In a previous article, we’ve pointed out parental controls you can use to block all varieties of explicit content from children. However, maybe you don’t want to put down a blanket control, and you just want to block individual sites.
There are many situations where you might want to block access to certain websites from your computer or device. Maybe you suspect that a particular site is spreading malware, or trying to obtain your personal data. Or, maybe you want to limit your own access to sites you don’t want to use anymore, such as gambling sites.
Either way, there are a few different ways you can block access to individual websites. They aren’t too difficult to do. Choose whichever one you find easiest and most effective for your own situation.
Block Websites with Your Browser
The easiest way to block websites is via your browser, but the way to do so will depend on which browser you use.
How to Block Websites with Internet Explorer:
Step 1: Go to your Tools menu
Step 2: Choose Internet Options
Step 3: Click on Security
Step 4: Choose the red Restricted Sites button
Step 5: Click the Sites button
A pop-up will appear after clicking on the sites button. Manually enter the website addresses of the websites you want to block.
Step 6: When you’re done entering website addresses, click Close and OK
The websites you entered will now be restricted so you can’t see them. You can test this to ensure it’s working by trying to go to those websites. Your browser should not allow you to view them.
How to Block Websites with Chrome, Opera, and Firefox:
Chrome, Opera, and Firefox don’t have those options, but you can install apps that will do the same job.
If you use Chrome you can download Block Site, a free app.
Block Site is a free app available for Chrome and Firefox. Click the link for your browser and download the browser extension. These work the same way the Internet Explorer method does, but the Block Site app has an extra step – password control. Add a password to Block Site so only you can access is and alter the blocked websites.
The problem with this method is that you need to make sure every browser on your computer has the blocks added. Otherwise, someone who wants to access a banned website can just use a different browser or install an entirely new one of their own.
How to Block Sites with Safari on Mac
The Mac version of Safari doesn’t have a website blocker option either. If you want to block individual websites, you have to go into the guts of Terminal and make some alterations.
Step 1: Click on Terminal in your Mac’s Utilities folder.
Step 2: Type “sudo nano /etc/hosts” in the Command Line.
Step 3: Enter your administrator password.
Step 4: Scroll to the bottom of the Terminal page, then enter “127.0.0.1 www.yahoo.com” Substitute Yahoo for the site you want to block. Hit Enter.
Step 5: Hold down CTRL and the letter “O” to save your changes and exit the screen.
Step 6: Finally, type “sudo dscacheutil -flushcache” in the Command Line to remove cached files, and hit enter to finish the job.
If you try to access any website you have blocked in this way, you will see an ‘unable to connect’ error message.
Blocking Websites with Your Internet Provider
Another way to block websites is to use the built-in options offered by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most ISPs offer their users parental controls and website blockers. Again, how you’ll be able to block websites will depend on what ISP you’re using.
You’ll need to dig out your username and password to log on with your ISP, but after that, it should be clearly signposted. You will probably be offered the options to block entire categories of websites, such as adult sites or gambling sites. There’s probably also an option to put a timer on blocks, so after the children have gone to bed, you can access any website you want to. However, look for the option to block individual sites, that’s the bit you want, in this case.
This is a pretty secure way to block websites, as long as no one else has your password.
Blocking Websites on Mobile Devices
Anything you need to block on your home computer, desktop or laptop, you probably want to block on any mobile devices in your home or that you take on the go (tablets, phones, and any other mobile devices).
You can block websites on all of your Apple or Android devices too.
Blocking Websites on Apple Devices:
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Choose General
Step 3: Tap Restrictions
Step 4: Choose Enable Restrictions
Step 5: Set your Passcode to access this area. Choose a passcode that is different than the one you use to lock and unlock your phone.
Step 6: Scroll down and tap on Websites. Here you can limit access to adult websites or specific websites of your choosing.
Step 7: Tap on Specific Websites. You’ll see a list of child-friendly websites you may want to allow such as Disney or CBeebies.
Step 8: Tap on Add a Website
Step 9: Enter each individual website address you want to block from your phone
That’s it – you now have these websites blocked on your Apple device.
Blocking Websites on Android Devices:
If you’re on an Android device, then it’s slightly different. There is no “block sites” option in the Settings, as there is on Apple devices *.
First, check whether the internet browser you’re using offers a way to block websites. If so, use that option as it’s easy and free. Alternatively, you could install a third-party app which will give you the option to block individual websites.
One app that performs this function is Trend Micro for Android.
Step 1: Download and install Trend Micro
Step 2: Create an account.
Step 3: Find Safe Surfing in the Options menu.
Step 4: Enter the individual URLs you want to block.
Whatever the reason is that you want to block access to individual sites, there are many ways to do so, both at home and in the outside world. Remember, unscrupulous people are always trying new ways to commit crimes online, and they’re always looking for ways to get your personal data. Stay vigilant, and take precautions to make sure you are staying safe online.
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