New parental controls: cant block a program on PC anymore? Not working on mobile either.

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In the old parental controls I could block certain programmes on my childs PC during times when he wasnt allowed it, and unblock it as I needed to.

Now it only shows a few programmes that I can add to exceptions, some of which he doesn't even have installed so I can only assume it comes from a generic list.

It also refuses to work on his phone anymore at all, stating it needs updating even though it is already up to date, and again, wont let me block things he has installed and shows me this generic list.

Does anyone know a decent work around way to fix this? The how to ont he website is for the old parental controls, so thats useless. Honestly they should just roll it back it worked much better before.

Answers

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Hello @BoxFaery,

    The functionality to block applications no longer exists, it has been replaced by the ability to block a specific topic (eg: if you block the netflix topic, everything related to netflix, whether it's a website, whether it's a separate app, whatever, will be blocked). Now, in the new Parental Control you have 3 ways to block something: website (www.netflix.com), topic (what I said above) or category (ex: video) and any site/topic that has video will be blocked.

    For more information about the changes to the Parental Control service, you can consult the following article:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/99259/

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • CAPBD
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    I do not understand the decision to eliminate the block applications feature. It should be vital, it is "Parental Control", not "Parental Permissiveness".

    I have been Incredibly frustrated with this parental control downgrade, just now I realized an app that I had previously thought I had blocked, is still being accessed a few minutes every day, meaning this "topic block" has absolutely no weight at all.

    @Alexandru_BD Would you explain in detail how this works? because, by your example, a child does not search for netflix in google and if the topic is blocked he can't access netflix and that's it. a child, opens the netflix app. and that is what should be able to be controlled.

  • Empowered
    edited June 3
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    I have to agree with the previous commenter that the new Parental Control functionality is a serious downgrade.

    It actually impairs the whole concept with parental control and the issues should be addressed most urgently.

    I'm rather new to Bitdefender ecosystem, but I had it up and working with no problems at all in no time on like 15 devices for three months.

    Then came this downgrade.

    The feeling I get is that some developers has argued that "we can not maintain this codebase, can we please just remove functionality essential for the users in order to make our coding easier?".

    Which meant

    • Removing the parental guide GUI from the app and only give parents access to the web GUI. It's much easier for developers to maintain only one GUI instead of two. Of course it meant users will have two different GUI's which are not seamlessly integrated at all.
    • Removing the working and useful but hard to code "screen time" for an easier to code but with very limited usefulness to the parents and children "internet time functionality".

    Unfortunately no one seem to have bothered asking the users if they wanted these changes or not.

    But. This might have passed if the new release had been tested.

    Obviously it wasn't.

    I have probably had to do 20-25 re-installations and re-logins (of automatically "update-logged out" devices) since this upgrade was rolled out. I now also see that the content filtering is not working with common programs/apps like payments in Steam and for using the banking app "Revolut <18".

    These are major release-stopping defects which ought to have been caught during testing.

    I still think the main Bitdefender Security app/program is working as it should and will continue to use it.

    But my trust in the Parental Guide app is completely gone.

    If there's not an immediate rollback to the previous functionality or a "Major" bugfixed release I will start looking for alternatives.

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Hi,

    @CAPBD I did a test and it definitely blocks netflix:

    So I would advise you to check if the topic was added correctly. Note that it may take several minutes to update the changes on the child's device. Also, content filtering doesn’t stop your child from using apps or websites offline. It only manages the internet traffic they can access online.

    This guide may help you:

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

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD
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    So, I was wrong and I have to apologize because you can actually configure the apps as well to Allow or Block. 🙂

    Simply search netflix there, or any app for that matter and select the actions you wish to take for both web and app:

    😉

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD
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    @Empowered if you ask me, this is not a downgrade. Give it some time and who knows, it may grow on you. 😉

    The following articles may help you familiarize yourself with the new version:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/100430/

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

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/99854/

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/100362/

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/100462/

    I get it, change can be challenging. But in my opinion we will never progress if we don't embrace it.

    I hope the information is helpful.

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • TeenParent
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    @Alexandru_BD

    I completely agree with @Empowered that this is a serious downgrade. We are the paying customers, and you are the admin, and you should acknowledge our feedback rather than dismissing or disagreeing with it. The guides that you are referencing talk about how the functionality "is supposed to work" but as of now it does not work like that. In addition, it's not just change, it's that things that used to work do not work. That will never be considered progress.

    Extremely disappointing and I will be looking to get my money back soon if these blocker bugs are not fixed soon. It's been 2 months.

  • CAPBD
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    I agree with @TeenParent I have my own complaint ticket with Bitdefender, all the "magnificent" features that were touted in the arbitrary downgrade notification we got, are just watered down versions of what we had before (that wasn't even that great to begin with), and no ammount of gaslighting can hide that fact now.

    • Activities are not logged DAILY, as they were before. Now they are grouped by 7 days or last 30 days. Good look figuring out what happened in that particular day. And good look figuring out if it's the last 30 days or during the month.
    • Website logging was removed, you can't see what websites are accessed. But in content filtering, you now have the ultra useful "portals" category. So if you have 18 hrs of "portals" in "the last 7 days usage", good look figuring what those "portals" are.
    • Categories are not explorable or collapsable. You cannot see what has been accessed in any category, and some categories are non specific or just downright useless, like "portals" or "others"
    • App locking is NOT WORKING AT ALL. I have blocked an adult app from my teen's parental control website, only to see it being accessed a few more minutes each day. I do not know what you mean by blocking "topics", but whatever it is, I rather just have app blocking working again.
    • No more daily activity emails, which were useful. Apparently being useful is an unnecessary feature nowadays for Bitdefender.

    I have made my complaints known to the support team, but only one paying users complaint may be nothing to them.