How to limit or block inappropriate online content with content filters and parental controls

Learn how to obtain and use content filters or parental controls to help limit or block inappropriate or harmful content online, on streaming services and in apps - whether for yourself, a family member or your kids.

Why you need a content filter or parental controls

Content filters are a great first step to limiting or blocking illegal, restricted, inappropriate or harmful online content that you don’t want yourself, your family or your kids to see. This includes content that is sexually explicit, shows high impact violence, terrorist acts, drug misuse, addiction and more. You can read about illegal and restricted content on the eSafety Commissioner's website.

Parental controls typically offer the ability to filter content but they are not just for parents: anyone can use them to help protect themselves or others online.

Finding out if you have access to content filters and parental controls

Content filters and parental controls come in different shapes and sizes. Many devices, like your computer or phone, will have built-in content filters, usually as part of parental controls. Others are available as third-party security software or in certain apps and services, like streaming services, social media or search engines.

It's likely you’ll already have access to parental controls and content filters. If you’re paying for third-party security software, you can check the app that comes with it to see if they’re included (they usually are).

If the parental controls you're using don't include a content filter, check out the list of content filters accredited by the Family Friendly Filter Program.

Telstra also provides parental controls, and a content filter that's been accredited by the Family Friendly Filter Program, as part of Telstra Device Security - a full security suite you can add on to your existing Telstra services.

Resources to set up parental controls and content filters

The eSafety Commissioner offers a wealth of valuable information about parental controls guidance, tips and resources.

We’ve also collected links to parental controls info that will help you set up content filters for various services or devices.

Parental controls for streaming and gaming services

Parental controls for Telstra apps and devices

What's next?

To keep learning about ways to stay safe online, you can explore how to stop unwanted contact – including from strangers, rude or harmful messages and unsolicited images.