Safer internet searching with Yahoo Safe Search

In the quest for safer internet searching, how effective is Yahoo Safe Search?

If you and your family use the Yahoo search engine, then you can make use of the Safe Search feature to filter out the majority of explicit content from search results.

Like the identically named Safe Search offerings from Google and Microsoft Bing, Yahoo Safe Search allows you to set filters to remove some of the results that would normally be returned from search queries. Also like the search filter offerings from Microsoft and Google, the filter is only useful for restricting content that is sexually explicit. It does not filter out other types of content you might wish to prevent children or young people from seeing.

By default, Yahoo Safe Search appears enabled, with the filter set to remove results that link to sites containing explicit images and videos. To check on your devices(s) whether this is active visit the preferences page on Yahoo search as shown below, this can be accessed by an icon to the right of the search box as shown below.

Screenshot of yahoo safe search setttings

Accessing Yahoo Safe Search Settings

The icon appears grey when Yahoo Safe Search is completely disabled, and green when it is set to filter any content at all.

If you click the icon you will see the status of Yahoo Safe Search and be able to edit the settings.


Click edit to adjust the Yahoo safe search options

Click edit to adjust the Yahoo safe search options

The filter options are identical to those offered by Bing, and are as follows

  • Filter out adult web, video and image search results
  • Filter out adult video and image search results
  • Do not filter

If you select “Do not filter”, you are presented with a disclaimer before proceeding as below.

Screenshot of the yahoo safe search disclaimer.

The disclaimer presented to anyone trying to access Yahoo safe search restricted content.

Of course, to bypass this all you need do is click “I accept”, there is nothing more than self verification of age in place here.

How easy is it for children to bypass Yahoo Safe Search?

You are able to “lock” the Yahoo Safe Search settings by signing up for a Yahoo account, however this is pretty ineffective. The lock is cookie based as are the filter settings, so any tech savvy child or young adult can work around this with extreme ease, simply by identifying and removing the cookie. Like the equivalent offerings from Google and Bing is better than no filtering, but only just, however like the other Safe Search filters, when used in conjunction with other software it adds some value to the parental control tool set.