All popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo offer parental controls, which typically block search results based on keywords and using site block lists. The filtering of adult content by the major search engines tends to be effective, but the downside is these controls can be easy to disable. Google and Yahoo offer password protection setting for filtered search, which is generally effective for younger users but is fairly easy for a knowledgeable teen to disable. Additionally, safe search settings only apply to the Internet browser you apply them to, so if you have both Internet Explorer and Firefox, you’ll need to configure search settings in both browsers. If it’s important to you to really “lock in” safe search settings, a number of parental control software products such as Net Nanny, ContentBarrier, Norton Family, and Safe Eyes offer this ability. Another option is to direct children to “walled garden” kids search engines where only pre-screened, age-appropriate sites are displayed in search results. The drawback of “walled gardens” is that a lot of good content is going to be excluded.
Ages up to 7: Direct children to kids search engines, such as Kids.Yahoo.com
Ages 8 to 10: Use locked down filtered searches, preferably with a filtering product
Ages 11 to 13: Lock down filtered search engines with a filtering product
Ages 14 to 17: Lock down filtered search engines with a filtering product or monitor use