Over the last few decades, companies have added various restrictions in their technologies such as TVs, smartphones, and computers, etc.
Known as Parental Controls, these digital chains are used to prevent kids from overexploiting (as it’s assumed) the technology perks they get from their mommy and daddy.
But as it turns out, many kids are way smarter (or knowledgeable) than their parents think they’re, easily capable of beating such features at their own game.
So, one of the dads (/u/SarcasticGamer) took his concern to Reddit where he explained how his daughter fooled Google’s Family Link app and unlocked the phone to play her favorite games.
She simply asked Google Assistant to open a particular app on the phone which it obediently did. “My mind was blown that Google, a multi-billion dollar company, was bested by a 7-year-old,” said the surprised dad.
However, a user /u/purutiger suggested in the comments that the phone must have been running an older Android version (hence, older Family Link). That’s why this thing happened.
Here, turning off the “Ok, Google” trigger word for the lock screen in the settings would do the job. Soon, more users started questioning Google’s QC process, while some said that the dad should have simply disabled the assistant.
Anyway, his Reddit post soon invited tons of interesting comments from other parents and other proud kids from the past. They shared how they spoofed parental controls and how parents can put more robust options in place.
As far as my experience is concerned, I didn’t need to plot any evil plans to access my computer or watch my favorite cartoons. The restrictions were imposed only during exam time which made total sense.
There were so many interesting comments that it was hard to include all of them. Still, I have tried to add as many of them as possible. Do give them a read and entertain yourself.
Moms & Dads with smart kids
These comments reveal how the tough parental controls set by mom and dad couldn’t stand a chance in front of mere 10-year-olds. While one was able to access YouTube using a gaming tutorial feature as a proxy, another even locked the parents out of the parental control feature itself.
Kids ahead of their time
Kids from the past have revealed the different tricks they used to bypass the barrier put in place by their parents. It ranges from spoofing MAC addresses, picking locks, resetting BIOS passwords, using keyloggers, changing system time to play for a longer duration, and so on.
Here’s the fix
So, how can you stop your kid from using the internet? Probably by breaking the router itself, a parent suggests. However, you might face instant regret as you also need to use the internet through the same router. As /u/dangerjest suggests, you can also take advantage of your authority.
Not all moms and pops think it’s wrong
But some parents think kids should be given freedom as it contributes to boosting their creativity and problem-solving abilities. A user u/bukkake_waterballoon says that he lets his kids use the internet without restrictions but he asked them to talk freely if they find anything shocking.
He says shielding kids from reality could be a counter-productive move as it could make them “incapable of dealing with that from which you shelter them when you’re not around.”
“It teaches them at an early age that you can be looked to for wisdom without judgment about topics that are uncomfortable and/or embarrassing – and trust me that this is something that as teenagers they sorely need,” he added.
However, adult content isn’t the only reason people put parental controls on their kids’ devices. They also don’t them to get used to technologies at an early age and maybe become addicted to electronic devices.
But when you stop someone from doing a particular thing, they want to do it more. That’s human nature. In the past, my parents didn’t allow me to drive the car so I used to steal the keys and sneak out for a drive.
Some kids have a different viewpoint
It has now become a common belief that kids nowadays have become smarter. Indeed, many of them are. But as suggested in /u/mrjimi16’s comment, many people think of new-age kids as smarter. Yes, they might be. But in some sense, they are rather more informed and have more knowledge.
That’s because the information is available at the click of a button. It isn’t completely surprising to see a 7-year-old rooting an Android device. But if it had happened 8 years ago, it would have been.
Some people have mentioned in the comments that their parents eventually gave up trying to control their tech usage because the children have become more tech-savvy. It happens with almost everyone because with time the parents know that you have become more responsible and that you know what you’re doing.
It isn’t just about technology-related stuff. In my case, the restriction was still there even though I had decent driving skills and a learning license as well. Eventually, my mom and dad developed confidence in me and now I am the one who drives the car every time.