Custom Block List for Screen Accountability: Now in Beta

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Covenant Eyes is thrilled to announce that we are introducing the Custom Block List to Screen Accountability. Using the feature is optional. 

This tool for customizing Filter settings gives a Filter guardian the ability to block sites that, while not explicit, are troublesome for the member. If our standard domain blocker(powered by CleanBrowsing) doesn’t block troublesomesite.example and you want that site blocked, then you will be able to add troublesomesite.example to the member’s custom block list and Covenant Eyes will block the member’s access to troublesomesite.example.

Any member, that is using Screen Accountability and has selected the Filtering service option, will be able to use the custom block list when they have the latest version of the Covenant Eyes program. If you currently use Internet Accountability, when you make the switch to Screen Accountability, we’ll import the websites from your old service to the custom block list. If we’re not able to import a website, we’ll notify you by email.

You will need to update your software to use this feature. We’ve listed the necessary version numbers here.




Be aware, the feature is all-or-nothing. It will not block specific pages of a large site.  E.g. – It will not block facebook.com/oldfriend. It will either block the entire Facebook site, or none of the Facebook site.

If you are currently on a Family Plan there will be no additional cost to use this feature. Just make sure that you have filtering turned on for your username.

If you have a Personal Plan the cost will be $1.50/member/month and will add both items of the Filter service, domain blocking powered by CleanBrowsing and the custom block list, to that member’s username.

https://www.covenanteyes.com/support-articles/custom-block-list/

As you use this feature, we would love to hear your thoughts, impressions, and feedback – good or ill.

Thank you,

Dan
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Posted 9 months ago

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David Rodriguez

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This is a Good tool coming ! 

We also need the same tool but to bypass some domains that CE Blocks, will this be coming ? 
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hi David.
Thank you for the your response. Honestly our developers love to hear this kind of feedback. May I ask what you specifically had in mind for a custom allow list in terms of features or needs addressed? If you don't feel comfortable responding with the specifics here on the forums you can always email us at support@covenanteyes.com or call our Customer Service Team to give the specifics of your feedback to a live employee at 877-479-1119. 

Thank you,

Dan
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Ian T

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I can see great potential with this option for filtering; however, I have already noticed a significant issue.

It appears that the Beta Version (possibly the Block List service) is automatically blocking certain websites from Google such as: docs.google.com, sheets.google.com, hangouts.google.com, and more.

This is mind there are other websites like mail.google.com and google.com that aren't blocked.

As someone who works from home and uses Google Suite and Google Office services, I'm not able to work with this bug in place so I must deactivate the beta version until the issue is resolved.

Am I the only one who has this issue? Will there be a fix coming soon?

Thanks!
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hi Ian. 
Thank you for your response. Generally speaking the only reason certain sites or aspects of Google should be blocking is if you either manually added a Google domain to the Custom Block List or if it was imported from an older block list. I would encourage you to give our Customer Service Team a call so they they can more accurately troubleshoot this issue for you as it sounds like it is not operating as intended. Our number is 877-479-1119. 

Thank you,

Dan
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Ian,
I understand that you were able to speak with one of our techs, and discovered that a network issue was at the root of limited access to Google. First of all, thank you for “helping us help you.” Secondly, if you do run into something else that might be the CBL, please contact us. This type of interaction is helpful during the beta period.
Again, thank you for contacting us and working through it! 

Dan
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Mark

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This is a good addition and you are heading in the right direction. However, I would love to see a little more functionality with block/allow lists. My use case is I have kids that I homeschool. I want them to be able to access certain sites that they need for school or hobbies, but I don't want them to have access to a lot of the Internet. So what I want to do is to have an allow list, as was already stated, but a checkbox that says they can only access sites on the allow list. So I want all sites blocked unless they are on the allow list. Your base screen accountability works great for adults or more mature kids where you are expecting them to make good choices but they have some accountability if they don't. But I don't want my kids accidentally pulling up an inappropriate video on YouTube or inappropriate images in a search and having that get in there head even if they didn't mean to. I want to protect them from that while still letting them get to select Internet content until they get older and they have a better handle on what to do and what not to do on the Internet. For that I need an exclusive white list approach.
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hi Mark. 
Thank you for your response. We really appreciate your feedback. It is very helpful to have such a concrete example of why members may want or need an allow list only option. While the Custom Block List does not contain this sort of functionality, I will happily share your input with our developers. 

Thank you,

Dan
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Stephen

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I agree, whitelist is NEEDED!
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Mary

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I am in the same position as Mark above. Are there plans to have the allow list return? While the block list is very helpful, and I’m happy to see it return; the allow list is just as important for some families.
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R

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Although a block list is helpful, an allow list would be a far more useful tool. First, because it allows children to access a select few safe sites chosen by the parent on a case by case basis...and blocks them from all other content. Second, because it allows a recovering addict who has had NO internet access to regain limited access to specific websites until he has built self-control and can handle more. Even if you are setting up a school computer for your child's homework, it is helpful to be able to blacklist everything except a few educational sites for study and uploading homework to the school or accessing homeschool video content. Please create a whitelist only option!!
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Dan M, Official Rep

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Hello.  Just wanted to give folks a quick update.  The Custom Block List is no longer in Beta and is now live.  

Thank you.  

Dan
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Derek Jensen

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I've been using CE for 5+ years now. My biggest point of temptation is Google and Bing image searches. Is there any way you could build in support in the CE iOS browser to block just the image search on those pages, rather than the entire google.com and bing.com domains?
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Hackintosher

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My husband also struggles with this temptation. CE Screen Accountability tends to be unreliable when it comes to monitoring Bing/Google/other search engine images... Even if SafeSearch is on, it doesn't block everything. I understand from a DNS filtering level because when you block images.google.com, you end up blocking the entire domain of Google. And I'm assuming any running scripts or analytics on third-party pages as well? My question is - for the CE Screen Accountability algorithm is there (and maybe there have been improvements to it recently and I am not aware) a development team that is aware of this issue? The lack of sensitivity to still images? Thank you. 
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Will

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The biggest issue I see is iOS still. To lock down my phone fully I would like to be able to choose which device can and can’t view things. In my mind the desktop version is much more accurate so that one can have more freedom. But blocking all social sites on mobile and iPad would be immensely helpful.

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Justin Schell

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This doesn’t seem to work on Kindle. It’s a major platform for kids and adults alike.
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Susan Petersen

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Is there a list of domains parents have blocked such as craigslist?