeSearch button.
You’ll know SafeSearch is locked when the colored balls appear with your/your child’s search results. These colored balls will not show up UNLESS you lock SafeSearch in step 4 above. The reason for this is because your child can easily change your “strict” setting back to “off” or “moderate”.
That’s it! Now all you have to do is spread the word to other parents you know. If you’re not sure what value this feature brings to your family, go ahead and test it for yourself. Go to Google Images and search for something as innocent as “teens on cell phone” and see what comes up when SafeSearch is off. I’m sure you would agree that our children don’t need to be exposed to this kind of content. Moreover, imagine the types of sites those images link to! Google SafeSearch is just one more tool you can use to help keep your kids safe online.