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Prevent Users From Altering "Safe Search" on Search Engines

Posted on 2014-10-03
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Last Modified: 2014-11-10
Our public library employees a fairly strict firewall to prevent our patrons from accessing inappropriate content while in the building. Recently, I found out that this method is circumvented by doing an Image Search on any search engine with "Safe Search" disabled. If possible, I would like to prevent our patrons from being able to alter the Safe Search setting on the "big three" engines - Google, Yahoo and Bing.

We do have a server using Group Policy for the machines; however, it currently isn't working properly. We will have new servers in the next couple of months. If there is a way to do this via GP, though, I would happily do it locally.
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Question by:Wesley Johnson
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by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40359639
I'm almost 100% positive that you will not be able to modify a webpage option with a group policy. If your web filter is not picking up the images or links as inappropriate, I would look into the categories and options selected on the filter.
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by:Gary
ID: 40359651
In Google you can lock the safe search
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/144686?hl=en

On the others I'm not so sure, but there is this which is probably an easier all round way
http://download.cnet.com/SafeSearchLock/3000-27064_4-75573932.html
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Kyle Abrahams earned 500 total points
ID: 40359652
For Google:
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/186669?hl=en

for Yahoo (and bing):
http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/2011/11/how-to-set-up-yahoo-and-bing-safe-search/

Though the article reports that you can't lock safe search in bing.  If that's the case I would re-direct bing to google or yahoo.

Note that you may run into first amendment issues and what not when doing this, but that's outside the scope of your question.
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Author Comment

by:Wesley Johnson
ID: 40359679
Joshua - I was thinking the same thing. My boss once worked for the school board and thought he remembered that they were able to nix it somehow, though. We use a Fortigate 400a and have all the relevant "adult" categories selected; I think image search is just a gaping hole inside of our setup. I don't see how some of these things escaped being branded "adult."

Gary & Kyle - Thanks for the links.

Kyle - Our patrons agree to adhere to our policy when signing up for a card. I'm quite certain that said policy mentions accessing adult content through our computers is prohibited.
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