Want to protect an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod 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 Apple device you're protecting is running at least iOS / iPadOS 14. The Safe Surfer app will work best with version 14.0 or later. Not sure? You can check in the device's Settings app > General > About > Software Version. You can also check if an Apple device supports the latest software version here: click this link for iPhone devices; click this link for iPad devices.

1. Download the Safe Surfer app

Once you have available the Apple device you would like to protect, unlock it and tap the App Store app on the home screen. Tap the "Search" menu item at the bottom right. Tap the search bar, type "safe surfer", and press the "search" button on the keyboard. Our app listing as pictured should be at the top of the list. Tap the "Get" (or cloud download) button.



2. Open the Safe Surfer app

The Safe Surfer app will appear on the next available home screen page once it has been downloaded to the device.



3. Go through preliminary setup

Once you have opened the Safe Surfer app, tap the "Allow" button regarding the sending of notifications on this device. Tap the white box next to "I agree" to acknowledge the presented information, then tap the "Get started" button. Sign in with your Safe Surfer account (as a parent or accountability partner). Set a PIN code to protect the app from having its settings changed.



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



Once you have entered your PIN, tap the "Get protected" button. Tap the "Allow" button regarding the installation of VPN configurations. Enter the passcode of the device (the one used to unlock it). Protection should now be enabled.



4. Select categories to block

Tap the three bar menu icon at the upper left on the Safe Surfer app home. Tap the "Blocked sites" menu. Enable the "Override defaults" toggle button. From here, 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 grey 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 and select "Show descriptions". Once you are done, tap the blue "Save" button.



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. Prevent uninstallation of the Safe Surfer app + setting additional protection

Go back to the device's home screen and tap the Settings app. Tap the "Screen Time" menu. Tap the "Continue" button. Tap the "This is My Child's iPhone" option. Tap the "Not Now" option for the Downtime feature. Tap the "Not Now" option for the App Limits feature. Tap the "Continue" button for the Content & Privacy feature notice.

Enter a passcode, but make sure to not use the passcode that unlocks the device. The passcode you use can be the same as the PIN you set for the Safe Surfer app. If you decide to use an Apple ID account for Screen Time passcode recovery, it must be unrelated to any Apple ID currently signed in to this device. Otherwise tap the "Cancel" option and then the "Skip" button.

If you skip adding an Apple ID account for passcode recovery, the setup process could be cancelled and you might need to tap the "Use Screen Time Passcode" option on the Screen Time menu. Set a passcode (just as before). Tap the "Cancel" option and then the "Skip" button.



On the Screen Time menu, tap the "Content & Privacy Restrictions" menu. Enable the "Content & Privacy Restrictions" toggle and enter the passcode you set. Tap the "iTunes and App Store Purchases" menu. Under the "Store Purchases & Redownloads" section, tap the "Deleting Apps" menu. Tap the "Don't Allow" option.



Go back two pages to the "Content & Privacy Restrictions" menu. Tap the "Content Restrictions" menu. Set the options within the submenus to your preference. We recommend at least setting the following options:

Under the "Allowed Store Content" section, tap the "Books" menu. Tap the "Clean" option.
Back on the "Content Restrictions" menu, under the "Web Content" section, tap the "Web Content" menu. Tap the "Limit Adult Websites" option.

Go back to the Screen Time menu. You can now safely close the Settings app.

6. Protection complete

Congratulations! This device is now fully protected. If you have any other iPhone, iPad, or iPod 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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