The Matzav Shmoooze: New iOS7 Feature Allows Internet Filtering


 iphoneDear Editor,

I am writing to inform readers of a recent development in Apple’s iPhone/iPad/iPod touch operating system.

For years it was almost impossible to properly filter your iPhone because of various blocks that Apple had built in to their software. Unlike a computer where you were able to place a filter on the entire computer which would work no matter what internet browser you were using, with Apple you had to download specific “kosher” browsers which generally were not that good. Also, you needed to block your entire app store so that you could not download a different browser, which was a great inconvenience. Finally, you were easily able to bypass the filter by accessing the internet from any app which had ads or links. All in all, most people did not properly filter their phones.

Boruch Hashem, I am happy to tell Matzav readers that this issue seems to have been solved with the release of Apple’s iOS 7 two weeks ago! It is now possible to place a filter on THE ENTIRE DEVICE, no matter which browser or app you are using. You can set a password on your phone to restrict adult content and/or specific sites (or if you prefer you could work off a white list). These restrictions work throughout the entire device just as a computer filter does.

To set this up go to Settings>General>Restrictions>Enable Restrictions (requires you to set a pass-code)>

Under Allowed Content select “Websites” and choose which options works best for you.

Please note that peoples’ needs and standards may differ so you may need to block specific websites to suit your needs.

Someone some day may figure out a way around this, but for now we must do our best and of course daven for yiras Shamayim! I have no doubt that the hundreds of concerned parents that contacted Apple over the years compelled them to add this feature.

Thank you, Matzav, for your excellent work.

A fellow Yid and a grateful Apple customer

{ Newscenter}


  1. Nice article but it was in the old iOS a well. I have had it for two years. When you download k9 it instructs you to do so for all iOS’s unless I am missing something.

  2. thank you but i would point out that this filter works poorly in my opinion. I set it to limit adult content and it was blocking an investor relations website for an oil refining company. It may help for children if an adult holds the password but not so well for a shmira for the adult himself.
    What i did before is block safari all together and use k9 when needed. if apple really wants to help they would allow you to use k9 as your default browser instead of how it is currently that you need to cut and paste every time you use k9.

  3. Just an FYI- A white-list would obviously be effective but it is extremely limiting. If you are just applying the filtering then the standards are well below what a frum kid (or adult) should be looking at. That having been said there is one very important factor that the filtering adds and it is vital that everyone be aware of. The ios devices can be set to “private” which means any sites visited won’t show up on history. Also, at any time one can erase the entire browsing history. However, when you apply filtering, it automatically disables private browsing and removes the ability to erase history. This can be set up as an effective way to monitor internet sites visited if the “monitor” has regular access to the device.

  4. First of all Thank you very much & Tizkah L’imitzvahs! A true help!

    Secondly if you read the article you’ll see this has not been around for 2 years. For 2 years all you’ve been able to do was restrict safari alone & in order to be kept safe you’d have to restrict the app store as well. Cause a simple way of getting onto the web would be installing a Google app IE Google translate (a 4+ rating) & go to settings and policy which would take you to a regular Google page within the app, rendering the restricted safari useless! Which basically leaves you with no browser or apps Store
    Same thing goes for any ads on free apps….

    However with the new iOS 7 as the writer notes, the entire device can be restricted or filtered including back door access like the above example. this has NOT been available on previous OS software. Tried & tested, this really works! Thanks so much for posting!

  5. It’s not as simple as you think. This filter is good but not recommended by many who understand all the details about it. So next time you publish an article on a public website, I recommend you do a little research.

  6. This is NOT the same restriction option that has been on the phone for years! Those only work to restrict the actual browser. This blocks all adult content from any browser (even if you access the web from an app).

    As for Verizon, that will not work when you are connected to a wireless network

  7. Kids can bypass this parental control by going to other apps with ads or that simply lets them use the internet (e.g. talk atone, audio memos, eve craigslist etc). This is true, i have seen it-try it yourselves.