Even the world’s most advanced parental control software is vulnerable to tech-savvy kids finding creative workarounds past blocks and restrictions. It’s difficult to explain precisely how this is possible since each software functions in a variety of different ways, but there are a multitude of loopholes to exploit across the board.
For example, blocked websites can sometimes by circumvented with the use of a web proxy, especially in the case with DNS (domain name system) parental control like OpenDNS. Alternatively, utilizing a VPN achieves a similar goal although a few parental controls have learned to adapt and will filter any VPN traffic to prevent this. Then there’s Apple’s Screen Time which has numerous simple small tricks that can have children evading time restrictions by manually turning back the phone’s clock or getting past a YouTube block by launching it through a third-party app.
Kids have a helping hand too, as it’s easy to find online guides or video tutorials from others who have managed to find their own solutions and have shared that information with the rest of the world.
Can Children Delete Parental Controls?
Going one step further than bypassing parental control software is to get rid of it entirely. Companies try their best to make it as difficult as possible for children to uninstall or delete the software. However, as the old adage goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Many software companies do their best to make their program hidden or password-protected but, although this will be sufficient protection in most cases, it isn’t 100% impervious.
Almost all desktop parental controls rely on employing administrative powers which are password-protected. This, on the face of it, seems like a good idea since without the password your child won’t be able to remove the software. However, there are surprisingly straightforward hacks that allow users to change the admin password even without knowing it. Of course, from there your child will be able to do whatever they want. When it comes to mobile devices, something as elementary as resetting factory settings will erase any monitoring software.
What Can I Do to Stop It?
In truth, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent a determined child from finding a way through even the most secure parental control software. It actually demonstrates a lot of ingenuity and technological skill that should be praised and encouraged. Of course, there are a lot of benefits to your parental control software, so if you find your child has the skills to easily bypass parental controls then you’ll have to try a different approach.
Instead of having to resort to an extreme action like physically removing phones or tablets from their hands it would be best to sit down and discuss thoroughly the reasons for using the software and how the safety features will also benefit them. If need be, you can always compromise by lifting a few restrictions or time limits in exchange for assurances that they won’t try to sidestep the controls again. Something akin to Norton Family Premier’s ‘house rules’ system might be effective to make sure your child knows their limits.