Breaks in the iPhone Fence

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iPhones and iPads have a built-in filtering feature called Screen Time, which allows users to restrict their children’s access or their own access to many inappropriate or time-wasting elements of the internet. While Screen Time offers several beneficial settings to block certain websites or limit time spent on specific apps, there are loopholes that make it unreliable as a stand-alone filter.

One major pitfall with Screen Time is the ability to access the internet through an app. While you may have blocked Safari, the device’s built-in internet browser, users may discover that after tapping something in an app, they can browse the entire unfiltered internet or access and search youtube.com. There are various ways to search the internet on an Apple device without a browser, as these features are built into every Apple device and are not blocked by Screen Time. An innocent search for “cars” will return information about movies related to cars, articles about cars, and hundreds of pictures of cars from the internet. Much of this information can be viewed and read in the search results without Safari or any other browser. The same is true for any subject, safe or unsafe.

Additionally, after recent Apple updates, users have found that Screen Time randomly disables all restrictions or reverses some of the limits set. Without any warning, your child might have access to everything you previously blocked, and they may not be mature enough to tell their parents that their device settings have changed.

TAG-recommended filters address these concerns with Screen Time and provide more control over what you and your children are exposed to on your devices. Schedule an appointment at TAG to discuss options for a safer experience for yourself or your child.

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