How Your Kids Are Hacking Your Parental Controls

How Your Kids Are Hacking Your Parental Controls

Have you ever felt like your kids are one step ahead of you, even when it comes to technology? It can feel like they’re constantly finding new ways to outsmart your parental controls. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We wanted to share some tips on how to keep your kids from hacking your parental controls. Now, we sat down with a couple of teens and went right to the source on how they are cleverly getting around the monitoring tactics we put in place. 

Reducing screen time for your kid is an excellent idea. Not only does it help with their physical health, but also with their behaviors. The same goes for parental controls in general. Parents should have some grasp on what content their kids are streaming and consuming on their devices. Most parents opt for parental controls to monitor their children’s device time and content. Efficient parental controls are wonderful because they help you keep track of everything your kid is viewing. However, there are various easy ways to get around this level of monitoring. 

7 Ways Kids Get Around Parental Controls With Solutions

As a parent, you take your responsibility to keep your children safe seriously. Whether it’s online or offline, effectively parenting is important to you. We get it. You install parental controls on your devices and use monitoring software to keep an eye on their online activities. But even with all these precautions in place, your kids are still finding ways to hack their way around the restrictions you’ve put in place. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a judgment-free zone. Parenting is hard enough as it is, but when you add in the added layer of trying to protect children from the internet, it can be downright daunting! With so many dangers lurking out there on the web, making sure they stay safe is the goal (whether they know it or not). Here’s how your kids are hacking your parental controls. 

1. Browsing Incognito

Browsing in incognito mode is one of the easiest ways to get around parental controls. Almost every web browser offers this feature and it is very simple to access. 

You can, however, come up with two solutions for this problem. One solution is to research and find the most suitable browser for your family usage. But your best solution for this hack is to monitor and filter all the information being sent through your router. One of the best routers with some of the most robust parental controls is the Synology RT2600ac or  EERO Pro Mesh Wifi Router. They start at just above the $100 mark, but they put parents in charge, are easy to set up, and make it very difficult for your kids to hack around your parental controls. If you want even more parental controls, check out the Firewalla series of devices.

BUY: Snag Your Eero Pro Mesh Wifi Router Now!  

2. Deleting an App

Unfortunately, most applications need to be installed individually on multiple devices. Thus, it isn’t easy to apply monitoring and filtering to them. Kids can delete an app and reinstall it to remove its parental controls. This isn’t as easy as it used to be because app developers and phone operating software are getting better at recognizing this hack. One solution is to choose applications with central control that notifies you of deletion. Another solution is just some good ol’ fashioned parenting where you randomly (keyword: random) ask your kid if you can see their device. You can also peek in their folders and apps to see if there’s any application that should be there.

3. Hacking the Router

As difficult as it may sound, hacking a router is pretty easy, especially if you haven’t changed the router’s password credentials. Most parents don’t bother changing the default password. Therefore, the router’s information can be easily found with a simple Google search (or just by looking at the router unit itself). You can avoid this by changing the password and setting parental controls on the router to monitor all changes. We covered how to protect your home’s Wifi and really honed in on router security settings. 

DISCOVER: Home Networking Questions Every Parent Should Know

4. Factory-Reset the Device

Don’t roll your eyes, but with some devices, this is a super-easy hack your kids are doing. Factory-reset is quite simple and it allows your kids to remove all the data, including parental control software. It used to be a HUGE problem with Apple’s iOS Screen Time. Before they perform a factory reset, they might also back up your data on another device or cloud. You can prevent factory resetting by tracking your accounts and their data for sudden changes. Depending on your device’s software, you can even prevent them from performing a factory reset on their phone. 

5. Using VPN

With the growing market of VPNs, this one does not surprise me. What does surprise me is how many teens know what a VPN is. And if they do, it’s probably because they’ve searched the interwebs for the most effective way to hack parental controls. VPN remains one of the most effective ways to hide your identity online. They can easily be used to bypass parental controls as well. The worst part is there are some effective free VPNs that are easy to download. As a parent, you should spend a little time understanding what a VPN is and what they do. 

The best way to avoid VPN usage is to monitor and restrict downloading applications from the Google Play Store or App Store without your permission.

LEARN: What Do I Use For Monitoring My Home?

6. Using A New Or Guest Account

Creating a new account for Gmail, Xbox, Microsoft, etc., is no big task. It takes no time to fill in the necessary sign-in information. However, these new accounts can bypass parental controls as they are unrecognizable. The solution for this is quite simple. Most parental controls allow you to limit the number of accounts and block guest access. Or you could just get a Firewalla Purple. This clever device gives you real-time insights into your network and is an effective parenting control tool to combat workarounds you’ve put in place. It is what I personally use in my own home. 

7. Using Devices Offline

While not online, your kid is still in front of a screen. Spending too much time playing a game or watching shows can be addictive. You can protect your devices with strong passwords and only allow access for a limited time. 

The Best Solution: Be A Proactive Parent!

These are some of the easiest ways your kids can hack your parental controls. However, with the solutions provided above, you can avoid these tricks. As any parent knows, trying to keep up with the constant stream of new technology can be a daunting task. And when it comes to your kids, it’s important to stay ahead of the game so that they don’t end up hacking your parental controls. After all, what good are parental controls if your kids can easily get around them? By staying up to date on the latest trends and using the best parental control software, you can help ensure that your kids are safe online. I’d also recommend sitting down and playing your kid’s favorite games with them. I know, you’ll get “schooled” and you won’t understand a lot of what’s happening, but experiencing their “world” might open your eyes to what they’re doing as well as shows them that you’re interested in their hobbies and likes. Of course, even the best parental controls won’t do any good if you’re not also teaching your kids about responsible online behavior. So make sure to have regular conversations with your kids about the importance of cyber safety. By staying informed and engaged, you can help keep your kids safe online.

My Favorite Routers With Robust Parental Controls

I just performed a really quick search query for routers with parental controls. There are a ton of routers on the market these days! Quite honestly, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your family. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favorite routers with robust parental controls. These routers will help keep your family safe online and give you the parent a lot of control of what content your family consumes, and what devices are accessing your network. These are the routers that will help give you peace of mind.

Synology RT2600AC Wifi Router (H3)

This is probably my favorite router for parental controls and content filtering. Parents always want what’s best for their children and that includes keeping them safe online. The Synology RT2600AC router is a great way to do just that. It offers parental controls that allow parents to block certain websites, limit access to the internet, and even restrict internet usage during certain hours. In addition, the router’s parental controls can be customized to fit each family’s needs. Synology makes parental controls with this router extremely easy. This was my personal favorite before I discovered Firewalla

Check out the full review of the Synology router to see all the incredible features this awesome router offers. 

Gryphon AX Router

For starters, this is a great option. When you consider what you’re getting, it’s relatively affordable and offers a wide range of features including the ability to block specific websites and set time limits for internet usage. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more money than you normally would with a router, this is a wonderful option for parents looking to monitor their family’s usage of the web. 

A couple of key points about this router is how it allows you to manage the entire network from their mobile app. There are features like Intelligent Intrusion Detection, which hones in on malware at the device level on the network. Not only do you get Malware filtering, but you will also be privy to regular security updates and ads reduction. I love that parents have the ability to see what their child is doing online and where they are spending their time. Gryphon AX helps you with that endeavor.

Check out the full review of the Gryphon AX router to learn more about all the awesome features this product comes with. 

The EERO Pro Mesh Wifi Router

The EERO is another wifi router that makes the list for being one of the best with parental controls. If you’ve read anything we’ve published, you’ll know web monitoring for our families is a high priority. The EERO Pro Mesh router is a great choice for parental controls and monitoring your kid’s internet use. The EERO Pro parental controls allow you to customize internet rules for each individual family member and each device, set bedtime schedules, filter content, and view activity reports. You can also pause the internet with a single tap, so you have that extra layer of security when your kids are online. The EERO Pro also makes it easy to monitor your kid’s internet use, with real-time activity monitoring and parental notifications. Aside from parental controls, the EERO is an amazing mesh wifi router that promises excellent connections anywhere in your home.  

Check out the full review of the EERO Pro Mesh router to see all the extra features this wifi router delivers. 

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