Want to protect an Android device from harmful online content? You're in the right place! This guide will efficiently walk you through how to do so.

We recommend that you check to see if the Android device you're protecting is running at least Android version 9. We support a feature called Private DNS which can be used as an alternative installation option in certain scenarios. Not sure? You can check inside the device's Settings app > About phone > Software information > Android version.

1. Download the Safe Surfer app

Once you have available the Android device you would like to protect, unlock it and tap the Play Store app on the home screen. If you can't see the Play Store app, try looking inside the device's app draw (that is, the app library). You can access the app draw by swiping from the middle of the screen to the top on the home screen. From the app draw, you can scroll between pages by swiping left or right.

Once you have opened the Play Store app, tap the search bar at the top. Type "safe surfer" and then press the search icon on the keyboard. Our app listing as pictured should be at the top of the list. Tap the "Install" button.

2. Open the Safe Surfer app

The Safe Surfer app will appear inside the device's app draw once it has been downloaded to the device. In the screenshot below, the Safe Surfer app is sitting on app draw page 3.

3. Go through preliminary setup

Once you have opened the Safe Surfer app, tap the box next to "I agree" to acknowledge the presented information, then tap the "Get started" button. Enter a name for the device that you're protecting, then tap the "Next" button. Sign in with your Safe Surfer account (as a parent or accountability partner), then tap the "Next" button. Once the device registration process has been completed, tap the "Finish" button.

When the app asks you "Who's using this device?", tap the "Protected Person" option. After this, you can scroll and select from our list of categories that can be toggled for blocking on this device. A category is blocked if the toggle button next to it is coloured red (as opposed to a greyed toggle button signifying a category that is not blocked). If you would like to read details on what kind of content applies to any specific category, tap the three dot icon at the upper right, then tap "Show descriptions".

Once you have finished selecting categories, tap the "Next" button to proceed. You can set a PIN code on the following page to protect the app from having its settings changed. Once you have chosen a PIN, tap the "Confirm" button.

The next time you open the Safe Surfer app, the interface will be protected behind the PIN you installed. If you ever need to, you can reset the PIN code with your Safe Surfer account credentials by tapping the "Reset" option on this screen.

Tap the "OK" option to acknowledge the presented information on the prompt that comes up. Tap the "OK" button to acknowledge the presented information on the connection request prompt that comes up. Protection should now be enabled. Ignore the grey buttons under "Finish Setup" for now—we will go through them soon. You can safely ignore the grey "Sign In" button—you won't be using it in this protection setup scenario.

To check if filtering is working, try visiting ExampleAdultSite.com in a web browser app. This is a safe website designated for testing if pornographic sites are being blocked successfully. This site should be blocked.

5. Change further important settings + prevent uninstallation

Open the Safe Surfer app again. Tap the "Disable Battery Optimization" button. Tap the "Go to Settings" option on the prompt that comes up. On the next menu, tap the "Apps not optimised" drop-down list, then tap the "All" option. Tap the search icon at the upper-right and search for "safe surfer". Disable the toggle button next to the Safe Surfer app listing.

Open the Safe Surfer app again. Tap the "Enable permissions" button. Enable the toggle button next to "Allow permission".

Go back to the device's home screen, open the app draw, and tap the Settings app. Tap the Apps menu. Tap the three dot icon at the upper-right. Tap the "Special access" menu. Tap the "Device admin apps" menu. Tap the toggle button next to the Safe Surfer app listing. Tap the "Activate" button. You can now close the Settings app.

6. Protection complete

Congratulations! This device is now fully protected. If you have any other Android devices to protect, simply start again from the top of this guide.

If you would like to protect a different kind of device, view section 3 on our Protect My Devices article for more guides like this one.
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