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Barracuda CloudGen Firewall

How to Enforce SafeSearch in the Firewall

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You can protect users behind a firewall from undesired content in search results by enabling SafeSearch for the access rule handling web traffic. No configuration is required on the clients. The necessary parameters are automatically appended to the URL when the request is forwarded by the firewall. SafeSearch is supported for Google, Bing, Yahoo, and YouTube search engines.


  • SafeSearch relies on the supported search engines to honor and filter the search results. The firewall can enable this feature, but the execution is left up to the search engine.
  • SafeSearch is not enforced for mobile search apps.
  • SafeSearch is always set to strict.

Step 1: Create an Access Rule to Enforce SafeSearch

 You can enforce the usage of SafeSearch for all web traffic matching an access rule by enabling the SafeSearch settings in Application Control.

  1. Go to Firewall > Access Rules.
  2. Edit the LAN-2-INTERNET rule.
  3. In the General tab, set Safe Search and SSL Interception to Yes.
  4. Click Save.

Every search query handled by this access rule now automatically enforces the SafeSearch feature of the search engine provider.

Step 2: Verify SafeSearch is Working

You can test if your search engine is using SafeSearch by looking at the URL after a search query. Each search engine includes a specific URL parameter that indicates SafeSearch is on.

SafeSearch for Google includes the string safe=active in the URL. In addition, Google also includes messages on the web page stating that SafeSearch is on or active. 




 SafeSearch for Bing includes the string adlt=strict in the URL.


 SafeSearch for Yahoo includes the string vm=r in the URL.


YouTube handles SafeSearch through setting a parameter in a cookie. That means you will not see a specific SafeSearch string in the URL.

Disabling SafeSearch for YouTube

In addition to removing the policy on the matching access rules, it is also necessary to clear the browser cache to remove the YouTube SafeSearch cookie. 

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