Block Addictive Content

How to Block Porn on a Mac in 2024

Implement a porn blocking system for more effective blocking on a Mac computer or laptop.

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Tech Lockdown Team
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Updated July 15, 2024

If you want an effective porn blocker for Mac you need to use something that is effective at identifying and blocking content while also difficult to bypass. When it comes to addictive content, it's important to use multiple layers to block porn on a Mac to prevent bypassing block rules during a moment of weakness.

The ideal blocking system for Mac adds significant friction between you seeing something and opening up a private browser window.

My approach focuses on two areas:

  1. Set up multiple layers of effective blocking
  2. Prevent compulsive bypass of your blocking system

Blocking Porn on a Mac with a DNS Firewall

The most important part of my blocking recommendations involves a more comprehensive Mac porn blocker using the Tech Lockdown DNS Content Policy.

You can get started by customizing a Content Policy to prevent access to content based on rules you set.

In addition to creating block rules, you can also enforce Google SafeSearch and even YouTube restricted mode.

This blocking approach is ideal because you can specify categories to automatically block all the associated domains:

When dealing with this type of addictive content on your Mac, it can be helpful to go even further with your category selection to preventing seeking out alternatives:

You can also block specific websites, like Twitter or YouTube by updating your DNS Content Policy to specify an app you want to block. For example, selecting the YouTube app would block youtube.com and all associated domains that the app depends on

If, for some reason, you can't find an associated category or app that fits your website blocking needs, you could just specify a domain that you want to block:

You can connect basically any type of smartphone, computer, or even home router to a DNS Firewall.

There are two ways to connect your Mac to this firewall (I recommend doing both):

  1. Connect your Home Router to a DNS Content Policy so that your Mac using your home internet connection is connected to the DNS Content Policy.
  2. Connect your Mac to a DNS Content Policy  so that websites are blocked even when connected to a hotspot of switching to another WiFi connection away from home (like hotel wifi).
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Preventing Changes to your Content Policy

If you are self-managing or working with a partner, this is another scenario you need to account for when blocking porn on your Mac using a DNS Content Policy: 

How do I stop myself from logging in and editing my DNS Content Policy?

Some people solve for this by making it difficult to access the account where they manage their Content Policy. However, this is risky and inhibits you from making your Content Policy more restrictive when needed.

My solution for this was to design the Tech Lockdown Content Policy to have a Locked Mode .

When you lock your Tech Lockdown profile , you'll be prevented from removing blocked websites, but you'll be able to add blocked websites easily.

Additionally, the History activity log leaves an immutible trail or breadcrumbs so you can see how your Content Policy was changed.

This added layer of accountability is an important part of a Blocking System where more than one person is involved.

Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Scheduling Social Media, Video Streaming, and Internet Usage

Another reason why a DNS Content Policy is a core part of my recommended  Blocking System  for Mac is that you can schedule internet usage: when you access certain apps or websites and even the entire internet

Here are some scheduling considerations when trying to break adult content addiction:

  1. Social Media
  2. Video Streaming websites like YouTube
  3. The entire internet (at night)

It's simple to do this by first editing your DNS Content Policy to select a category, app, or domain that should be blocked.

Then, assign a schedule to that rule. You can pick days of the week and time ranges to apply the block.

I personally use this approach to limit my access to news and social media to my lunch break.

Otherwise, I always block these categories and apps.

You should also set internet shut off times  at night, which is when many people tend to struggle the most with willpower.

This approach is ideal because it takes 4g/5g connections into account, not just your home Wifi. 

This doesn't technically turn off your internet, but it lets you block access to everything other than what you specifically whitelist.

For example, I use security cameras at my house that need Wifi to work properly, so I add those services to my allowlist.

Handling Private Browsing and VPNs

Private browsing, through the use of VPNs and proxies or other browser privacy features, can create loopholes in a Mac porn blocking system. This is one of the most common bypass techniques you need to account for. 

You can add a block rule to your DNS Content Policy with the Anonymizer category selected, which will block VPNs and Proxies .

Furthermore, you should implement some of the other blocking techniques that work while using a VPN

Additionally, many people know about a web browser's private browsing features, which ensure that history isn't saved after the person finishes using the browser.

We recommend  disabling private browsing features on smartphones and computers to handle some potential bypass techniques and to also add an additional layer of accountability. 

This ensures that when you check the browsers History section that you'll have a more complete picture as to what was being searched for on that device and it will open the door to healthier discussions around internet usage. 

Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Get Powerful DNS Filtering
Create and enforce a Content Policy on all your devices.

Using the Hosts File and Adult Content Blocklists

The Mac's hosts file can be used to block websites or enforce safesearch on search engines. The hosts file blocking method works even with common bypass techniques.

For example, adding the following lines to your hosts file will enforce Google safesearch even if you aren't using a DNS Filter:

216.239.38.120 google.com
216.239.38.120 www.google.com

Adding the following lines will block Facebook:

0.0.0.0 facebook.com
0.0.0.0 www.facebook.com

Keep in mind that this approach is pretty limited, especially considering that you'll have to manually edit the hosts file to add new websites to your blocklists. 

Learn more about how to use the hosts file to block websites .

Using Browser Extensions to Block Porn on a Mac

In addition to your DNS Content policy and hosts file, you can use browser extensions to  block porn in Chrome or other web browsers. This blocking technique has a few additional benefits:

  1. More flexibility over how you block content
  2. Additional blocking on top of the other blocking methods
  3. Usually works even while using a VPN or Proxy

Block Pages based on Keywords

When you visit a website, you'll see the title of the page you are viewing in your browsers tab. 

You can use a porn blocker browser extension to specify disallowed words, which it's a great way to block many websites without having to maintain a large list of domains.

Block Specific Searches

You can block searches containing specific keywords on Google, Youtube, or most other search portal websites.

For example, when you search for"fruit" on most websites, the URL will usually have a part like this:

?query=fruit

?q=fruit

Block Google Images

A browser extension can be used to  block Google images  entirely.

You can force Bing Safe Search using your DNS Content Policy, which filters also filters image search results, but you can't block image search entirely.

This is where a browser extension can provide some benefit to you if you don't want the option to search images at all.

When you search on Google images, the URL changes to something like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=apples....&tbm=isch

If you want to block Google image search entirely, you can use a browser extension to create a block like this to target image search specifically:

*google.com/search*tbm=isch*

Better Blocking for Mac & PC

Elevate your content blocking and bypass prevention with DNS Filtering and Device Management.

Enforce Browser Extensions on a Web Browser

If you've installed browser extensions in order to hide elements on webpages or block searches, you may want to enforce those extensions so that they can't be uninstalled from your device.

Fortunately, this is possible. It does take a little bit of technical expertise, but it can be done without the need for installing another program.

Browsers

How to Enforce Browser Extensions

Normally, it's pretty easy to uninstall browser extensions that help block content. It is possible to prevent these browser extensions from being uninstalled so easily.

Read More

Tech Lockdown members will also have the option enforce browser restrictions with managed mode on their Mac devices:

You can hide the option to uninstall any extension you choose.

Block Browser Extensions on a Web Browser

On the other hand, you might also want to block extensions that allow you to bypass your restrictions. You can prevent specific extensions from being installed and even block the extensions store on your browser so that you can't download anything easily.

guide

How to Block Browser Extensions

Some browser extensions might interfere with your ability to enforce a content filter. Learning how to block these extension is an important step.

Read More

Going Further with Bypass Prevention

When it comes to dealing with addictive content online and the subsequent bad habits, I've found that a multi-layered approach is essential. Crafting effective blocking systems is what we focus on at Tech Lockdown.

However, you might need to go further in some cases with more of a focus on bypass prevention when blocking porn on a Mac.

In order to add significant friction to help break compulsive behaviors, I've written a definitive guide that goes through concepts like the following:

  1. Go much further than parental controls with device management techniques to enforce restrictions on a device.
  2. Increasing accountability and browsing transparency
  3. Preventing uninstall of apps and browsers extensions
  4. Handling common bypass methods

These step-by-step instructions are made available to Tech Lockdown members in your account dashboard in the guides section.

Block Browser Extensions

In addition to enforcing DNS settings, it's recommended that you set up a managed browser so that you can block unapproved browser extensions and enforce other browser restrictions. Blocking browser extensions makes DNS Filtering more effective and harder to bypass.

Guest Mode & User Accounts

A common bypass method involves a user signing into a computer or browser using guest mode, which often allows the person to bypass some levels of blocking.

On managed MacOS, you can remove Guest Mode entirely and even restrict access to managing Users & Groups so that new user accounts can't easily be created.

Prevent Changing Network Settings

It's important to prevent a user from easily removing or changing DNS and other network settings. There are a few strategies for restricting access to modifying network settings. 

On managed MacOS devices, you can install a config file that locks DNS settings.

Get the Guide to Managing MacOS Devices at Home
Get the Guide to Managing MacOS Devices at Home
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