Want to protect an Apple Mac device from pornography and other harmful online content? You’re in the right place! This guide will efficiently walk you through how to do so with Safe Surfer.

First off, we recommend that you check to see if the Apple device you’re protecting is running at least macOS 11 Big Sur. Not sure? You can check by clicking the Apple icon at the upper left corner > About this Mac.

If you are stuck on macOS 10.14 Mojave, you might need to update old apps to a 64-bit version so that you can upgrade macOS. For example, apps like Microsoft Office might need to be updated (through the Microsoft AutoUpdate application). Click this link to learn more. Click this link to learn how to upgrade to the latest version of macOS.

Step 1: Change important user account settings

We need to ensure that the Mac user account your child uses will have only standard-level permissions on this device. This means that once we’ve finished setting up protection they will not be able to remove the filter installation without the password of a device administrator (being you). We will briefly go through the steps to make a new administrator account, then we will set the account your child uses to have standard permissions.

Click System Preferences (the cog icon on the dock) > Users & Groups > click the lock icon and provide credentials.



Click the “+” icon at the lower left. Fill in the fields to make a user account called “Admin” with Administrator permissions. Once you’ve made the user account, click the lock icon.

Log out of the current user (click the Apple logo at the upper left corner > Log Out) and log in to the Admin user. Click System Preferences > Users & Groups > click the lock icon and provide credentials > select your child’s account > untick the checkbox for “Allow user to administer this computer” > click the lock icon. You can now close out of the System Preferences app.

Step 2: Install protection

Click the Safari app on the dock.



Visit the Safe Surfer dashboard and log in to your account. Click the Devices menu button found on the left sidebar.

Click the “+ New Device” button.



Under the section labelled “Protect a Device”, click “This Device”.



Under the section labelled “This Device”, click “Apply Filter Settings”.



Enter a name for the device you are protecting, then click the Accept button.



Under the section labelled “Apply Filter Settings”, click the Download button.



When you are asked if you would like to allow downloads on “my.safesurfer.io”, click the Allow button.



In the Downloads prompt box, click the small search icon next to Safe Surfer.mobileconfig.



In the Downloads folder, double-click the Safe Surfer.mobileconfig file.



macOS will inform you that the filter profile is available for installation in the System Preferences app.



Click the System Preferences app on the dock.



Click the Profiles menu at the lower right corner of the System Preferences window.



On the Safe Surfer profile listing, click the Install button at the upper right corner. The profile will be unsigned, but this is safe to ignore as you have downloaded it from our official dashboard website.



When macOS asks for your permission to install the profile, click the Install button.



Enter the credentials belonging to the Admin user account. The filter profile should now be installed system-wide.



Step 3: Finalise protection

To configure blocked sites for this device, click this link to go to the dashboard again. Click the Blocking menu on the left sidebar. Click the blue bubble in the middle and select the device you made (e.g. John’s Mac). You can now select through the list of categories to block. Click the Save button at the upper right corner once you’re done. You can now log out of the Safe Surfer dashboard.

Log out of the current user (click the Apple logo at the upper left corner > Log Out). Log in to the standard user account. Click the Safari icon on the dock.



Verify that your filter installation is working by visiting ExampleAdultSite.com. This is a safe website designated for testing if pornographic sites are being blocked. This site should be blocked.



Protection complete

Nice one—this device is now fully protected! To start monitoring protected devices, visit our easy-to-use online dashboard.

If you ever need to uninstall protection, simply delete the Safe Surfer profile in System Preferences > Profiles > Safe Surfer listing > click the “-” icon to remove. As previously demonstrated, these changes can only be made by user accounts that hold administrator permissions on this device.

If you have any other Apple Mac devices you would like to protect, simply start again from the top of this guide. If you would like to protect a different kind of device, visit our Guides page.