How to Block and Unblock Internet Sites (On a Mac)

By Techwalla Contributor

Block and unblock internet sites using your macintosh computer. It is easy to set up, and easy to change. Follow these steps to determine what type of blocking you want to use, how to set it up, and how to unblock sites in the future.

Step 1

DECIDE WHAT YOUR GOAL REALLY IS IN BLOCKING SITES.Be clear about this up front so you can find the best solution. Is this blocking for you? Is it for your kids? Is it to keep employees off of certain sites? Answer these questions first before stabbing in the blocking-sites-darkness.To block certain types of sites for all users on a computer or system - use OpenDNS.com, see step 2.To block specific sites one at a time use the terminal command in Step 3. To log (rather than block) specific sites use covenanteyes.com see Step 4. To only ALLOW certain sites use the parental controls option, see Step 5.

Step 2

USE FREE OPEN DNS TO BLOCK CERTAIN TYPES OF SITES FOR ALL USERS.This is a great option for small businesses or households with agreed upon and uniform standards for internet usage. See the resource section for a link. Go to the site (see resource link near the bottom of this page). Click on the 'start using open dns' button. Choose whether you want the blocking to occur at the computer level, the router level, or the server level. Follow the step by step instructions. They have pictures... it really is simple. Best of all, it is FREE!

Step 3

TO BLOCK SPECIFIC SITES USE THE TERMINAL COMMAND IN MACOSX TO BLOCK THEM ONE AT A TIME.Few people really want to block only one or two sites. This is a wieldy way to provide internet security. But if that is your specific need this is for you. Another ehow article gives the detailed instructions (it's a bit technical) for this process. So it is linked both in the related articles to the right titled 'How to block access to websites in MacOS X' and in the resource link section at the bottom.

Step 4

TO LOG EVERYTHING YOUR COMPUTERS VIEW, USE COVENANT EYES. This program will log and score every site that is viewed by a computer on which it is installed. It will not allow the internet to run if it is disabled and will send you an alert if it is uninstalled. You set the preferences as to how often to receive reports. Go to covenanteyes.com and click the 'sign up now' button. It will guide you through the process. For around $8 a month this is a relatively cheap option that covers up to three computers.

Step 5

TO ONLY ALLOW CERTAIN SITES USE PARENTAL CONTROLS. If you are using the Leopard system then you can use the 'Parental Controls' feature found in System Preferences. Click on accounts. Check the box for parental controls. You can click on the content tab and then tick limit access to adult sites. You can also use button to add specific criteria to your block. Alternatively, simply add the specific sites you want allowed to the bookmark bar and type in your administrator's password. Then only those sites can be viewed.

Step 6

TO UNBLOCK SITES ON A MAC.To remove parental controls simply return to the systems preference, accounts, then parental controls section. Un-click the parental control box. Un-click any content specific controls. To remove open dns.com simply drag the program folder from applications into the trash. Isn't Mac great?If you worked at the router or server level you will have to undo those steps and reconfigure your system to allow direct access to the internet.To uninstall covenant eyes you need the password to get an uninstall code. It cannot happen late at night.

Step 7

** See more tips and warnings in the next section below.

Tips & Warnings

  • For added security, set up your system so that no one can install or uninstall programs without an administrator password.
  • Remember, teenagers will simply find other computers and other ways to work around blocks. It is better to communicate openly with older children rather than simply protect them.
  • If you struggle with the ethics of logging someone else's internet activity you are certainly not alone. Simply do not choose that option. It is included in this article not as an endorsement, but for information purposes. Some computer users want their own net use monitored. This article does not condone the un-approved monitoring of another's internet history.