Due to the evolving technology and use of mobile phones on a daily basis, it becomes imperative to ensure that you safeguard your children from adult content. Suppose, your kids play with your iPhone, or have access to any iOS device, being a parent, you would certainly want to protect your children from accessing unwanted websites like porn, violent and sexually explicit content by applying some restrictions on your mobile phone.
Blocking websites on iPhone is not that user friendly as it should have been, in short it is a bit cumbersome. However, still, you can make use of it to the best of your need by trying all the nitty gritty of your iPhone settings.
In this article, we will learn about three different options or rather solutions that we can take to restrict websites access on your iPhone - Blocking websites using iPhone restrictions, using OpenDNS and using safe browsers.
In this part we will learn how we can use the iPhone restrictions to block unwanted websites. The steps are as follows:
From the home screen of your iPhone, open settings icon which would be grey in color.
Click on General and then Restrictions.
If Restrictions button is already on, you will have to type your restrictions pass code before you can make any changes to this section. This pass code will be different than your iOS device pass code set in Settings - Passcode, so do not get confused. Type pass code again to confirm.
Note: In case you have not used the Restrictions before, click on Enable Restrictions located at the top and choose a 4 digit pass code that only you can remember.
Once done, go to Websites which is below the Allowed Content heading.
Now Tap on Limit Adult Content (to block all obscene content) and click on the Add a Website section under Never Allow.
Add the website address in this field that you want to block using the format www.xyz.com.
Note : Few sites also have mobile version, so you will have to block those separately.
Click on Done located at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. The website that you entered will no more be available on browsing in Safari.
Repeat the process to block another website.
DNS blocking and filtering is a pretty common method of blocking access to certain websites. In this part of the article we will look at ways of using OpenDNS on iPhone to block websites.
Instructions for iPhone Configuration:
Note : These instructions will only work with Wi-Fi connection since iOS does not allow changes to DNS servers when mobile data is being used on your iPhone. The changes are also network specific, so every time you sign in to a new Wi-Fi network, you will have to change the DNS servers again. However, iOS would remember the settings, so you would not have to do anything when connecting back to a network.
Step 1: Click on Settings icon, on your iPhone home screen.
Step 2: Click on Wi-Fi and select your wireless network. Now tap on the arrow right next to it.
Step 3: Click on the DNS field as showed in the image below.
Step 4: Delete the mentioned DNS server and enter the new servers. In case you want to enter more than one DNS server, be sure to separate them with a commas.
For OpenDNS, enter 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
Instructions for configuration on iOS 8:
Step 1: Go to Settings, from the home screen
Step 2: Click on Wi-Fi option. Find your network and select for your iPhone.
Step 3 : Tap on the 'i' button (same as arrow, mentioned above)
Step 4: Scroll to DNS section and click on the right hand side of the to change the DNS server address to 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52
Now that you have configured your iPhone with OpenDNS, to adjust Web content filtering on a particular network, you must login to the OpenDNS dashboard at first.
Under the Settings for section at the top left hand side, select the appropriate network that you want changes for.
Click on the Web Content Filtering option on the left hand side and underneath you will see all the available options that you can choose from.
Choose the filtering level as per your need and click Apply. There you go, you have successfully blocked content and websites using OpenDNS.
Note : You can also manage and block individual domains under Manage Individual Domain section below by adding the domain name in the empty cell.
Safe Browser is the most famous and the best selling parental control app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This safe browser is called the Mobicip which is also set to replace the iOS very own Safari, also called an alternate browser to Safari. It comes in a free and a premium package. The newest version of Mobicip is 4.4 and was last updated in January 2017. With a size of just 16.7 MB, Mobicip is extremely easy to install and is compatible with iOS 6 and above. Mobicip can be used to both control and monitor internet activities in school, business as well as family. It is protected by a mobicip.com account which is to be setup by the administrator.
Let us now understand the method by which we can using this safe browser to block unwanted websites on iPhone.
Step 1: On the home screen of your iPhone, select the App Store icon.
Step 2: Click on the search tab, and look for mobicip. Once found, select Mobicip Safe Browser from the list.
Step 3: Touch the Free button and install. Enter your iTunes username and password to proceed with the download.
Step 4: The app will now appear on your home screen.
Note: Before launching the app, you must visit mobicip.com and sign up for an account, where you may agree to opt for a premium account which will give you access to a lot more exclusive mobicip features.
So now we move on to the steps for Restrictions set up:
Step 1: On home screen select General and then Settings
Step 2: Select Restrictions icon
Step 3: Enter the 4 digit pass code on the screen.
Step 4: You will now see the restrictions screen. Turn off Safari, Installing Apps, Deleting Apps and In-App purchases off.
Step 5: Scroll down to the Allowed Content Area, here you can review and select the preferences for restrictions.
Note : You should keep the Website Settings below to All, or else it will hamper the working of Mobicip significantly.
Step 6 : Login to Mobicip safe browser and start blocking websites. For better view, you may even download the monitor app to access and manage your Mobicip account for your iPhone. The screen would appear as below.
Awesome, you have successfully proceeded to block websites using restrictions on your iPhone using the safe browser.
So these were the three different ways of blocking unwanted websites on iPhone. While iPhone restrictions are cumbersome, OpenDNS would only work with a WiFi network, however, another excellent method to block websites on your iPhone would be by using safe browsers. It is for you to decide the best one for yourself, your family especially kids and keep yourself at peace.