Buggy Safaricom Home Fibre Parental Control Tool Lacks Opt-out Option, for Now

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One of Safaricom’s key internet products is Home Fibre, which has been around for more than two years. The operator has done an excellent job supplementing it with attractive features, some of which come at a premium like the Plus option and insurance plan.

A week ago, we noticed that the carrier had introduced a parental control tool dubbed Secure Net, although it has not been revealed to the masses, yet. After signing up, we were pleased by its features that are genuinely useful to users, especially parents who may need to control the kind of content accessed by their children and so forth. You can find out more about opting in, what it offers, and its value proposition.

Issues



Now, it should be noted that Safaricom has not communicated about the availability of the service to Home Fibre customers. This should not be a surprise because the team behind Secure Net is tweaking the final release before mass rollout. It is also worth noting that Secure Net is riddled with bugs that should be addressed before the official release.

After giving it a test run, here are some of the issues you will likely encounter:

  1. Once you opt-in, there is no easy way you can use to opt out unless you wait for the 30-day trial window to elapse.
  2. Opting in implies all features will be activated, including parental controls, an antiphishing tool, as well as the in-built antivirus feature.
  3. Toggling off the features in (2) above does nothing: you will still be protected, and parental controls will be in place.
  4. Basically, you are not going to get access to websites that the tool deems harmful, including betting sites and so forth. Whitelisting them is useless.
  5. The Home Fibre team says that you can opt out if you change your plan, which is cumbersome and inconveniencing.
  6. If you opt out (provided you figure out how to – because even the *400# USSD does not have a ‘Deactivate’ option), you will be billed during your next payment. This does not make sense because Safaricom says the feature is available for free in the first 30 days.

Bottom line

While I see Secure Net’s potential, it is too limiting for my internet usage habits. Lastly, you may want to give it a pass before opting in thanks to the mentioned issues.

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