IT Expert Sarah Kimmel with Family Tech joined us with five ways kids dodge parental safety controls and what parents can do about it.
1. Changing the time on the device
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to adjust the time on your device so it seems like it is in an allowed timeframe. After 11 PM your child can go grab their phone, change the time to 6 PM, and suddenly they are allowed to use their phone again!
To combat this, layers of controls are recommended. Using restrictions not only on the phone itself but through the carrier and the wireless router in the home will help make sure that even though the time on the phone says 6 PM, the other systems know otherwise.
2. Installing a VPN - Virtual Private Network
Sarah says there is really no reason for a child to have a VPN installed on their phone unless is it already part of parental controls you have set like for Circle Go or Verizon's Smart Family. If your child installs a VPN app, it essentially allows them to remove the device from the protected network and allows them access to a network that does not have restrictions.
Do not allow the installation of VPN apps and that should clear this one up quickly.
3. Use the sharing feature
Many kids today are getting around parental controls by using the sharing feature built into their phones. They will take a photo, or screenshot, or open something else that they ARE allowed to access, and then use the sharing button to 'share' to their messaging app. Once the messaging app is open, they can delete the photo and then write whatever they want. Or using the notifications to respond to the message (bypasses the app).
4. Figure out your password
Kids these days are getting super tricky about parent passwords. From just guessing what it might be to installing something to record the screen while you are entering your password into their device. Once they have your password, they can grant themselves extra time, approve apps and more.
Just make sure you have your notifications turned on for your parental control app so you know when it`s been entered!
5. Wipe and reload
Finally, the killswitch. Your child could wipe and reload the whole phone and you may not even know. Eventually, your parental control app should tell you that it is no longer reporting. Locking down the 'settings' app can help you prevent this from happening. It`s a drastic move on your child's part for sure, and it would be a good idea to have a serious conversation if you notice that this has happened.
For more IT tips from Sarah, please email her at Sarah@familytechbiz or visit: Familytech.biz