Warning to parents: Web Guard doesn't work

magenta1638477

    I'm a 48 yo father of two teen boys, both with iphones and we have a One plan with T-mobile.  At home I use opendns.com to manage the internet and keep it as safe as possible for my boys, but I put web guard at teen setting on their phones to keep it safe.  I observed them being a bit sketchy about their phones and was curious to see how good a job web guard was doing so I put it on teen setting on my phone and tested it.  If you type "Pornhub.com" in your browser it does indeed block access.  However, if you google pornhub, you can click the link and it connects with full content.  The same is true for any websearch you might do on any topic that might bring up porn previews on your search...none of them were blocked.  I tested both the native iphone safari browser and the firefox browser for iphone.  Meanwhile, I was out doing some shopping for dinner and I love the website seriouseats.com for recipes so I typed that in....blocked.  Huh?  A food site it blocked from a teen setting??  So, thinking I had discovered a loophole for web guard I googled it and clicked the link....also blocked.

     

    Summary: Web guard is excellent at blocking pictures and videos of food, but lousy at porn.    I'm emailing them to let them know but it's something parents may want to be aware of as well.

      All replies

      • benregan@sbcglobal.net

        Agreed, this has been my experience as well.  Appreciate you mentioning OpenDNS, will look at managing the WiFi access with that.  Given your experience and recently getting a blocked message on my daughter's phone when she tried to get to a haircut place, GreatClips.com for me.  I have doubts about this tool's usefulness, if the filter hueristics cannot be augmented online with whitelisting websites obviously NOT adult content.

        • jamesm90

          I ran into the same issue with adult sites last week. FOUND SOME REALLY big loopholes.  Any luck with reporting it?

          • jensays

            Have you tried either Gentech or Netspark on the devices?  I did set up Gentech on one that was being used overseas (not via tmobile), and fortunately my child was honest about the loopholes.  I spoke to Gentech and told them it would help if I am the admin, so they do not unblock any sites the child requests without my verifying that they're OK.  Also, the child found a way to get to YouTube, although we had blocked the app.  Next I'm going to try to have them set it up without any browsers, just preapproved apps, and we'll be watching for any access to the web via apps.

             

            Would be very interested in trying opendns on my home wifi, since the k9 software I have on the laptops is only so-so.

            • jporetto

              I found the exact same problem, had my sons on teen, tested it and was easily able to get to porn sites

              • magenta3945908

                Does anyone have a plan "B" if this webguard is useless?

                 

                thanks,
                C

                • magenta3339007

                  I found it only works sometimes.  IF Tmobile could please block all major free porn sites.  I googled the most popular porn sites, and tried the top 5 and Web guard did not block any of them. I would understand if Web guard was would miss some obscure sites.  But the most popular porn sites in the world are not blocked.  Really disappointed.

                    • tidbits

                      iirc webgaurd doesn't work on iPhones or windows phones.  Also if you use a third party browser it may not work.   Also I believe in some states blocking traffic is illegal even if it's your own kids(just like invading their privacy). When you Google search Google ALWAYS displays the https links over http.

                      Web Guard

                      Web Guard helps block or filter web page content, but it won't block everything. It won't block user-generated content such as instant messaging (IM), email, and text messages. It also won’t block secured web traffic (i.e., from URLs that start with https), because encryption prevents Web Guard from seeing the content of those websites. The filter is not available on all devices, it might not work at certain times or in certain locations, and it doesn't work with downloaded, third-party web browsers.