Sophos Mobile Security web filtering with Google Family Link cannot be enabled on a child's device

On two devices, a Galaxy S4 running Lineage OS 14.1 and Galaxy S5 running standard android 6.01, when you install Sophos Mobile security alongside Google's Family Link for children's devices, you are unable to enable the web filtering. 

When clicking the enable slider, it immediately returns to the off position, it doesn't prompt to enable the sophos accessibility service, nor does it bring you to the accessibility settings.

If you manually enable the sophos accessibility service, you are still unable to turn on the filtering service.

 

Has anyone else had this experience, and/or been able to turn on the filtering?

 

With thanks,
Liam

  • Hi,

     

    Just wondering if anyone has any help for this issue?

     

    With thanks,

    Liam

  • I have the exact same issue. In my case the child's device (managed by Google FamilyLink) is a fully updated Samsung J5. Previously this was working, but we just did a factory reset of the phone to fix something else, and after reinstalling everything I have the exact behaviour described above, where the toggle switch for Web Filtering just flips immediately back to the off state. Manually enabling Accessibility Service doesn't help.

    To me this is a fairly major bug. One of the prime use-cases for Web Filtering is surely to protect child devices, and FamilyLink is one of the most popular ways to manage child devices, so this must be affecting a lot of people.

  • In reply to Quantumdot:

    Hi  

    Sophos Mobile Control is an EMM solution to manage mobile devices. Google has its own version (with fewer features) for personal use- FamilyLink. 

    2 Mobile management softwares, when running together, will create issues. So this is not a bug in the product, but rather a conflict between those 2 applications. Sophos Mobile Control is not designed to be used alongside with another mobile device management solution. My recommendation is to uninstall FamilyLink and use Sophos Mobile Control solely as it has more features and can do the things FamilyLink can do. 

  • In reply to Yashraj:

    Hi Yashraj,

    To say that Sophos EMM has more control may be true, but it's not geared towards parents controlling their child's devices.

    i.e. i cannot control the child device from my parent phone using Sophos, unlike Google's FamilyLink, approving or preventing unauthorized play store installs, setting screen time etc.

    If i am wrong, then please show me where this can be completed, bearing in mind that FamilyLink is a 100% free product.

     

    Finally, Quantumdot, i did follow this up with Google also, and they checked into it for me. They also state it's because they have their own filtering, the two won't work side by side:

    Quote from Google:

    Thank you for your response and for your patience whilst we investigate this issue. Upon checking it shows that the app should work as intended. Since Family Link has its own filtering, It allows the user to allow or block websites on the child device. A different filtering list / method would interfere with the regular functioning of the Family Link app.

    I've tested and it does appear to work, it's just unfortunate it's not as granular as what Sophos offers.

    Cheers,

    Liam

  • In reply to liam burke:

    Hi  

    As I said earlier, these are 2 different products which have different use cases so there won't be any feature parity. You can block applications from starting up. 

    If you wish to see the other features implemented in Sophos Mobile, please submit a feature request

  • In reply to Yashraj:

    Thanks a lot for that, very helpful! 

  • In reply to Yashraj:

    You simply cannot compare Sophos Mobile with FamilyLink - they are different tools with different purposes. Sure, they overlap in a couple of areas, but they are not the same thing. FamilyLink has a huge number of features that Sophos Mobile Security does not have (and vice-versa), and is the only legitimate way to give younger children Google accounts and devices. Saying that the solution is to uninstall FamilyLink is just plain wrong. Stating that Sophos Mobile Security is not compatible with FamilyLink surely can't be Sophos's official position? That would exclude Sophos from a large market of people who would want its services to help secure childrens devices.

    I would also say that I do think that this is a bug. This feature was previously working. I had Sophos Mobile Security on my child's FamilyLink-controlled device and it was working fine. The Web Filtering was working. Even now, the two things work perfectly together in every way apart from the Web Filtering. The fact that this was working, but then stopped working after a Sophos update points to it being a bug rather than a fundamental incompatibility.

    Thanks

  • In reply to Quantumdot:

    Hi All,

    I have the same issue with enabling mobile Web filtering on my daughters phone. I am unable to switch it on despite giving it the Accessibility permissions manually.

    Yashraj's answer is missing the point as the issue is about "Sophos Mobile Security" while his answer is about "Sophos Mobile Control" which is a completely different app.

    Please can you check which permissions need to be provided to Sophos Mobile Security to enable Web filtering?

    Thanks and regards,

    Suketu

  • In reply to Suketu Mehta:

    Hi All,

    I have the same issue and fully agree that Yashraj's answer is missing the point! I am expecting Sophos to fix this compatibility issue.

    Regards,

    Mikhail

  • In reply to Mikhail Tisov:

    Previously this was working, but we just did a factory reset of the phone to fix something else, 9apps and after reinstalling everything I have the exact behaviour described above, where the toggle switch for Web Filtering just flips immediately back to the off state. Manually enabling Accessibility Service doesn't help.

  • This is great know about as it is really necessary to have mobile security especially with children happy wheels

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  • In reply to Hector Becker:

    thanks you Hector, it is really helpful for me.

  • Great! Thanks for sharing. I have installed sophos mobile security on my mobile. Its very usefull.