Take advantage of content filtering
iPad and Mac devices support multiple forms of content filtering, including restrictions, global HTTP proxy, and advanced content filtering.
Note: VPN isn’t meant for content filtering on Apple devices.
Global HTTP proxy
Apple devices support global HTTP proxy configuration. Global HTTP proxy routes most device web traffic through a specified proxy server or setting, applied across all Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This feature is commonly used by K–12 organizations for internet content filtering in an organization-owned one-to-one deployment, in which users take their devices home. It allows the devices to be filtered both in school or at home. Global HTTP proxy requires iPad and Apple TV devices to be supervised.
For more information about supervised devices, see Information about Automated Device Enrollment into MDM in Mobile Device Management Settings for IT Administrators.
Some apps, such as FaceTime, don’t use HTTP connections and can’t be proxied by an HTTP proxy server, thereby bypassing the global HTTP proxy. You can manage apps that don’t use HTTP connections with advanced content filtering.
Device support for website restrictions
Apple devices can restrict Safari and third-party apps to specific websites. Organizations with simple or limited content-filtering needs use this feature. Organizations with complex or legally mandated content-filtering requirements should use global HTTP proxy or advanced content-filtering options.
Website restrictions can be configured in ScreenTime. Your mobile device management (MDM) solution can also configure website restrictions. The setting can be configured to allow all websites, limit adult content or specific websites only, or save user names and passwords for specific websites:
All websites: Web content isn’t filtered.
Limit adult content: Limits access to many adult websites automatically.
Specific websites only: Limits access to predetermined websites, which can be customized.
Safari Password Autofill Domains: When this section of the Domains payload is configured, website URLs listed have their username and passwords saved.
For more information about configuring restrictions on each device, see MDM restrictions overview in Mobile Device Management Settings for IT Administrators.
Content filtering for cellular connections
Devices deployed outside a school’s network may require adjustments to content filtering strategies. To learn more, see Deploy iPad with cellular connections.
Advanced content filtering plug-ins
iPad devices support plug-ins for advanced content filtering of web and socket traffic. The plug-ins run locally and can make filtering decisions locally using a network or cloud-based system, or a combination of both. A mobile device management (MDM) solution can configure this functionality. Speak with your filtering vendor and your MDM vendor to see if they support advanced content filtering.