Archive Can Parental Controls See Private Browsing?
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Can Parental Controls Detect Private Browsing?



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    Browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, have a browsing mode called ‘Incognito Mode’ or ‘Private Browsing’ that hides browsing history. This feature allows users to use search engines without leaving a trace on their browser. This issue concerns many parents. After all, being in the loop about your child’s internet activities is what many associate with good parenting.

    You can either use command lines or third-party apps to see private browsing. In this blog post, we will explain both of these methods. Read the rest of this article to find out the answer to the question, ‘can parental controls see private browsing?’. 


    See Private Browsing on Google Chrome 

    Google Chrome’s Incognito mode helps you surf the web privately without having a visible search history. Although it can be useful for adults by protecting their personal information, it can cause more harm than good to children. Still, there are methods you can use to bypass the security of Incognito mode and see your child’s private browsing history through the DNS cache. 


    What is DNS Cache?

    DNS (Domain Name System) connects you to the right IP address when you’re browsing to provide you with a better browsing experience. Your web browser saves your IP address so that it doesn’t have to find your IP every time you visit a website. By doing so, your browsing experience becomes smoother and faster. 

    Since your IP address is saved in your DNS cache, anyone with access to it can see both your browsing and private browsing history. Keep in mind that using DNS cache only works on Windows. We will explain the method for seeing private browsing history on Safari in another section. To learn how to see your child’s private browsing history on Windows, follow the steps below. 

    1. Click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner 
    2. Search for Command Prompt, and select ‘Run as Administrator’ 
    3. Type in the following command line: ipconfig/displaydns 

    You can now see your child’s private browsing history without them ever finding out. 


    iMac with search tab on its screen


    How to Restrict Private Browsing on Safari

    Apple offers its own browser on its devices, called Safari. The Safari browser offers various parental control settings, one of which is keeping the app from being launched. There are additional features the browser offers. They are better if you’re only trying to limit your child’s access to specific content. While some are stricter than the rest, you will learn to implement all of them step-by-step. 

    The Private Browsing feature on Safari allows users to surf the web without leaving a trace, or so they think. As a parent, you’re going to want to know what your child watches on YouTube or reads on the internet. You can use Safari’s private browsing parental controls and block access to either adult content or a specific website you want to be blocked. Moreover, the ‘All Websites’ feature blocks access to all websites except the ones you whitelist. 

    Using Safari’s parental control features will disable private browsing, and all of your child’s internet history will be saved. Additionally, your child will be unable to delete their tabs. Follow the steps below to learn how to set parental controls on Safari. 

    1. Open the Settings app 
    2. Go to General, and open Restrictions 
    3. Set a four-digit passcode for setting restrictions (this step only applies if it’s your first time setting restrictions) 
    4. Scroll down and select Websites 
    5. Select the kind of Restrictions you want to apply 


    Note: The passcode you put in for setting restrictions is different from your phone’s passcode and is needed whenever you want to change the parental control settings. 

    Let’s see what each Restriction option on Apple devices does. 


    Different Restriction Settings on Apple Devices 

    All Websites: This option blocks access to all websites. 

    Limit Adult Content: This option uses algorithms and smart filters to detect and block websites that have adult content on them. 

    Specific Websites Only: This option allows you to block access to websites you think are inappropriate for your child. To use this option, you must put in each website’s URL manually. 

    If these methods sound too complicated or don’t offer the features you need, you can always use third-party apps such as the Safes Parental Control app. The next section explains how you can use Safes to keep your child from being exposed to inappropriate content on their browser. 


    Using Third-Party Apps 

    There are times when the built-in features on browsers or computers don’t fully satisfy your needs. If you want an all-in-one solution to track their online activities, you can use third-party apps. The Safes Parental Control app has a variety of features for blocking inappropriate content on browsers and social media, such as Web Filter and Safe Search.

    These features aren’t the only features Safes offers. You can select from numerous features that ensure your child’s online safety, such as Screen Time, Geofence, and App Blocker. You can additionally see your child’s Incognito mode web browsing history in the URL Tracking section.  


    Frequently Asked Questions

    We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers to help provide more information on the topic we discussed. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help!


    Can parents see private browsing? 

    Yes. There are command lines that parents can use to see private browsing history on Windows. Parents can additionally block access to private browsing on Apple devices. There are also third-party apps that allow parents to monitor web activity on browsers, namely, the Safes Parental Control app. 


    Can parents see incognito history on Wi-Fi?

    Yes. Although private browsing doesn’t allow your device to keep track of your history, the Wi-Fi router does. The Wi-Fi router you’re connected to keeps track of your browsing data, and the network admin can always see it. 


    Can parental controls see incognito mode?

    Yes. Parental controls work on incognito mode. Using the methods explained above, you can see your child’s browsing history in incognito mode. This way, you can make sure they are having a safe online experience.




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    Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

    1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
    2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
    3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
    4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
    5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
    6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

    Download Safes Kids for Android

    Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.