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New YWN Segment: Tueday Tech Review With Nesanel – Filtering your Mobile Device

unnamedIt is my pleasure to announce the all-new technology column here on In this column we are going to discuss pertinent issues with technology from a Frum perspective with solutions to help those looking to protect their homes from unwanted exposure. In addition, we are going to review devices, introduce new technology, and offer technological advice. We are also going to inform you about the latest options in cell-phone, home phone, & internet providers, to help you find the best and most affordable solution for you.

While we are going to discuss technology, in no way are we promoting the use of technology or internet and we are not going to discuss what is okay to do as far as Halacha is concerned. Each individual should consult their own Halachic Authority to determine whether or not the use of such devices is okay for them.

In this first article we are going to discuss something that is constantly brought up in the Frum community; internet filters. Many people think that filters cost a lot of money and are a hassle to deal with. We are going to try to make the task of finding the right filter for you and your device a little easier.

k9This topic is very different for individuals using tablets than it is for those using smartphones and even more so for those using personal computers. All three categories are extremely important to cover and we want to make sure to get you the best information so we will start to cover smartphones and tablets in this article and work our way to desktop computers in the near future.

In general there are two options for filtering a smartphone; either installing an alternate browser that filters web activity on the device or installing a filter that will monitor web activity on the device’s stock browser (the browser that comes with the device, i.e. Safari or Chrome). The downside to the first option is that you have to disable the stock browser which is generally the browser that works best on that particular device. The downside to the second option is that some of those filters do not offer filtering of other apps on the device. Otherwise, both of these options work well, however, your options change based on your operating system.

1For Apple devices, a popular alternate browser/filter is the free K9 Web Browser. With this option, there is no need to disable safari, as K9 will do that for you if you choose this option in K9’s settings. When installing K9 be sure to select Admin Mode in the settings as well, which will prevent K9 from being uninstalled without a password. I always recommend splitting a password with someone that you trust and is accessible so that settings can be adjusted when needed but not without supervision. K9 is a pretty decent browser – on Apple devices – on its own but does not compare to Safari by any means. K9 will filter all of your apps for you but it does have bugs and is not perfect. K9 is not customizable at this time and you cannot block, or blacklist, nor can you allow, or whitelist, specific websites. You can create white and black lists in the Apple restrictions settings but K9 would override those options.

A way that you can make your experience better is to use the stock filtering that comes on every Apple device together with K9 and you will be pretty well off. In Apple’s settings, under restrictions, you can set the content-allowed level to different age levels. In order for this to work you need to set the filter to age 12 (age 17 still allows inappropriate content and for young children you will want to select an even lower option). In addition to this, you can further filter the app store in the same manner and block apps that are rated 17+ from being downloaded to the device. My suggestion is to choose two different passwords for the Apple device; one for the passcode to enter the device, and one for the restrictions. The restriction passcode can be split between two individuals (i.e. each spouse has two numbers) thereby protecting the individual from changing the settings. You still need to be aware that restoring the device to factory settings will remove K9 from the device. While for most people this would be too inconvenient to keep doing (as you need to keep setting up the phone from scratch) it is still something to keep in mind.


On Android devices, you can also install K9 browser, however, the browser itself does not work on many android devices which can leave you without any browser much of the time. On Android devices, the app store can also be filtered by going into settings in the app store itself and setting the content at “Everyone”. Once the option is selected, it will prompt you to set a passcode which, once again, can be split and will be needed to change these settings from then on.

Therefore, people with Android devices tend to opt for the other free option of installing a filter on the device that will filter the stock browser.

In our next article we will cover a great option for filtering your Android device. If you have any questions about the article, help with your device, or would like specific topics covered in future articles, I can be reached at [email protected]

Until next time,

(Nesanel Moeller – YWN)

5 Responses

  1. This is the most ignarent article I ever read
    Please check your information before you write an article about a subject
    I can’t imagine what the next article will be with the first being written with NO knowledge AT All
    Please check out your facts before you post an article

    By the way there are organizations that do a lot of research on this issue
    Contact them before you write another article

  2. Like most newspaper articles it is superficial and only vaguely correct. This column will probably end up doing more harm than good because of the ignorance and laziness ‎of the writer to do more research. The writer would do better to convince people of the need for protection and the need to contact one of the many organizations that help people install protective software.
    I would recommend him running a series on the organizations.

  3. 1421fa –

    [1] before you post please learn how to spell and use punctuation
    [2] if something posted is inaccurate – say what it is, or keep quiet

  4. Well written . I wish you would have done more research about the topic to gather more accurate info for your readers who don’t know otherwise ( Not only what you get from Google). But for what you thought to be accurate ,very well and clearly written.Please continue writing but perhaps about something, that you are more familiar with ,NOT tech reviews.

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