SIP-Benchmark III was a project of the Digital Opportunities Foundation in 2009 - 2017.
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Mac Os X Parental Controls

10.9.4 (OS version)
Devices supported
Operating system
Mac OS X
Price *
free of charge
Language of interface
arabic, chinese, croatian, czech, danish, dutch, english, french, german, greek, hebrew, hungarian, italian, japanese, korean, norwegian, polish, portuguese, russian, slovak, spanish, suomi, swedish, turkish, ukrainian
Test date
SIP Bench III, 3rd test cycle, Summer 2014

*Prices might change according to the latest company offers


The overall effectiveness score is fair on adult content and very weak on other harmful content.
There is no major difference in effectiveness between teenagers and children.
There is no major difference in effectiveness between web and web 2.0.
There is no major difference in effectiveness among the different languages.
Effectiveness score with adult content filtering for users up to 12 year old: 2.8
Effectiveness score with other harmful content filtering for users up to 12 year old: 0.0
Effectiveness score with adult content filtering for users 13 years and older: 2.6
Effectiveness score with other harmful content filtering for users 13 years and older: 0.0
Effectiveness score for users up to 12 year old: 1.0 out of 4 points
Effectiveness score for users 13 years and older: 1.0 out of 4 points


Installation of the tool: The function is integrated in the Mac OS X operating system, no further installation is necessary.
Configuration of the tool: The configuration process is comprehensible, easy to learn and mostly meets users' expectations. There are barely any options to individualize or influence the product, except for individualization within the operating system in general. The overall look and feel is appealing.
Usage of the tool: The tool provides few options to react, when a website has been blocked, but these are addressed to parents and not to children. The alert message is not worded with respect to children's capability of understanding and appears way too often. The reporting is overall comprehensible and offers options to react.

Usability of the installation process: n/a
Usability of the configuration process: 3.1
Usability of the usage of the product: 2.7

Overall score for usability: 2.9 out of 4 points


The tool is built in the Apple’s operative system. Each user account in the Mac OS X can be controlled by the system. Parents can select for each one the proper restrictions. There are three levels of websites filtering: (1) no restrictions; (2) automatically limit the browsing to some websites, optionally adding custom websites to a white list and a blacklist; (3) force browsing just in a subset of white list. Protocols cannot be blocked directly through the application that uses it. It is not possible to block the access to social networks. It is not possible to force the user to user the safe search functionality. It is possible for the parent to specify a list of allowed email addresses.


The low rate results from the possibility for the user to reach a blocked website using a proxy.
Overall score for security: 2 out of 4 points


Area of needFunctionalitySpecific issuesAssessment
Management Management of User profiles Create several profiles Yes
Remote Management Manage on various devices No
Monitoring Remote access to monitoring No
Filtering Customisation Topics Customisation of Filtering Topics No
URLs White List Restrict Browsing to White List Yes
Default White List Yes
Modification OR Creation Yes
URLs Black List Creation of User's own Black List Yes
Keywords Keywords Default Black List No
Default White List No
Creation of a User's Black List No
Creation of a User's White List No
Time Time Limit Settings Set a specific time frame or web access duration Yes
Blocking Message Type Ask for unblocking by parents No
Redirect to safe resources Yes
Usage Restriction Web Block Access Yes
Monitor Access Yes
Safe search Availability No
Social Networks Block Access No
Monitor Usage No
Personal data Provision Block No
Streaming Block Access No
Monitor Access No
P2P Block the application No
Monitor Downloads No
Skype Block chat Yes
Block video chat Yes
Monitor No
Prevent new Contact No
Windows Life Messenger Block chat No
Block video chat No
Monitor No
Prevent new Contact No
Email Block email client and/or webmail access Yes


Yes / No
I: installation in 3 steps or lessYes
I: choice of installation for beginners or advanced usersn/a

C: different degrees of strength for the filteringNo
C: different content criteria for the filteringNo
C: option to transfer filter configurations between target usersYes
C: option to transfer filter configurations between devicesNo
C: overall comprehensible configurationYes
C: overall conformity with user expectationsYes
C: overall easy to learnYes

U: alert message in a child friendly languageYes
U: option to customise the reaction in case of blockingNo
U: overall easily operable and comprehensible reportingYes


The Tool prevents the user from by-passing the filter by:Yes / No
Using the IP address instead of the URLYes
Using an alternative browserYes
Changing time and date settings*Yes
Disabling or uninstalling the software without a password*Yes
Closing the filtering tool trough the Task ManagerYes
Using a proxy instead of a direct connection to the InternetNo
Accessing the web-pages through the Google CacheYes
Reaching a website through translation sitesNo
Renaming a blocked applicationYes
Using Safe ModeNo
Filtering Content personalised by userNo
Filtering Content evolving through timeYes
Filtering Multimedia contentNo
Filtering outbound contentNo

Funded by
Logo: EUEuropean Commission

Cybion Online Business Intelligence

Stiftung Digitale Chancen

coordinated by:
Innova - Technology Transfer and Valorisation

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