Safe Search Enforcement

Many search engines have a safe search setting that filters out adult images and videos in search query return traffic. You can enable the firewall to block search results if the end user is not using the strictest safe search settings, and you can also transparently enable safe search for your users. The firewall supports safe search enforcement for the following search providers: Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, and YouTube. Consider that safe search is a best-effort setting and service providers do not guarantee that it works with every website, and search providers classify sites as safe or unsafe (not Palo Alto Networks).
To use this feature you must enable the Safe Search Enforcement option in a URL filtering profile and attach it to a security policy rule.The firewall then blocks any matching search query return traffic that is not using the strictest safe search settings. There are two methods to enforce safe search:
  • Block Search Results when Strict Safe Search is not Enabled—When an end user attempts to perform a search without first enabling the strictest safe search settings, the firewall blocks the search query results and displays the URL Filtering Safe Search Block Page. By default, this page will provide a URL to the search provider settings for configuring safe search.
  • Transparently Enable Safe Search for Users—When an end user attempts to perform a search without first enabling the strict safe search settings, the firewall blocks the search results with an HTTP 503 status code and redirects the search query to a URL that includes the safe search parameters. You enable this functionality by importing a new URL Filtering Safe Search Block Page containing the JavaScript for rewriting the search URL to include the strict safe search parameters. In this configuration, users will not see the block page, but will instead be automatically redirected to a search query that enforces the strictest safe search options. This safe search enforcement method requires content release version 475 or later and is only supported for Google, Yahoo, and Bing searches.
As safe search settings differ by search provider, get started by reviewing the different safe search implementations. There are then two ways you can enforce safe search: you can block search results when safe search is disabled, or you can transparently enable safe search for your users:

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