App Lock isn't working on rooted phone

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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We have a Kyocera Hydro Life that we just purchased for our teenage daughter.  We were not able to disable the Google Search Bar without having root access.  So, we rooted the phone and removed that.  Which by the way, is very disappointing that Covenant Eyes would not let us lock that app.  After rooting the phone, we installed Covenant Eyes on the phone.  I went through and locked all the the apps that I wanted locked and made sure it worked, and it did.  But then my daughter came to me later and said  later that day that the apps that were locked were no longer locked.  So, I checked the setting and everything looked right and I tested the apps and they were locking again.  Now again today, they have just become unlocked for about an hour and then locked again.  This is very frustrating that we've just taken the plunge and finally gotten a first cell phone for our daughter and the service that we pay a lot for each month is not doing what it's supposed to.  I will add that my husband had this same phone for over a year, and never had a problem.  His phone wasn't rooted, so I'm thinking that something about the rooting is interferring with this working properly.
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Brea Mefford

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Posted 3 years ago

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Unfortunately, "rooting" an Android phone opens up a ton of things that should otherwise be unavailable. While I understand your desire to remove the Google Search Bar (TM), it is intended to be an integral part of the Android OS, - hence your difficulty in removing it. There are serious security risks​ associated with rooting a phone, especially one belonging to a child.

Additionally, Android (i.e. Google) has no interest in preserving your privacy. Their model is one of business, that is, making money, and this is done by personalizing the information they sell to advertisers about you, and now about your daughter. They will literally try to know more about your daughter than you do, and to monetize that information ... and by extension, monetize her.

I'm sorry that you're disappointed in Covenant Eyes, but if that is the service you referred to"paying a lot for" each month, I'm not sure I buy that, even as a subscriber myself. By simply forgoing one meal out and choosing to eat at home, I could pay for CE monitoring for myself, spouse, our parents and siblings. Most Americans pay far more for their phone service and could easily save the cost of a CE subscription for their family by either switching to a better priced provider, or downgrading their service. Without knowing your details, I can't comment on your circumstance, but consider that before launching written attacks, please.

To offer a concrete suggestion however, why not get your daughter a "dumb" phone? They are far easier to monitor, and most avoid apps commonly used for illicit activities. Texting and picture messaging would be the most likely causes for concern, and your carrier should be able to provide a list of numbers to/from which messages were sent/received. Deactivating data on her number would lock down most of not all other venues for problematic communications, and best of all, it would save you money on the phone, and the plan. She would still be able to call/text you and her friends, and there is a myriad of character growth to be gained out of the situation.

I hope this doesn't come off as patronizing, but one of my passions is online/information security. Frankly: I highly doubt your daughter has any real need for a smart phone, and the reality is that it opens up a staggering number of attack vectors a malicious entity to use against her ... and by proxy, against you.

I used a dumb phone until last year, and my life was better for it. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, and continue the discussion below. Feel free to AMA (ask me anything). I intend this to be an encouraging and informative response - my goal is always to educate; provoking thought and discussion, not conflict.

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I was able to block the Google Search bar on my Lenovo K3 Note with Android 6. I simply blocked the app called "Google". Maybe you didn't try that?

Regarding the problem of the app locking shutting down, you may need to convert CE to a system app. In my experience, if app locking is not working that means CE is entirely not working at that point. I had to convert CE to a system app on my phone otherwise I could just disable, force stop or uninstall the app at will. The Android OS would also seemingly shut off CE entirely whenever it got bored. I had to root the device so that I could make it a system app, so that it couldn't be bypassed! I used a hand utility app called "system/app mover" to do the trick.

That was all working fine for me but I eventually noticed that filtering and monitoring were shutting off from time to time. I tried reinstalling CE but that made things worse! Now if I make CE a system app it crashes CONSTANTLY (about every 1 second). So... now I don't know what to do. The support people don't know how to help me. Hopefully you could have better luck if you try this.
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Robert B, Official Rep

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We appreciate your passion to help your daughter! And you're right about rooting; it is quite likely the source of the problems you were experiencing.

Covenant Eyes is designed to work with Android's factory specifications. When a phone is rooted, those specs are changed. We do not guarantee any functionality of CE on a rooted Android device. If CE is working on a rooted device, it is not likely to continue doing so. And we do not provide any technical assistance in such cases.

Again, we appreciate your passion. Keep up the good work!