2 minute read

Can I Circumvent Covenant Eyes?

Last Updated: June 12, 2014

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

circumvent covenant eyesThere are multiple 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 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 Accountability Partners are notified about their circumvention attempts. Communications from our members have also helped us to refine how our services work. Former loopholes have been closed. Gates have been shut.

But one of the things that makes accountability software different is that it presupposes some level of personal and relational accountability. Accountability software is specifically designed for those individuals and families who are making a commitment to use the Internet differently. By using it they are saying, “Yes, monitor my Internet access. I want you to receive a regular report of all the places I go online. I want to be held to task concerning what I do and where I go on the Internet.”

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 with us. We are all working together to make the Internet safer.

2. Understand that the easiest circumvention method is the most obvious one: find another Internet-enabled device.

Good parents and Accountability Partners should know this and have measures put in place to keep this from being a temptation.

3. Understand that most of the common potential loopholes have already been closed.

We’ve had 13 years to improve our services, and we rarely hear about something brand new.

4. Temptations to circumvent Covenant Eyes (technological or otherwise) should be part of your accountability conversations.

Perhaps you’re a part of the 0.01% of people who think you know your way around a computer enough to cheat any system. Maybe you really are. Don’t let that stop you from finding airtight accountability. Talk to those who hold you accountable. If you really desire Internet accountability, be proactive and come up with creative solutions together.

Share your thoughts with us! What are methods you and your Accountability Partners use to close any gaps in your accountability measures? Please share your thoughts below.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cadencrawford
  • Comments on: Can I Circumvent Covenant Eyes?
    1. Dave on

      If we have a method of circumvention, should we just email the support@covenanteyes.com account or is there a different place we should direct this information?

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Great question, Dave. Just send a message to that e-mail address, yes. It will get to the right people.

      • Mikey f.a.g. on

        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.

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.


      • Zac on

        I just did it for a whole been going undercover so there are loop holes in this

      • jack on

        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?

    2. peter on

      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?

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Peter. That’s funny. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Circumvention of accountability is the topic at hand here.

    3. Chris on

      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.

      • Robin Gardner-Gates on

        Wish I knew the loophole so I can keep an eye on my husband…

    4. tj on

      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

    5. Jennie Reen on

      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.

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.

      • K on

        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?

    6. Weston Mann on

      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

    7. John on

      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?

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.

      • Matthew on

        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.

      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Matthew,

        Yes. Your ally will be notified if you turn off Covenant Eyes on your devices.


    8. Annonymous on

      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.

    9. Katie on

      This may be a really stupid question, but can’t a person just use the private browser which does not store websites or searches?

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.

    10. Jen on

      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.

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.


      • Jack on

        If I shut off CE and I watch porn, will me turning off CE show up on my report?
        Thanks, Jack

      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Jack!

        Yes, your Ally will be notified as soon as you shut down CE.

    11. James on

      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?

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.


      • Trevor on

        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.

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.


    12. Jodi on

      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.

      • Chris McKenna on

        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.


    13. Anonymous on

      Hi can conveanent eyes see what APPS your going on on a Android?

    14. Cameryn Miller on

      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.

      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Cameryn!

        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

    15. Bill K on

      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.


      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Bill,

        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.

    16. Mark on

      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?


      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Mark!

        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.


    17. Lex on

      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.

      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Lex,

        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


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