Google has updated SafeSearch — a feature designed to filter out explicit content from search results and which network administrators can force users to employ — to support HTTPs, Brian Fitzpatrick, engineering director at the company, announced in a blog post.

Noting that prior to the update, SafeSearch, “has been the target of abuse by other groups looking to snoop on people's searches,” he said the company decided to remove it by early December in favor of a protocol that lets administrators require the use of SafeSearch “while at the same time ensuring that their users' connections to Google remain encrypted.”

Administrators, many of them at schools, which employ the tool to shield students from explicit content, can also use the feature's “existing functionality,” which includes setting SafeSearch on individual browsers and on managed devices like Chromebooks, Fitzpatrick noted.