Any Way to Configure Google Safe Search

Unanswered Question
Apr 11th, 2007

I was wondering if there was a way to only allow for google when safesearch is turned on?

I have this problem too.
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jowolfer Mon, 04/23/2007 - 17:07


This feature is not currently available, but is on the road map for future enhancements.

jwjorgensen Thu, 05/03/2007 - 03:44

It seems like you could also use regular expressions to do this as well. Create a custom URL category and apply a regular expression that includes the keywords for searches NOT using safesearch. Then block that category.

jowolfer Fri, 05/04/2007 - 17:25

Although not the most 'ideal' way of doing it, you could probably get away with doing it this way.

Your users may be confused as to why they are being blocked, since they would get a generic denial page.

I think forcing the the Safesearch by adding the query string will be a much better way of doing this in the end.

Thanks for the information. Have you created a regx to do this? I'd love to see it if you have =)

jwjorgensen Fri, 05/04/2007 - 19:10

Unfortunately, no.:( A customer brought up the safe search issue and I told him he could probably do it with a regex. I am working on getting one created, but I am totally unfamiliar with regular expressions. I am still reading up on it.

smohan_ironport Sun, 05/06/2007 - 20:56


Yes - this is on our near-term roadmap. We plan to have an option that will enable/disable Safesearch for specific search engines.

For now, here is a very easy and effective way to deal with it:

Create a Custom URL category called "Cached Search Engine Pages".

Under that category, go to Advanced settings to create keyword filters. Add the following:

· For Google: /search?q=cache

· For Yahoo: /search/cache?p

· For MSN:, /cache.aspx

And so on - you get the idea...

Once created, you can block access to cached search engine queries on a per-policy basis by choosing the 'Block' action for this custom category.


scott.taylor_ir... Mon, 10/22/2007 - 11:50

The regex "safe=off" will block searches on users that have forcefully turned safe searches off. However, as discussed earlier this will generate a generic denied page.

nathan.green_ir... Wed, 03/26/2008 - 21:15

We are looking at this product for our school district and this is a major point for us. Our current filter has this capability.

This is what I was sent when I asked about this:

Thank you for calling in. Unfortunately Google does not tag the URL of image searches performed with SafeSearch turned off, so these searches can not be blocked directly.

However, it is possible to block access to the Preferences URL's (where SafeSearch is turned off) using regular expressions. You can create a custom category with the following regular expressions and set it to 'Block' to prevent people from accessing this page:


You can also modify the following regular expression to block certain keywords in image searches. The following example regex blocks the image searches with the word "planes", "trains", or "automobiles":


Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions.

So the question is does anyone know of a quick way to set the Safe Search settings for Yahoo, Google and Ask? I am looking at having to do this on 1500 computers and I’m pretty sure there is not a GPO to do this with Microsoft.

The simple question, is it possible to have Ironport append the Safe Search toggle to a search performed be the main search engines? For example, put “&safe=on” at the end of any Google search or “&vm=1” to a Yahoo search?
jowolfer Thu, 03/27/2008 - 16:02


The feature to append the safe search query string is coming in a future release. There is currently no way to force the Google safesearch.

nathan.green_ir... Wed, 04/02/2008 - 21:33

That is good to hear. Being that we are a K-12 school district, it is important for us to allow our students and teachers to do image searches. With the current Ironport setup, the user must do a standard web search, and then click on the various links until they get a site that has a useable picture. Given that the students only have an hour class time, time is of the essence and the extra effort this method takes is not efficient use of resources. If we were a business this would really be a non issue. With only two months of school left before the summer break, we can get along OK with what we have now. Come August though, we will need to see about working something out.

jowolfer Thu, 04/03/2008 - 17:02


I really don't have a solid time frame on when this feature is to be released. I have noted the enhancment for this, so it will gain further visibility.

daniel.hoffman_... Wed, 07/02/2008 - 00:24

what I have setup for this one, is basically what people have suggested...

created a custom category that is blocked, with the following content.


This stops people from getting into preferences and by default, the search is set to "moderate". You cant FORCE safe search as it is not set by default, only moderate is the default.

Yes, you can get around it by adding &safe=off into a url bar/search.

Maybe something like in the mail relays, we might get content rules/filters where we can do something like..

if domain = ** { if safe = *Off* { replace Off with On } }

I dont know if something like this, in the way content filters work on the mail appliance could work as URL mashing tho... Thats the developers world..

jowolfer Wed, 08/26/2009 - 15:46


This is currently scheduled for the 7.0 release which has no set ETA yet.

daveofferman Wed, 10/21/2009 - 19:46

In my environment, which is a K-12 public school of over 150,000 users, we implemented the custom categories and used the regex looking for the 'SafeSearch=Off'.

Then instead of blocking the user, we redirected them to an internal hosted custom web page that was similar to all the other custom EUN pages. This page we redirected them to basically has these instructions notifying the user they have been blocked because of safe search settings and how to change:

You have attempted to access Image Content without using Safe Search. For instructions to enable Google Safe Search, follow the steps below. (Note: Please read all the instructions first before continuing.)

Scroll down to the ‘SafeSearch Filtering’ section
Choose the radio button for 'Use moderate filtering (Filter explicit images only - default behavior)'
Scroll to the end of the page, on the right hand side, click 'Save Preferences'
To view further information on Google Safe Search filtering, click here.


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