As smartphones are getting more popular, teenagers (and even adults) are getting easy access to the Internet. And once they have access to the Internet, they are open to all sorts of things — good, bad, and even porn.
Studies have confirmed, positive correlation between children’s exposure to pornography and aggressive behavior. Websites don’t enforce strict rules to block porn for children, it all comes down to parents and their willingness to prevent it.
Although you can’t stop them from using a smartphone, you can take certain measures to block porn or any kind of adult content on their Android smartphone and tablet.
In this article, we are not encouraging spying on your children. That’s not cool. But, if your child is not old enough to have a mature conversation, then it’s better to block all adult content on their phone.
Block Inappropriate Websites on Android
1. Enable Safe Search
The first thing that you need to do is, make sure the kids do not accidentally discover adult content while they are browsing the web or Google Play Store. Thankfully, Google has the option to setup up parental control on the Google Play Store.
Open your Play Store app, tap on the hamburger icon on the top left > Settings > Parental Controls > turn it ON by setting a PIN. Similarly, you can enable safe search in the Google and Chrome browser, it’ll block explicit images, videos, and websites from Google Search results.
2. Use OpenDNS to Block Porn
The best way to block inappropriate content is by using OpenDNS. It’s not just limited to porn or adult websites, but you can set filters to many other inappropriate contents like illegal activity, video sharing sites( like TikTok), and general time-wasters etc. Though do keep in mind, Open DNS settings don’t work, if the data saver is enabled.
By default, we use our ISP’s DNS, but if we replaced it with OpenDNS DNS servers then every request you send from our phone will first pass through OpenDNS server. And if it’s found inappropriate, then OpenDNS will block it.
To set OpenDNS as your default DNS server, goto your Setting > WiFi > select your home WiFi > Advance Option > Change DNS Setting > and add the following values.
- This service is maintained by the large organization, and when there is new a porn website, it automatically gets updated in the OpenDNS filter list. Moreover, you can add create a free account in OpenDNS and choose your filter level from low to high.
- You can also add the OpenDNS to your router level, and block adult content on every device connected to your WiFi.
- One can easily change the setting or use VPN apps for Android to bypass OpenDNS. So if you think your child is smart enough to do that then make sure you block access to Google Play and your device setting (following apps can do that easily)
- Also, in practical situations, no phone is always connected to home WiFi. For instance, when your kids are out and about, they may use some other WiFi or access the Internet via mobile data. Therefore, in such cases, OpenDNS is not useful.
3. Use CleanBrowsing app
If OpenDNS doesn’t work for you or you need a simple way to implement DNS blocking, then use CleanBrowsing. It works on the same principle i.e. using the DNS server to block Adult websites on the Internet. However, they have an easy to use Android app. We tried it on Oneplus 6t, and it works flawlessly. The only caveat though is the privacy. Since CleanBrowsing is a relatively new app and all the web traffic is passing through it, it’s not easy to trust. Nonetheless, if you want to set it up on your kid’s device, privacy shouldn’t be an issue.
To get started simply download the app from the official website (for some reason it’s not available on Play Store). Once done, install it on your Android phone and turn it on. You might have to restart your WiFi or phone to flush out old DNS. The best part is that you can set up a PIN to lock CleanBrowsing app and your kids won’t be able to bypass.
- Easy to set up with a dedicated app
- Works on all platform
- Lock app natively
- Works on both data and WiFi
- Privacy concern
- Easy to bypass with proxies and VPN
Check out CleanBrowing (free, $5)
4. Funamo Accountability
This Android app is designed to block porn and other inappropriate content and does its job quite well. The app has a built-in browser that has a cloud-based filter. However, you need to pay $19 per month subscription to use this app. Thankfully, there is a 2-day free trial, to check if it meets your expectation.
- It syncs data with Funamo server and tracks your browsing activity from anywhere
- Filtration in Good
- Option to blocks other apps
- Only two days of free trial
- Don’t block other browsers by default, which it should
Download Funamo Accountability (19$ with two days free trial)
5. Norton Family parental control
Like the name suggest it’s a parental control system that can monitor your child internet browsing history. You can also block sites based on 40+ filters like pornography, gambling, social networking, violence, etc.
You can also block sites based on 40+ filters like pornography, gambling, social networking, violence, etc.
There is also an option to get a detailed report of your children internet activity straight to your mailbox.
6. PornAway (Root only)
PornAway is a modded version of Adaway app (the app that blocks ads on your Android). However, PornAway is tailored to block porn sites instead of ads. The best part with this app is, unlike the other apps, that only works in their own little browser, PornAway blocks adult content from your entire Andriod. No matter which app or browser do you use, PornAway will block adult websites everywhere. Though, you’ll need root access to use PornAway. So, here is how it works.
- Make sure installation from unknown sources is allowed on your Android
- Download PornAway APK
- Tap on the APKinstallled it
- Grant it ROOT access
- Tap on ‘Enable porn blocking
You might have to root your device for the changes to take place. But once the app updates your host file, you can ahead and uninstalled it or even unroot your Android. The porn blocking will still work. But, if you want to disable porn blocking in the future, then you’ll need to use the same app and as well as root access.
- Works with every app
- Blocks all kind of porn
- Require Root access
- Doesn’t block other browsers by default, which it should
Cover is a new app, that helps you hide NSFW content from your phone. The app uses AI to automatically filters out downloaded content on your phone. You can hide images, GIFs, and videos in your gallery with this app. The app is centered around people who get themselves in embarrassing situations by not deleting explicit content and handing their phone to someone who swipes after looking at the cute dog picture you’re trying to show them.
When you install the app for the first time, it scans your storage and extracts the NSFW content and hides it from the gallery. Once your gallery is cleaned, you can activate a service which constantly monitors and hides any NSFW content that you may ‘accidentally’ download. The service constantly running in the background may affect your battery but you can customize this feature in the settings page.
Although Cover does a pretty good job in detecting NSFW content and hides it automatically there was a lot of barely NSFW content which the app outright ignored. However, you can still hide those images and videos under Cover by tapping the share button on the image and selecting the Cover option.
- Automatically sweeps your gallery for any potential NSFW content
- Constantly monitors and hides NSFW content from the gallery
- Mutes saved videos automatically on the phone
- The filtering technique isn’t refined and doesn’t work for barely NSFW content
- The service running in the background consumes a lot of resources resulting in battery drain
Download Cover for Android
Block Inappropriate Websites on Android
After testing many apps that claim to block porn on android, I recommended OpenDNS (when connected to home WiFi) and CleanBrowsing (when not using WiFi).
However, anyone can bypass these filters by using proxy apps like Hola or by changing the setting. So make sure you block installation of third-party apps by locking play store. If you are an adult and want to get rid of this habit, then check out this subreddit. This is a great community that will give you moral support.
Also Read: How to block porn on Windows