CustomTech Blog: Smoothwall and Google SafeSearch changes

Quick Contact

Friday, 5 December 2014

Smoothwall and Google SafeSearch changes


This is important information for Smoothwall customers filtering Google searches without HTTPS inspection: Google recently announced that, in December 2014, they will be removing their 'NoSSLSearch' functionality.

This function enables network administrators to force searches to be made over HTTP rather than HTTPS, making monitoring and reporting of these searches easier.

Google will also be launching new 'ForceSafesearch.google.com' functionality. Users directed to this subdomain will always be subject to Google's 'SafeSearch' criteria. This means that material deemed safe by Google, but not necessarily wanted within your environment, may still be accessible via Google search.

If you have been using Smoothwall's 'NoSSLSearch' support to achieve this, you will have these options in December:

  • Activate Smoothwall's HTTPS Inspection functionality and apply your desired filtering policies to Google Searches. You can download a guide here.
  • Use  'ForceSafesearch.google.com' and accept the limitations
  • Block Google and select another search engine 

Smoothwall's categorisation team will be removing the 'NoSSLSearch' content modification option from our products as soon as Google have removed their functionality. Users who have been using our existing 'Force Safe Search' option will be updated to automatically use the new 'ForceSafesearch' functionality.

As no exact date during December has been provided, we urge any affected customers to assess the impact of this change as soon as possible.