Smartphone feature your kids don’t want you to know about

Apple offers several features to make it easier for parents to monitor what their children are doing online and for how long they’re doing it. One of those features is “Screen Time, ” which allows parents to set app time limits. But many kids are using that same safety feature on their smartphone to spend time on apps and websites without their parents ever finding out.

For example, if parents limit their kids to an hour a day on Instagram or TikTok, they can use Screen Time to set those time limits. When the time is up, those apps will no longer open.

Recently, many kids have shared TikTok videos showing how they’re getting around those time limits.

Here’s the thing many parents may not know: kids can visit Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms in a web browser. By opening Google Chrome or Safari and entering ““, ““, and ““, they are able to spend as much time on those platforms as they want. And if they go to those sites in “incognito” or “private mode”, it won’t be blocked and parents won’t know how much time they’re spending on them because websites visited in incognito mode, don’t show up when you check “Screen Time”.

Parents serious about blocking certain websites can go into settings on their kid’s phones. Under ‘screen time’ choose “Content and Privacy Restrictions” and make sure it’s turned on. Add a password if you’re asked.

You can choose to allow or block certain apps and websites. Then under content settings, find “limit adult websites” and turn it on.

This disables the use of ‘incognito or private mode on iPhones’. So any website they visit will be included in Screen Time which you can check.

I should mention that this only works for the Safari browser. If they have Google Chrome on their phone, they can visit any website for as long as they want in incognito mode and parents won’t know they’ve been there and there’s no way to disable incognito mode in the Chrome browser.

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