There are ways to circumvent Covenant Eyes accountability software, not the least of which is to go down to the local library and use its computers instead of your own. Those who are bent on getting around a fence inevitably find a way.
From time to time, we hear from concerned customers is that they might have found a way to circumvent our software. (Sometimes customers find what they believe will be a loophole, only to later discover that their ally was notified about their circumvention attempts.) Communications from our members have also helped us to refine how our services work.
But one of the things that makes accountability software different from other software solutions is that it presupposes some level of personal and relational accountability. Covenant Eyes is not a “gotcha” tool, or “shameware.” It is specifically designed for those individuals and families who are making a commitment to use their devices with integrity. By using it they are saying, “Yes, monitor my screens. I want you to receive a regular report of what I’m doing. I don’t want to live in secrecy or deception.”
Biblical accountability occurs in the context of a committed relationship. It’s about bringing someone alongside you who shares your commitment to digital integrity and will help and encourage you on that journey. The motivation to overcome porn must go deeper than “not getting caught at it.”
But if you are concerned you or others will circumvent Covenant Eyes, let me mention several encouragements:
1. If you find a possible method of circumvention, tell us.
Our software is designed in community, with input from literally hundreds of thousands of comments. Speak up and share your thoughts if you’ve found a circumvention method that makes Covenant Eyes less valuable for you. We are all working together to make the Internet safer. Our Member Care team may be able to recommend steps to close the loopholes. Contact email@example.com or call us at +1 989.720.8000.
2. Understand that the easiest circumvention method is the most obvious one: find another device.
Good allies should know this and have measures put in place to keep this from being a temptation. Some Covenant Eyes members have access to work computers or phones where they cannot install our app. In this case, make sure you’re having regular accountability conversations about these devices. This leads to the next point.
3. Temptations to circumvent Covenant Eyes (technological or otherwise) should be part of your accountability conversations.
Perhaps you’ve discovered a way to cheat the system. Remember, accountability is primarily about the relationship. The software tools you use, including Covenant Eyes, aren’t going to help if you aren’t committed to an honest relationship. Talk to those who hold you accountable. If you really desire accountability, be proactive and come up with creative solutions together.
Share your thoughts with us! What methods do you and your allies use to close any gaps in your accountability measures? Please share your thoughts below.
If we have a method of circumvention, should we just email the firstname.lastname@example.org account or is there a different place we should direct this information?
Great question, Dave. Just send a message to that e-mail address, yes. It will get to the right people.
Hey man, my name is Mikey and I’m seventeen. I bought myself a laptop and having an overly religious father, obsessed with picking every life choice I’ve ever had in his own hands was enraged that I had freedom to information. With threatening to break my laptop I have over my computer for him to pretty much render useless. He put it into a filter that doesn’t even let me play kid computer games like dirt bike mania. I hope you enjoy ruining relationships with parents and married couples.
Hi, Mikey – I’m sorry that CE seems to be a roadblock in your relationship with your family. But, to be honest, it doesn’t sound like Covenant Eyes is the root problem. Like anything in life that distresses or hurts us, it requires us to work through it with conversation, collaboration, some give-and-take, etc. The software isn’t the problem. I bet you just want a more open, loving relationship with your father. One that includes mutual respect, especially for a son who at 17, feels like he deserves, and maybe (I don’t know anything about your past, so this could be true or untrue) has proven he deserves more trust and respect. All Covenant Eyes’ software is doing is acting like a spotlight on the real wound. I hope and pray that you and your family find some healing. Talk to your dad. But, do it in love and respect because he’ll always be your father.
I just did it for a whole been going undercover so there are loop holes in this
I believe my friend is unistalling covenant eyes then reinstalling it. If he is, would I get a notification? or has my friend been awesome in resisting temptation?
Funny – a blog note about circumventing, and the picture is a guy on a Mac. There’s no filtering for Mac – how’s that for circumvention?
Hi Peter. That’s funny. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Circumvention of accountability is the topic at hand here.
Thanks so much for this post. I will shoot an email to Covenant Eyes tomorrow about a loophole that I unfortunately found to circumnavigate the filter. I am also going to let my accountability partner know about my relapse and circumnavigating the filer so that is a regular part of the conversation with my accountability partner.
Wish I knew the loophole so I can keep an eye on my husband…
dudes im barely tech literate but even i can entirely remove a program from my device if someone put spyware on it or block key logging, not that i need to as i own all my own devices and can browse as i please
but kids arent going to tell you how they did it
Husband got around Covenant Eyes by using a browser embedded in Apple News App. This happened after the phone was upgraded. I doubt he really wants to change.
Hi, Jeannie – if he is seeking secret browsers, then I also have doubts. Does he have a die-hard accountability partner looking him in the eyes to call out these kinds of behaviors? No matter what Covenant Eyes does, no one can control all of the doorways to the Internet, which is why the specific conversations are so, so critical.
I’m trying to test this out. So if I’m using a website that has another linked browser like twitter or google…is this what you are referring to? Because those seem to be caught by CE. Or are you referring to just the one inside the apps?…my husband apps can’t be deleted or added. I am unaware of his apps have browers but I am unsure? So if they do cld he look up porn? Does he even know this is possible?
Is there a way that Covenant Eyes is able to monitor a phones hotspot? I’m afraid my son is connecting his iPod to his phones personal hotspot to circumnavigate Covenant Eyes. Thanks, Weston
Hello, Weston – if the phone’s restrictions have been set so that an alternative browser can’t be downloaded, you know what apps are being used on the phone, you have control over the Apple ID, and you have Covenant Eyes on the device as the only browser he can use, then it doesn’t matter how he accesses the Internet, be it through your home’s network, a hotspot, etc. Here’s a support article to help you make sure his iPhone is set up correctly: https://www.covenanteyes.com/support-articles/how-do-i-install-covenant-eyes-on-an-iphone-ipod-touch-or-ipad/?promocode=safeonline60
Can I use the Task Manager to shut down Covenant Eyes? If I try this or any other way of disabling it, be it successful or not, will my accountability partner be some how informed of such attempts?
Hi, John, you cannot. The only way to remove Covenant Eyes from the computer is to call customer service and request an uninstall code. When that code is generated, your accountability partner receives a notification.
I believe this wasn’t answered correctly, as I have the same question but the answer didn’t help. If I use ctrl alt del and using task manager force CovenantEyes.exe to close, will my accountability partner be notified? as I guess this will stop screen monitoring and vpn filtering.
Yes. Your ally will be notified if you turn off Covenant Eyes on your devices.
I found a fun way to make sure kids don’t download alternate browsers on an Apple device, but can still download apps.
Just disable uninstalling apps, rather than installing. That way, they can go ahead and download a game or something which you approve of. But if they try to download a web-browser or something you don’t approve of, you’ll be able to find it. Just set up a weekly “phone check”. If they comply, they are free to use their phone until the next phone check. Otherwise, they get it taken away. If you find an app you don’t approve of, talk to them. If it’s really bad, then disable installing apps until they mature.
This may be a really stupid question, but can’t a person just use the private browser which does not store websites or searches?
Hi, Katie – CE monitors incognito and private browsing on computers. This is different on Apple devices, since we don’t monitor Safari, which is why re recommend toggling off Safari and only using our app. For Android, we monitor all browsing, even private.
I found that i can shut off ce accessability and view hm material although the ce box telling me my access is off i was able to view porn. I then was curious if itd show on my report and nothing showed up.
Hi, Jen – ultimately, nothing can stop someone from finding pornography. There’s always a way. Turning off accessibility is a way to do that, but if that’s a problem, then you might consider getting rid of the smartphone or moving to an iOS device with our new app that provides much greater accountability.
If I shut off CE and I watch porn, will me turning off CE show up on my report?
Yes, your Ally will be notified as soon as you shut down CE.
Like Weston, I’m worried that the personal hotspot on my sons phone could be used to access the internet on a device that doesn’t have covenant eyes installed. Would the covenant eyes on the phone report things accessed on another device via the (photo es) personal hotspot?
Hi, James – if you’re referring to the Hotspot on your son’s phone, whereby he would be providing access through his device to someone else, then, I don’t think that’s what you’re worried about. It sounds like you’re concerned about your son gaining access to a hotspot that someone else’s device is providing, in which case, your son’s phone (if it has CE) would govern and monitor how his phone access the Internet, even through the hotspot. Have I answered your question? If not, please let me know.
I sometimes enable a hot spot for my workers when we are working off my truck in the middle nowhere. But I realized the other day would there browsing be reflected on my report? Nothing has showed up so far but I don’t know what they use their phones for.
Hi, Trevor, I believe their activity would show up on your report on an iOS device but I’m not sure for Android. I’m going to have you call CE Customer Support at 877-479-1119.
My husband has a android phone. Does CE monitor incognito browsing on android? If so how do i know he is trying to use it, will the report say?
One more thing. Is their a way to completely block YouTube even through the web. Its blocked to youth but the loop hole is the web.
Hi, Jodi – yes, it does. It monitors at the top domain level, (like espn.com) no matter how or where the web is accessed. This includes incognito browsing.
Hi can conveanent eyes see what APPS your going on on a Android?
Thanks so much for the question. Our latest software update monitors everything that is on the screen. https://www.covenanteyes.com/screen-accountability-coming-soon/
We have convenant eyes installed on our family laptop. Our laptop uses our router to connect to the internet. What if one of my son’s friends has a phone with a mobile hot spot, that does not have convenant eyes installed, uses that phone to create an internet connection on the family lap top, does convenant eyes still work? I am worried my son will use a friends phone to connect to the internet on the laptop and be able to access adult content.
Great question that I’d be happy to answer for you. Covenant Eyes software is installed on each device individually, regardless of the Internet connection. So, if your son were to use a friends phone to connect to the Internet, Covenant Eyes would still work on his device and would be monitoring his Internet activity. Our new Screen Accountability even monitors the device when it is offline, so if you haven’t switched over to this update, I would encourage you to do so!
If you have any further questions, our customer service team is incredible and would love to take your call! 877.479.1119
I am concerned about circumventing covenant eyes through a second screen. If covenant eyes is downloaded onto a device that has its own screen but is them simultaneously used on a monitor, will the program pick up screenshots of activity of both screens are just the original.
Great question! If you have external monitors attached to your “original” device that uses Covenant Eyes, all activity on the monitors will still be monitored by our software.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.
Hi, I’m an accountability partner for a younger man in the faith. He recently came to me and told me that he found a work around in the system. I checked and didn’t see anything in the report. I want to ask him the hard questions, but at the same time I know that he just feels broken. He’s really been confiding in me, but as long as he knows how to get around it, how can I really help him?
Do you know specifically how he found a work around the system? I would be interested to hear how he did that and then offer suggestions to you to guide him through this.
In the meantime, ask the tough questions! BUT, do so with grace. If you grill him with questions and guilt him, he is going to feel ashamed and worse than before. Remember, only God can change his heart, and until He does that, just keep walking alongside him with the best accountability you can.
Recently I’m finding that the individual I am the accountability partner for is timing their viewing to view for less than a minute. They watch the time very carefully, make sure content is viewed for less than a minute (usually 30 seconds). It usually gets found out that they have been doing this for several days, so they have been struggling for multiple days without any help or support. Cannot support the person when I don’t know about the behavior.
They also have been able to get to inappropriate content on YouTube when safesearch is turned on in their Covenant Eyes app.
I am sorry for any issues you might be having with our software! In regards to the circumvention and safesearch, I would highly recommend you call our Customer Service Team. They are truly the experts and should be able to answer any questions you have.
Toll-free in the US: 877.479.1119
Outside the U.S.: 989.720.8000
I have spoken to two very knowledgeable representatives for CE, and both are stumped to what is happening with CE reporting. I do hope someone here has some ideas. Here is the scenario.
My husband is a pilot, gone 8-10 days at a time. Everytime he leaves for work his “named” iphone becomes an unrecognized iPhone X. The message that appears with this is “CE detects activity on this device but is unable to take screenshots outside the covenant eyes browser” This message occurs 8 days in a row until he returns home. Usually at the bottom of the report next to “monitored devices” a message will say ” has not been seen > 4 days, 1week etc”
As I was looking into this, I discovered that our records show that you were able to get some clarity on this. If that’s a case of mistaken identities, or if you have additional questions, feel free to contact the Member Care team.
Let me begin by saying that I am very grateful for CE. It has proven to be the inhibiting factor for me that over the years I’ve been using it has lessened the power of the addiction I suffer from. However, I’ve found an issue if i have used my android phone to the point where the battery goes flat and it shuts down. Sometimes upon restarting the phone I find that I have been logged out of covenant eyes and it is no longer monitoring. From here I’ve been able to delete the app, and then fall victim to the temptation that ensues. After re-installing the app nothing showed up or was flagged in the reports – not even that it had been uninstalled. I hate that this happens – I really wish to shut down this glitch so that it never happens.
Thanks for reaching out! I’m sorry for the difficulty. The Android platform can be tricky, since every device manufacturer makes unique customizations that can affect Covenant Eyes in different ways. If you haven’t already, please reach out to our Member Care team at email@example.com and they can gather diagnostic information regarding this issue.
What about VPNs/partitioning? I know (I think?) that CE blocks private browsers (Tor, etc.), but what about my very tech-literate husband using Nord or a similar VPN? Will CE still work? If not, will it at least show that the VPN was used? Also, what about the ability to partition (e.g., use “guest access”) a laptop – would the fact that CE is installed on the device mean that it still works in that situation?
*I should specify that we have Macs, iPads, and iPhones*
Hello! Thanks for your comment. How we interact with VPN’s varies depending on the platform and the VPN. I recommend reaching out to our Member Care team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-479-1119 and they’ll be able to address your specific situation.
Looking at upgrading my phone plan to include built in hotspot so we can discontinue paying for the wifi at the house. If my phone, that has CE installed on it, is used as the base hotspot, will connecting devices that do not have CE cause a negative report to generate if someone accesses forbidden material or searches for the same?
Hi Todd! Thanks for your comment. Covenant Eyes will only monitor the device it’s installed on. If you use the phone as a hotspot, it won’t monitor other devices on the connection. Feel free to reach out to our Member Care team at 1-877-479-1119 or email@example.com if you’d like more details, or have further technical questions!
When will wildcard support for website blocking be added? The ability to mass-block websites, especially those that reference software that can circumvent CE, would be a huge advantage for me. I’m not overly concerned about a couple innocent websites being flagged by these wildcards.
Hi Ryan thanks for reaching out! Our support articles have the most up-to-date information on software features and how to use them. Check out this page on our blocking/filtering features: https://support.covenanteyes.com/hc/en-us/categories/10957895485083-Blocking-Filtering
If you have questions that aren’t answered there, our Member Care is available by phone (989-720-8000), chat, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).