Safe Browser not visible in Android app control

Options
Omenapuu
Omenapuu Posts: 5 Explorer
edited September 2023 in F-Secure Internet Security

Hi, how can the kid's time spent on Safe Browser be limited as its not visible in Android SAFE App Control like other apps? So for example total daily limit 2h of which max 1h could be spent on Safe Browser.

Or how could SB be totally disabled? Then I'd allow e.g. only Chrome which can be time controlled.

Tagged:

Accepted Answer

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,640 Superuser
    edited February 2023 Answer ✓
    Options

    Hello,

    I am also only an F-Secure user.

    I think, that way is impossible with current design.

    With the meaning like this:

    So for example total daily limit 2h

    So, daily limit for screen use is "two hours";

    Then, it is possible to set up Apps for "follow time limits" rule.

    When the limit is reached, then it is not (easily) possible to use restricted Apps. F-Secure SAFE Browser is included there (by default) too. Once limits are reached, an attempt to use F-Secure SAFE Browser will be hooked. At least, it is my experience with Android 12 installation.

    Thus, since SAFE Browser is not listed in App Control - you cannot allow it (to ignore chosen limits) and cannot to disable its use at all. SAFE Browser will follow chosen Time Limits rule. When it is possible to use device (Screen time) - it will be possible to use SAFE Browser.

    Or how could SB be totally disabled? Then I'd allow e.g. only Chrome which can be time controlled.

    I am not sure, but I think that it is impossible to disable Safe Browser completely.

    Additionally, by default for child profile - an attempt to use Google Chrome will be with a redirection to SAFE Browser (well, I usually disable Google Chrome. and my opinion is based on the other browsers). Unless VPN Privacy functionality is ON.

     total daily limit 2h of which max 1h could be spent on Safe Browser.

    This part is mentioned by me as "impossible way". The only way is 'two hours' could be spent on Safe Browser if it is a single use (as general rule for any apps across device). Two hours will be shared between all Apps/Screen time.

    However, maybe my installation is a bit of outdated. Could you extend your idea a bit more? I mean, is it possible to configure such a thing with other Apps. For example, to allow only 'max one hour' for Chrome over the total 'two hours' limit?

    If yes - sorry for my reply.

    If not - maybe, you can to put your suggestion as a Feature Request there: https://community.f-secure.com/en/categories/Idea_Exchange

    Sorry for my English.

    Thanks!

Answers

  • Omenapuu
    Omenapuu Posts: 5 Explorer
    Options

    Hello, thanks for the comment.

    Unfortunately Safe Browser does not seem to be limited even by total daily limits. I can imagine that it has something to do with the fact that Safe Browser is not visible in App Control at all. (He's got Samsung A22 5G with Android 13 so the phone really shouldnt be the issue.)

    Does F-Secure offer only virus protection without Safe Browser installation? Trying to be too fancy with the features and then forcing those to users without option rarely is a good idea..

    Any recommendations for alternative virus protection software?

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,755 Community Manager
    Options

    Hello @Omenapuu

    Thank you for your comment.

    As @Ukko commented previously, the Safe Browser's time limit is consumed with the Time Limit set in the child's profile. And Safe browser is not listed in the App Control because it is coming with the app after downloading by default.

    And it is not possible to disable Safe browser https://community.f-secure.com/en/discussion/113712/how-to-disable-safe-browser-in-android

    If you want to set Chrome with a time limit, you do not have to set the Safe browser as the default browser and in the App Control, set the app to be time-limited, however, the app will be restricted to the daily time limits and bedtime limits https://help.f-secure.com/product.html#home/total-android/latest/en/task_C55D5D09778D4914BBF71C8096BB7CCB-latest-en

    Kindly let me know if this helps.

    Thank you and have a good day.

  • Omenapuu
    Omenapuu Posts: 5 Explorer
    Options

    Hello, thanks for the note, but I suggest to read a bit more thoroughly:

    Unfortunately Safe Browser does not seem to be limited even by total daily limits.

    So kid can use the Safe Browser regardless of daily limits or bed time or default browser setting.

    As the question related to offering without Safe Browser was bypassed I take it's not an option and I'll turn to other providers.

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,755 Community Manager
    Options

    Hello @Omenapuu

    Thank you for your reply.

    Unfortunately Safe Browser does not seem to be limited even by total daily limits.

    May I confirm again that after the time limit has been reached, your child can use the Safe browser, however, not the other app? Or your child can use another app also?

    Please ensure the settings are correct:

    • App Control and Time Limits are turned on
    • Time limits bedtime and usage duration are correct
    • The phone is a child profile

    Make sure that there are no battery optimizations or saving features enabled, which can stop the F-Secure application when it is not active on the screen. You can find instructions on how to disable battery optimizations for the whole device or for single applications here: https://dontkillmyapp.com/. And also check if the app is set as never sleep.

    Thank you.

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,640 Superuser
    Options

    Hello,

    As an addition to the official comment above. And sorry for the huge-size reply.

    Unfortunately Safe Browser does not seem to be limited even by total daily limits. I can imagine that it has something to do with the fact that Safe Browser is not visible in App Control at all. 

    That's strange. Because with devices where I tried - SAFE Browser is not exclusion. However, there can be difference between our versions.. if my installations, for example, with outdated build. But I don't think the described by you experience is expected design.

    I also do able to confirm that "SAFE Browser" is not listed or visible in App Control. But still followed time restrictions on my Android 9 and some Android 12 devices.

    (He's got Samsung A22 5G with Android 13 so the phone really shouldnt be the issue.)

    Thus, if not something from official comment about - then maybe Android 13 with a bit of tricky changes.. but I cannot check with any Android 13 devices yet.

    Also, there could be temporarily 'hiccups' (when functionality is broken for some apps). My recommendation is restart phone (or turning off and turning ON back). But it can be helpful only if any 'app' is not restricted by time limits.

    Does F-Secure offer only virus protection without Safe Browser installation? Trying to be too fancy with the features and then forcing those to users without option rarely is a good idea..

    Well, I am not sure I got your concern right. But if we talk about F-Secure SAFE (Internet Security) for Android platform. SAFE Browser is always bundle there. As a part of application.

    • if Child profile in use: SAFE app is AV tool, then SAFE Browser will be acted as 'secured' browser (no need to interference with any other third-party browser to provide a security features like blocking Harmful-rated webpages, banking protection integrity check, web-content filtering and so on). So, SAFE Browser is already with additional layers to block harmful websites and such things. This functionality (provided by F-Secure) is (perhaps) only possibly in other /third-party/ browsers with addons or extensions or hacks. Thus, the best and 'safer' way is to introduce F-Secure SAFE Browser as a main one and first choice for child profiles. As avoiding bypassing restrictions by using 'unsupported' browser.
    • There is, however, a way to use third party browser with child profile too. It is "VPN Privacy" feature. So, when enabled and activated - Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge are allowed to use. By this way - child's surf is protected by 'privacy/security' concern of VPN solutions.
    • if Adult profile in use: you are freely able to use any installed browser. However, only SAFE Browser will be with additional security features during surf. Again, if enabled, 'VPN Privacy' functionality will provide some of them, though.

    Modern Android versions with a lot of built-in features that previously were available in security applications. But when it is built-in system functionality - not much of reasons to 'repeat' them (or re-use with a little of extras).

    So, F-Secure SAFE will offer an ability to scan/check device as AV tool, VPN Privacy feature, Parental Control options (if needed). As a core, probably. It is not really 'forcing' to use SAFE Browser. It is the way to provide some extra security layers during browsing and surfing. With less 'tricks' to provide it (less possibilities to break privacy of other apps or system).

    there is also (now) F-Secure Mobile Security for a single device (F-Secure's offering as of February 14, 2023 - F-Secure Community).

    Any recommendations for alternative virus protection software?

    Depends on your needs. I mean, is 'virus protection' the only point? And did you mean multi-platform one software? Or only Android-based.

    Just off-topic: F-Secure is a very good one, actually. And their offers are quite balanced. The chosen way / design to provide security layers (or covering certain features) is a choice based on their understanding and view at the time. So, to choose best available option for a smooth user experience.

    Downsides (as described in that topic) or unclear points (as not optional Safe Browser part in whole app) should be improved based on feedback and by users' opinions. I mean, it will be more clear for developers to choose ways to change or introduce something.

    Thanks!

This discussion has been closed.
Pricing & Product Info