How to Whitelist Websites in Google Chrome to Make The Internet Safe For Children

Parents have wrestled with keeping their children shielded from unwanted content on the internet since personal computers first started arriving in our homes. The internet is seemingly limitless, so it’s no surprise that taming it has never been an easy task. The most common approach taken by parental control software is to automatically filter content that isn’t deemed child-friendly. Generally, some websites get through. An easier approach is to only allow children to visit a handful of websites you have already approved. This guide will show you how to whitelist certain websites inside Google Chrome, preventing your children from visiting any websites you do not approve.

The first step is to install Whitelist for Chrome. Like many extensions, an icon will appear inside your toolbar. Don’t worry, you can hide this icon later if you don’t want your kids to know how to adjust what websites they can see on their own. For now, click on this icon to get started.

Whitelist Options

Did you notice that we are using the term “whitelist” instead of “blacklist”? That is because this extension blocks all websites by default and only allow those that you whitelisted. Notice On the next page you’re presented with a list of options so simple you’ll probably wonder how so many companies could get away with selling complicated parental control software for so long. The first option to “Block pages from websites not in my list” is essentially an on-off switch. Check this option, then type in the websites you want to permit below.

Whitelist Options List

Bing, Google, and Yahoo are permitted by default. The asterisk that appears in place of a domain suffix means that the search results that appear from these search engines are permitted as well. These results aren’t filtered in the slightest. But if you child decides to click on any of the results, only the websites you have permitted will actually load. Otherwise, they will end up staring at this message.

Blocked Whitelist Page

Gee, and I thought searching for the local Red Lobster would be safe. That’s the catch when using this approach to monitoring your children’s internet activity – it’s very hands-on. Your children will have to come to you every time they want to go to a new website. For young children, this is probably desirable. You can let your child access a Sesame Street flash game or watch a PBS cartoon without having to worry if they will stumble into a neighborhood very different from Mr. Roger’s.

I’m not sure if adding the asterisk is even necessary. If you take Whitelist for Chrome’s advice and add “wikipedia.org” to your list of approved websites, you’ll find that you are able to browse all of Wikipedia without having to use an asterisk. I also added YouTube to the list of permitted websites, and I was again able to watch any video I desired.

Add Sites Whitelist

YouTube Whitelist Permitted

Whitelist for Chrome’s settings take effect as soon as you click “Save,” allowing you to block and unblock websites without having to restart Chrome to do so. If you want to hide the button from the toolbar, just right-click on the icon and select “Hide Button.” This is an option that is available on most Chrome extensions.

Hide Whitelist for Chrome Button

Whitelist for Chrome is not the most secure option out there. To circumvent the setup, all your child has to do is check the Chrome extensions page and turn it off. Yet for young children whom you simply want to leave alone with a computer for a short period of time without having to monitor them excessively, Whitelist for Chrome may just do the trick.