OPENHIVEwebshield Changes for SafeSearch

October 28, 2014

Following on from Google’s announcement that they are removing access to non-SSL search, we are making some changes to OPENHIVEwebshield to prevent loss of some functionality. OPENHIVEwebshield service is adaptable to meet the ever changing needs of our schools and technology providers and we need to ensure that users can browse the Internet in a way that protects them from external threats and inappropriate material. We’re planning to make these changes at the end of November 2014.

Why is Google’s announcement significant?

Google are removing access to which allows OPENHIVE (and other ISPs) to display search results unencrypted. The display of the results on an unencrypted page allows the results to be filtered for inappropriate content for all users, as well as allowing SafeSearch to be controlled from within the web filtering platform.

What is OPENHIVE changing?

The changes we are making are straightforward and come in two parts:


The first change we will be making is the enforcement of SafeSearch for all our OPENHIVEwebshield users.

Search keywords

The second change is regarding filtering the Google search results using Search Keywords. When the changes are made, only OPENHIVEwebshield users who have enabled the Advanced SSL functionality will be able to filter the Google search results. In order for this functionality to work correctly following Google’s changes, the OPENHIVE SSL certificate must be deployed at your site. To find out how to do this please visit the OPENHIVE Support Site.

How will this affect me?

If you already use SafeSearch and have the OPENHIVE SSL certificate deployed, the likelihood is that you won’t notice any difference. We periodically make changes behind the scenes to improve our products that are seamless to end users – the way it should be!

Most people using Google search will automatically have Google SafeSearch functionality turned on. The most likely change you will notice is when using Google Images search; without Advanced SSL enabled the only filtering of images will be by Google’s SafeSearch function only. However, it is important to note that if you do not currently use SafeSearch, your current Google search results may change following the enabling of SafeSearch. As a site admin, within the NetSweeper console, you will continue to be able to use the SafeSearch category to configure search settings for most web search engines; please note that this will have no effect on searches through Google.

What if I want more filtering?

We recommend all our OPENHIVEwebshield customers enable Advanced SSL filtering. This functionality allows secure websites (those websites with https:// at the start) to be filtered based on site categorisation. To find out how to do this please visit the OPENHIVE Support Site.

What if I want to use non-SafeSearch?

Following these changes and Google’s announcement to disable non-SSL search, we can only offer SafeSearch enabled from Google. If you want to use an un-filtered search facility you will have to use another search engine such as Yahoo! or Bing. We don’t endorse any particular search engine, and these are just two examples of the many that are available.

Where do I get more information?

Our OPENHIVE support site contains our planned maintenance calendar, and we have already made updates to it with details of when the changes are being made. We will publish further information nearer the change date, so please bookmark this site.

Posted on October 28, 2014 @ 12:07 pm