How to limit Google search window wathching of YouTube videos?

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marvas
marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
edited October 2023 in F-Secure Total

If my child does a Google seach for a video from the android phone start screen default Google seach box and starts the video from the search result browser window, with out going to Youtube, he can watch Youtube videos endlessly without any time limit restrictions.

How to prevent this? It makes F-secure ""Daily time limits" feature compeletely useless.

I have set time limits to Google Chrome, Safe Browser is set as the default browser and I have removed all other browsers. I asked help from F-secure chat and they adviced me to reinstall F-secure safe to my child's phone. This did not help.

Accepted Answer

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
    Answer ✓
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    Hello,

    In my child 's phone' s Settings/Apps list there is a "Google" app. However, this does not show up in the F-secure parental control list so I cannot set limits to it.

    Yes, I also cannot see it in the F-Secure App Control list. Maybe because this application is a kind of 'system' (or something like this; as with Google Auto with recent Android versions). Thus, perhaps, it is not possible to set up limits for this application - but it should be restricted by 'daily' time use.

    Still there is a way to disable it or to remove widget (guide in the reply above: https://community.f-secure.com/en/discussion/comment/132690/#Comment_132690).

    Also, based on my brief checks - it is not quite easy to use Google app without redirection to SAFE Browser. I mean, most of my attempts were with redirection (but not all). And it is a partially 'limited' ability to get Youtube video on the main screen to watch it. Unless, if it is a direct search query(?!). My results were about small previews and any try to watch it -> redirection to SAFE Browser. But I do understand your situation and trouble, so - as such there is a way to use this app for bypassing some restrictions (maybe). And good if this situation can be fixed or handled.

    If I go to my child 's phone and try to remove it that is not allowed. It is not allowed even when I change myself as the user in my child's phone's F-secure safe.

    What I did and what I will try to recommend - it is 'to disable' this application. Rough steps:

    • tap and hold "Google" app logo some seconds;
    • in the splashed area - click "About app" (or relevant option);
    • there are buttons or options like "Stop" and "Disable"; I also cleared 'cache' before stopping and disabling.

    By this way, app is disabled. Perhaps, your child still can to re-activate it manually. But... better tell "not to cheat you" - because "it is no use" to do so; and you trust to your child about being sensible.

    Alternative way is to hide/remove widget from the main screen. Rough steps:

    • tap and hold widget some seconds;
    • move it to the 'bin' logo (to remove / delete it) from the main screen / by dragging.

    By this way, app is still enabled. Can be used directly and maybe still possible to pin widget back.

    I have no idea how to get rid of the main screen Google app/widget.

    So, could you check if described steps / design are workaround, at least?

    Thanks!

Answers

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,733 Community Manager
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    Hello @marvas

    Welcome to the F-Secure Community. Thank you for your post.

     I'd be happy to assist you further.

    To better understand your inquiry, could you please provide more details about your child's device? Specifically, what Android version is it running?

    If I understand correctly, you mentioned that the daily time limit settings on your child's device are not working properly. Is that correct?

    In addition to this, I suggest checking the battery optimization settings on your child's device. Please ensure that the F-Secure app is set to "Never sleep app" and the battery optimization is set to "Unrestricted".

    Please let me know if you require any further assistance. We're always here to help!

    Thank you and have a great day!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
    edited April 2023
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    I asked this question:

    "If my child does a Google seach for a video from the android phone start screen default Google seach box and starts the video from the search result browser window, with out going to Youtube, he can watch Youtube videos endlessly without any time limit restrictions.

    How to prevent this? It makes F-secure ""Daily time limits" feature compeletely useless.

    I have set time limits to Google Chrome, Safe Browser is set as the default browser and I have removed all other browsers. I asked help from F-secure chat and they adviced me to reinstall F-secure safe to my child's phone. This did not help."

    Then @Firmy answered:

    _______________________________________

    "Hello @marvas

    Welcome to the F-Secure Community. Thank you for your post.

     I'd be happy to assist you further.

    To better understand your inquiry, could you please provide more details about your child's device? Specifically, what Android version is it running?

    If I understand correctly, you mentioned that the daily time limit settings on your child's device are not working properly. Is that correct?

    In addition to this, I suggest checking the battery optimization settings on your child's device. Please ensure that the F-Secure app is set to "Never sleep app" and the battery optimization is set to "Unrestricted".

    Please let me know if you require any further assistance. We're always here to help!

    Thank you and have a great day!"

    ___________________________________________________

    But as there is no option for me to answer@Firmy in the discussion I made a new question of this.


    To answer @Firmy :

    1.   Samsung A40 with Android 13

    2.    The daily time limits are not working in a very specific way that I described in my question.

    3.    I tried to to check "Never sleep app" and "Battery optimization set to unrestricted" for F-secure app from my child's phone, but F-secure app prevents me from doing it. It does that even if I shut down all the family controls. So I cannot answer your question, but I can assure you that I have carefully installed the F-secure app according to your instructions. 



    Please help!

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,733 Community Manager
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    Hello @marvas

    Thank you for your reply.

    I tried to to check "Never sleep app" and "Battery optimization set to unrestricted" for F-secure app from my child's phone, but F-secure app prevents me from doing it. It does that even if I shut down all the family controls. So I cannot answer your question, but I can assure you that I have carefully installed the F-secure app according to your instructions. 

    To clarify, when you say F-Secure prevents you from changing the battery optimization settings, could you please explain a bit more about this? It would be helpful to see a screenshot of the issue if you have one available.

    You may check this link on how to check the settings FREEDOME VPN connection drops frequently on Samsung devices | VPN | Latest | F-Secure User Guides

    Additionally, I have sent a private message. Could you kindly share some screenshots of the Family Rules settings you have set in My F-Secure of the affected device?

    Thanks again for getting in touch and have a great day!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
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    I opened F-secure safe and changed user from my child to myself. Then I was able to go to Settings/Apps/F-secure safe and set battery usage and mobile data as unrestricted as suggested in the VPN-Samsung issue above.


    This did not alter the behaviour of F-secure safe. Use of the Google search box on start screen of the phone is still unrestricted, as is watching YouTube videos from Google search results, although YouTube it self is restricted.

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,733 Community Manager
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    Hello @marvas

    Thank you for the update.

    Regarding your question about setting the time limit and switching back to your child's profile, I just wanted to confirm if the daily time limit was correctly consumed after doing so. Once the time limit is reached, the app on your child's phone, including the Safe browser, will be blocked.

    Additionally, I have a suggestion that might be helpful for you. You can use content filtering to block YouTube from being accessed from the browser, and also set a time limit on YouTube. This way, your child won't be able to access YouTube from the Safe browser at all, and they'll receive an error message if they try to do so.

    By setting a time limit on YouTube, your child will only be able to access the app within the given time period. Once that time period is up, access to YouTube will be blocked. To set this up, you can follow the instructions provided in this link:

    Editing App Control settings | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides

    Editing content filtering settings | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides

    Please let me know if you need any further assistance. I'm here to help!

    Thank you, and have a great day!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
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    Yes, after returning to my child's profile the daily time limits were consumated properly. YouTube and SafeBrowsers are regulated with the set time limits as they always have been

    But as I have tried to explain several times th

    is does not help. The android start screen Google search box and it's results are not regulated in any way.

    Also, I have banned streaming services by the content filtering but this neither helps.

    Just in case we are missing something here I have attached a screenshot and circled android start screen Google search with red.

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
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    There has been no progress so far.

    Please help!

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
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    Hello,

    Sorry for my interruption in discussion:

    If my child does a Google seach for a video from the android phone start screen default Google seach box and starts the video from the search result browser window, with out going to Youtube, he can watch Youtube videos endlessly without any time limit restrictions.

    Can you just try to disable this Google Search widget?

    I mean, I do remember it on my devices. But I managed to remove them (or disable) - so, I even cannot to try reproduce this trouble easily.

    My thoughts - described Google Search on the main screen is:

    • "Google" app (I see it on my my device as a disabled one);
    • or widget for Google Chrome or "Google" (or something like Google One; or Google Assistant);

    Child still can to search web via allowed browsers.

    Additionally, I will try (maybe) check with my devices about routine mentioned by you. Maybe there is another way to configure something.

    Thanks!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
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    Thank you Ukko!

    In my child 's phone' s Settings/Apps list there is a "Google" app. However, this does not show up in the F-secure parental control list so I cannot set limits to it.

    If I go to my child 's phone and try to remove it that is not allowed. It is not allowed even when I change myself as the user in my child's phone's F-secure safe.

    I have no idea how to get rid of the main screen Google app/widget.

  • Firmy
    Firmy Posts: 1,733 Community Manager
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    Hello @marvas

    Thank you for your reply.

    As suggested by @Ukko , one solution could be to disable Google on the phone. To do this, you can follow the steps outlined in this helpful link How to uninstall, disable, remove or delete Samsung phone apps | Samsung UK

    If you're only looking to remove the widget from the phone, you can check out this link for step-by-step instructions Add or remove apps or widgets on the home screen of your Galaxy phone | Samsung Canada

    Please don't hesitate to let me know if you need any further assistance. I'm always here to help!

    Have a great day!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
    edited April 2023
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    1. Changed from my child's profile to my profile in F-secure safe.

    2. Removed the Google widget.

    3. Disabled Google app.

    4. Changed back to my child's profile.

    This works as now all browsing goes through the SAFE browser and watching YouTube videos from the browser search results is counted to time limits. And the child profile does not have rights to enable Google app.

    Thank you all for help!

    This is however a quite suboptimal solution because I would like to specifically limit videos, but not reading.

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
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    Hello,

    This works as now all browsing goes through the SAFE browser and watching YouTube videos from the browser search results is counted to time limits. And the child profile does not have rights to enable Google app.

    It is good that there are better results.


    This is however a quite suboptimal solution because I would like to specifically limit videos, but not reading.

    If to discuss only Youtube (videos) - it might make sense to look at the possibilities of Google Account settings. Including, Parental Control parts and the so-called Family Link. As such, even the built-in parental control capabilities in the Android system are also not the least functional.

    Here's what I mean about Google Account settings (but haven't tried it myself):

    Based on these articles (as a random examples):

    You can configure and restrict quite many things for a logged in user (child). I suspect that the "Google" app also has a connection to the device's Google Account. Or in some other way this situation is played up in order to avoid bypass. Otherwise, it is possible to 'trick' even this set up by using "Google" app and full-size video preview in search results.

    For example, the third URL mentions a feature that is referred to as "approved content only" in YouTube Kids.

    In this setting, your child can only watch videos, channels, and collections that you’ve handpicked. Collections are videos and channels grouped by topics, such as science and music, picked by the YouTube Kids teams or by our partners.

    In this setting, your child can’t search for any videos in YouTube Kids.

    I don’t know how you have the design of using the device now. But I feel that "Google" app is just an easy and not necessary (for a child) way to use Google through the app. If it is disabled, then the child can still use Google Search through the browser and to use other information available through visits to Google resources.

    And there remains the possibility of limiting (but still allowing) YouTube content (as described in the articles above). Although.. mostly refers to the use of YouTube app (or YouTube for kids app).

    In any case, if there is still place for discussion, could you clarify what you mean by "but not limit reading". Is there really no opportunity for the child now ((after turning off "Google" app)) - reading the content or searching for it, for example. Or is it somehow significantly limited.

    It may be possible to somehow find the best approach. Or create a feature request to improve the parental control capabilities in the F-Secure app (knowing what exactly is missing or what great to have.. which would help a lot in such a scenario).

    Thanks!

  • marvas
    marvas Posts: 9 Explorer
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    Thank you for links Ukko, but I don't see anything there that would allow you to limit watching of YouTube videos from search results.

    As now all searching and browsing of internet goes through F-secure SAFE browser even reading of Wikipedia counts to time limit.

    In a perfect set up one would like to allow reading of internet pages without limit, but limit watching of YouTube videos. As far as I know this separation is not currently possible.

    Does that clarify the problem?

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
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    Hello,

    Thank you for links Ukko, but I don't see anything there that would allow you to limit watching of YouTube videos from search results.

    Yes, it probably won't help from that. But I find this possibility quite unusual.

    And as I mentioned - that if such restrictions (applied by the direct "owner" of the service and system; for example, blocking most of YouTube videos via Google Family Link/Parental Control) are circumvented by such use - then this probably already needs to be repaired on the side of the service (Google Search, so to speak).

    Let's say I saw a description of "only-allowed" videos set up in the YouTube apps. I can assume that Google offers something similar for their other applications (be it the "Google" app or just a service where a specific Google Account is used). For example, simplified search results layout. But I have never explored the possibilities of their "built-in" (or custom) Parental Controls. If it is possible, then maybe you will get rid of these videos from Search results.

    So, about this quite unusual possibility as "watching of YouTube videos from search results". There are some limitations:

    • it should not be 'small preview' or many 'small ones" (because with my experience - it will redirect to SAFE Browser from 'Google' app);
    • then, the watching will be via that 'search' large preview video (because when I tried to maximize it - there is a redirection).

    It's not that convenient for happy use, but probably quite suitable for a child who wants to bypass the restrictions.

    Maybe if YouTube video is embedded into another web-resource or web-page - it will be accessible via that frame too.

    Can you clarify that we speak about one type of "YouTube videos from search results"?

    My understanding is "open Google app - search something OR directly from Search widget - get 'YouTube video" preview pinned to the top of search results or something like that". If so, then I see only the possibility of somehow limiting the appearance of such a layout in the search results.. for getting things right.

    Also, can you confirm that this way is not possible to use via F-Secure Safe Browser? I mean, watching YouTube videos from search results layout.

    In a perfect set up one would like to allow reading of internet pages without limit, but limit watching of YouTube videos. As far as I know this separation is not currently possible.

    Does that clarify the problem?

    Yes, a lot.

    it seems to be remembered that there was such a feature request already.

    The problem here is that F-Secure cannot "manipulate" traffic or interpret it outside of its browser. And, to a greater extent, cannot interfere with a secure HTTPS connection in order to see the "content" in full.

    Therefore, it is probably technically difficult to block, for example, all "videos" (regardless of the web-site or source) and leave text and other resources without limits.

    This is currently being played up by blocking access to a domain that is categorized or known to have inappropriate content on some of its pages. Even if it's just one page, the entire domain will be inaccessible. Fortunately, over the years there have been many improvements and complications to the logic of ratings and reputations. But, again, only with Supported browsers (Safe Browser).

    What about system wide filtering... I think as a general solution or a workaround for a "partial" fix:

    If the child most often or exclusively uses the home network (Wi-Fi), then you can try using restrictions on the side of the router. If your device model supports it. However, even quite old ones have a basic implementation of at least filtering (and modern ones even have Parental Control).

    But I still don't know what to do with mobile network connections or outside home.

    Sorry for the long comment.

    Now I see that the problem was that using the "Google" app - it was possible to elude the redirection in Safe Browser. That being said, disabling the "Google" app is not entirely optimal, as the app was useful just for reading and searching for information. At the same time, in principle, it remains possible to use the Internet (Google Search) using Safe Browser. If it is not possible to view YouTube videos from the search results there, then the problems become less. And, then, only to wish for the possibility of introducing filtering of "content" by its type, and not the entire web page by its content.

    Thanks!

This discussion has been closed.