The "New" Parental Controls - why was so much functionality removed?

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A lot of functionality has been removed that we used to have previously, and I've not seen any discussion around why this functionality was removed:

  1. Complete screen lock when the scheduled offline time kicked in. Now my kids can still access their devices during their "Bedtime" schedules, they just can't go online - we used to be able to completely lock their devices.
  2. Finer control over the time-based schedules (i.e you can only pick :00 or :30 times for the schedules now, previously we had :00, :15, :30, :45, etc)
  3. Multiple times I've had a situation where my child is trying to go online when there are no actively running "schedules", and their access is still blocked. I end up having to "Stop Internet" on their account, wait 10 minutes, then I can "Resume Internet", in order for the access to be restored.
  4. Conversely, I've had even more times where my kids wake up before the end of the scheduled "Bed Time" and they are able to turn on the computer and go online immediately, even though the "Bed Time" schedule is still running.
  5. The removal of Parental Controls from the mobile device app. Is there any plan to add this back into the app?
  6. Very inconsistent tracking of internet activity. My kids have been online for 3 hours today so far and their "Daily Internet Time" is still showing as "0h 0m". Additionally, Youtube and other similar sites that we have specifically blocked are still accessible.
  7. Probably even more that I'm forgetting at this point…

On top of all of that, I had to manually uninstall the old Parental Controls on each device I had it installed on previously, and then perform a fresh install of the new version, even though we were promised a smooth upgrade. I've re-installed the new version several times now trying to resolve various issues. I've had a support ticket open for several weeks now trying to resolve some of these issues and I'm getting very frustrated.

Comments

  • Did you receive any response to your questions? Right now I'm not able to know, by the Parental Control functionality, the daily internet time either.

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Yeah, it's not showing the elapsed time, this is currently being investigated.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • sidenull
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    Oh boy, I completely agree. I'm not sure why the parental controls had to become so "complicated", but they're really frustrating now. Nothing seems to work right. I used to be able to set a time to block the entire computer or phone, and it worked perfectly. Now, the only option is to block the Internet, but what about the hundreds of other applications on my child's devices? Can we at least bring back the feature to block the entire device outright?

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited July 5
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    Hello @sidenull,

    Parental Control has naturally evolved and the transition brings several benefits for existing users, along with some notable changes. You can review the information below to familiarize yourself with the enhanced features and benefits:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/get-help-parental/

    With a focus on the child’s online activities, “Screen Time” is now labeled as “Internet Time.” Parental Control’s Content filtering enables you to restrict your child’s access to online content. This way, parents can block entire categories of websites or make exceptions based on URL or topic. For more information, you can visit this article which better explains how content can be filtered according to your preferences:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/100181/

    I know there have been some significant changes when compared to the previous version and it might seem challenging to adapt to them at first, but once you familiarize yourself with the guidelines available at the link I've shared, it will become easier to manage and to understand its capabilities and functionality.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • TeenParent
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    Hello @Alexandru_BD ,

    I am having the same problems where parental control does not record any time, and consequently it doesn't block the internet at bedtime, which is the entire purpose of me having the Parental Control product. Incredibly frustrating. Plus I've had an open support case since the install with no resolution.

    I am additional frustrated by your "block entire categories of websites" but there is no documentation of what websites are actually included in those categories. For example, what is in the "Not Appropriate for Children" category?

    You state that there are "several benefits for existing users", but I have yet to learn what those benefits are. Since the time doesn't work, the "Focus Time" doesn't work and the "Bed Time" doesn't work. The only thing that is currently working (although clunky and buggy) is the Content Filtering, and even that is enigmatic as I explained earlier.

  • AlexQ
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    I have the same issues too. This new version is really semi-functional in comparison to the old one. Very frustrating. No real benefits, just drawbacks.

    Instead of adding new functions while keeping the old functionality, Bitdefender managed to ruin its own good product. How was it possible not to think about this and release this buggy version?!

    It seems that many people have similar issues and, unfortunately, they aren't addressed except generic "remove/reinstall".