Monitor The Mobile Web – Without Breaking Your iPhone

Because of Apple’s tight controls on iPhone/iPad apps, many iOS internet monitoring solutions require “jailbreaking” the phone. But doing this can void the warranty.

This video shows you – step-by-step – how to set up internet monitoring on your iPhone or iPad without voiding your warranty, and without any special skills.

Video Transcript – Introduction

Hi, I’m Steve Dwire, Founder of Edify Hub.

I’d like to talk today about how to protect yourself, or your teen, on the internet using the Apple iPhone or iPad.

We’ll look at three things today as we start.

  • First of all, how to install the Accountable2You browser.
  • Second, how to disable other apps on the iPhone or iPad that may let somebody get around the monitoring of that browser.
  • Third, I’ll give you some tips on how to use the Accountable2You browser.

Install Accountable2You

So, let’s first log in to your account at Accountable2You. Go to http://www.edifyhub.com/accountable. That will take you to the home page where you can sign in. If you don’t have an Accountable2You account set up yet, you can also click the big blue “Sign Up” button, and that will let you create an account. And I got an extra promo code from the Accountable2You folks. If you enter the promo code edifyhub – all one word, all lowercase – when you’re signing up, they’ll give you an extended trial period. So, instead of just ten days of free trial, you’ll get thirty days. Your first thirty days of Accountable2You monitoring will be completely free. So if you’re just now signing up, be sure to use the promo code edifyhub – all one word, and that will give you an extra trial period.

Once you have that account, then you’re going to want to log in to you Accountable2You account. So we’ll look here. I’m going to log in as Sam Evening. So we’ll go ahead and type in – we have the account name and password that we used when we set up. And then we’ll tap “Go.”

Then we come to the Members Center. At the Members Center, the very first thing we want to look at is the Software tab. That’s where you’re going to download – through the iTunes store – you’re going to download the Accountable2You mobile browser. So we get to the Software page, click the iOS, and that takes you to a page. It gives you some setup instructions. You could read those. I’ll walk you through those right now.

So, tap “View in iTunes.” That will open up the iTunes store, where you can download the Accountable2You app.

There we go. Tap the “Free” button. Then tap “Install.” And then it’s going to ask for your Apple ID password. So we’ll go ahead and enter that now.

Now it gives a warning. You can see that it says that it contains age-restricted material. Because the Accountable2You browser – it’s a web browser – Apple’s going to call that age-restricted. So you’re going to want to just hit “OK.” That will allow it to download and install the Accountable2You browser.

Now the way this works – Apple doesn’t let an app developer build software that can monitor other apps or monitor the network layer directly and see what’s going on anywhere other than inside the one app. So what Accountable2You has done is create a separate browser. It’s a standalone browser – fully functional. And then it watches what web pages are loaded and it will report up to the Accountable2You reporting system what is happening.

Connect Your iPhone

So, we’re going to download – we have that downloaded, and now we’re just going to hit “Open” to open the Accountable2You web browser. So that will launch the web browser. The first thing it does is to say, “Who are you? What account should I connect to?” So, here we’re going to log in again as Sam Evening.

And then we’ll give Sam’s password.

Then it’s going to ask for a Device Name. We’ll give it “Sam’s iPhone.” This is how it’s going to show itself in the reports that come out.

When we’re done typing the device name, we’ll tap “Go.” And this will log in. The device has been successfully registered. Tap “Okay.”

Prevent Unmonitored Browsing

So now your Accountable2You browser is set up on your iPhone. But that doesn’t stop you from using Safari or any of the other apps to go to the internet without being monitored. So what we’re going to walk you through next is how to turn off the other apps and keep yourself accountable so that all of your internet activity goes through the Accountable2You browser.

Enable Restrictions

So, we close the Accountable2You browser. You see the icon right there. Then we want to go to the Settings. So tap “Settings.” Then we’ll want to scroll down to “General.” It will look very similar if you’re on an iPad. There will be two panes instead of just this one. Tap the “General.” And then the next step will be to scroll down and find “Restrictions.” Right now the restrictions are turned off. I want to Enable Restrictions, so I’ll tap the “Enable Restrictions”at the top.

Now we’re going to enter a passcode. I’m just going to put in 1-2-3-4. Not a good idea if this is a real iPhone! But this is the passcode that you will use any time you want to change the restrictions. Sometimes people will call this “Parental Controls.” Apple calls it “Restrictions.” So we’ll enter the passcode. This is the passcode that I will be using in the future to change the restrictions. I need to re-enter it again. So, 1-2-3-4. And now we have the option to turn off certain features of the iPhone.

Turn Off Safari

The first thing on the list is Safari, so we’ll turn off Safari. Now we can no longer browse the internet through Safari with unmonitored access.

One of the other things I want to do is turn off the ability to install apps – right here. So I turn off Installing Apps so that whoever is using the iPhone can’t just decide to go download some other app to install to work around the security of Accountable2You.

Activate Apple’s iOS Parental Controls

When we look at this as Parental Controls, there are some other things that we can do that are unrelated to Accountable2You, but some things that you may want to think about. And that is, what are the ratings that we want to use for music, podcasts… We want to disable explicit lyrics. We want to set a rating limit for movies. We don’t watch movies on the iPhone. Same with TV shows. I’ll turn off TV shows. Books: Let’s prevent explicit sexual content.

If we look at the apps… Here’s a tricky one. We might think, “Hey, let’s really restrict our apps.” Remember the warning that came up when we installed the Accountable2You browser? It said that this was rated for 17+, age-restricted. Because it is a web browser, that’s the way it has to be rated on the iTunes store. So if we restrict to, say, 12+ you won’t be able to see the Accountable2You browser. So, let’s leave this at the 17+, and then you can continue to use the Accountable2You browser to surf the internet. And then all of your activity will be monitored with the Accountable2You reports.

So, we’ll go back from those restrictions.

Websites – You can choose to limit Adult content. One of the things that I’ve found with Apple’s way of restricting – they are very, very sensitive. Even Edify Hub and Accountable2You are often blocked by the restrictions on the iOS monitoring. So that’s up to you. Are you going to limit those, and then just have to go get somebody to unblock the restrictions? Can you trust yourself with the code to unblock the restrictions only when you need to? We’ll leave that decision to you. For now, we’ll walk through turning on the limit to say we’re going to limit adult content. You can go in and add individual websites to say that even though I have the limiting of adult content, I want to allow these particular websites. So you can get past some of the frustration if you take the time to set that up. We won’t set that up now.

So once we’re done with this, go ahead and exit out of the restrictions. When we come back out of Settings, we’ll find that the App Store is missing. Safari is missing. So those are gone.

Accountable2You Walkthrough

Now, what I like to do, just because I’m a little bit OCD is, I’m going to take the Accountable2You Mobile app, and I’m going to put that right back where Safari used to be. That way, my finger’s trained to go to the right place. And that’s where that is.

So now we have the Accountable2You browser. You can take that; launch it, and it’s just like launching Safari.

I’d like to take a minute to go through just a few tips on how to use the Accountable2You browser. Just like Safari, you can type in a search, or a URL to go to a website. There are multiple tabs. Here are the settings. Default Search Engine. You can Unregister the device. If you do that, it will stop sending the activity to your Accountable2You account, but the act of doing that will send an alert to your accountability partners that you’ve uninstalled the software, or that you’ve unregistered the device. So, they’ll know.

Tap-And-Hold Links In Other Apps

One of the things that Safari can do that Accountable2You cannot is to respond to a click of a link somewhere else. So, if I go and open Mail, for example… If I look at Mail and I have a link in my email, when I had Safari, I could just tap that link. But now that Safari’s disabled, tapping the link does not automatically open the browser.

So here’s a really quick workaround. Instead of just tapping the link, you can tap and hold the link, and copy. Then when you close that and re-open Accountable2You, Accountable2You will say, “Oh! I see you have a link the clipboard. You want to go there?” Just say “Yes.” And it will automatically take you. So, it’s a couple more steps, but it allows you to use…

Oh. See? Here we are. It blocked the content.

I’m going to go ahead and allow the content. Now we can go to that website. And that was not because of Accountable2You. That was Apple. That was the iOS blocking that account.

So here is the link from that report.

Two-Dimensional Barcodes (“QR” Codes)

One of the other things that’s interesting – some relatively new technology. You may have seen some two-dimensional barcodes floating around. They look something like this. And behind most of these barcodes is an internet address. And many apps exist for smartphones, for your iPhone. And if you have one of those apps, or if your teen has one of those apps, then they can scan those barcodes and they can get to the internet through that barcode scanner. If you go through and delete those apps so that they can’t surf the internet unmonitored, well now they don’t have a QR code reader any more. One of the things that Accountable2You has added – you go to the settings, there is a QR code reader. It will read these two-dimensional barcodes. So you tap QR Code reader. It brings up the camera. You aim it at the URL, it says, “Oh! I found, it says http://edifyhub.com/accountability in that barcode. You want to go there?” And just tap “Yes.”

That removes one more barrier to making Accountable2You be the one and only browser for your iPhone.

Summary

So we’ve talked about how to download and install the Accountable2You browser. We’ve talked about how to remove other apps so that there’s no other way to get to he internet – or to disable Safari. Then you want to go in and actually delete some of the other apps. Then we’ve also talked about how you can use the Accountable2You web browser to get where you want to go.

So thanks for watching this video. Coming up on another video, we’ll talk about how to set up the Accountable2You accountability partners. So be watching for that video. It’s coming up next week, and thanks for watching!

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