Posted on October 27, 2021
Halloween is quickly approaching — and we’re so excited! For many of us, this will be the first time in a while that we’ll get to put on scary costumes.
You know what else is scary about Halloween? The holiday’s impact on the environment — and it’s not just the candy wrappers and all the single use plastics. Your old jack-o’-lantern could be emitting potent greenhouse gasses, and your costumes are likely derived from fossil fuels.
But we don’t want to troll your party — so here are 5 eco-friendly ways to have a green and sustainable Halloween this year and reduce your impact on the planet.
Don’t throw away your pumpkin!
Whatever you do, don’t throw away your pumpkin in the trash, if you can. Each year, roughly 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins end up in landfills, where they decompose and eventually emit methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, according to the EPA.
So what can we do with all our leftover jack-o’-lanterns? Composting is one of the best ways to dispose of your pumpkin. Don’t have a compost bin or service? If you have a yard, you can actually bury your pumpkin in the ground (no, you really can!), and pumpkins also make great snacks for wildlife, especially deer.
If you don’t have the outdoor space, you can eat your pumpkin, too, especially the seeds. However, be mindful that most Halloween pumpkins are the Howden variety, which are bred for size and color, not taste, so choose your recipes wisely, like this one for curried pumpkin soup.
Hand out organic, fair trade and ethically-sourced candy
Candy is sweet, but the environmental fallout is bitter. Candy manufacturers require lots of sugar, palm oil and cocoa which contribute to deforestation around the world and add stress on endangered species. In addition, many large chocolate manufacturers continue to source cocoa harvested by child labor.
And then there’s all the non-recyclable packaging that comes with mass-market candy. Chances are, the candy wrappers your parents tossed out when you were a kid are still in a landfill somewhere, leaching toxins into the ground.
So this year, hand out fair trade, organic or ethically-sourced candy. You can find lots of brands online or at your local natural foods store.
Make your own costume – or thrift it
This year, Americans are expected to spend $3.3 billion on Halloween costumes. That’s a lot — but it also means a lot of waste, since many costumes are one-and-done, because they are cheaply made and probably won’t be worn again. A recent survey found that 83% of material in the costumes studied were made from plastic, which is derived from fossil fuels and contributes to climate change.
Worse, many plastic costumes contain hidden toxic chemicals like PVC, and many disposable costumes are made by workers who may endure human rights abuses or work under harsh conditions in factories overseas.
Instead, consider making your own costume. You can make one out of pieces you have around the house — or head over to your local thrift store. Many now have sections dedicated to Halloween in October. Another option is a costume rental shop. Most have a wide selection of elaborate Halloween costumes at this time of year.
If you’re painting your face or your kid’s face, be aware of the chemicals in the paints. According to one analysis, almost half of the paints examined contained at least one heavy metal. Some had up to four heavy metals.
Halloween decorations are in very high demand this year. In fact, some big retailers have reported selling out of Halloween decorations almost immediately. So if you haven’t yet decorated, you can make your own decorations and help reduce your use of plastic products. Here are a couple ideas:
You can make a big black widow out of a (recyclable) black garbage bag stuffed with newspaper. A ghost from an old bedsheet. Gravestones from cardboard. And as always, reuse your decorations from year-to-year to reduce waste.
Here’s a crafting site with a bunch of ideas for eco-friendly decorations.
Skip the plastic trick-or-treat bag
If you or your little one are trick-or-treating safely in public this year, take one more step to stay safe and skip the disposable plastic bag or hard plastic pumpkin. A recent study by HealthyStuff.org found that some popular trick-or-treat bags and Halloween products contained toxic chemicals like bromides, polyvinyl chloride and phthalates, which are banned in children’s products.
Instead, use an old pillowcase or a reusable shopping bag to avoid these nasty chemicals.
Posted on October 21, 2021
With many kids back to school in-person, a lot of parents and caretakers have purchased new smartphones to stay in touch while their children are away.
But now they may be in a quandary, especially with dangerous TikTok challenges going viral: How can I limit my child’s screen time and keep them safe online?
We have a solution: Parental controls.
These controls allow you to set the appropriate amount of screen time and limit certain sites and apps to ensure your child’s health and safety. In this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to set it up.
With parental controls, you can limit the types of content, number of hours and more on your loved one’s device. There are many user-friendly apps in Google Play and the App Store that can enable a wide variety of settings, but the following tutorials explain how to use the built-in (free) parental controls that are included with your device and operating system.
How to use parental controls on an Apple device
To set up parental controls on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you’ll first need to set up Screen Time on your child’s device:
- Go to Settings > Screen Time
- Tap Turn on Screen Time, then choose Continue on the next screen.
- Choose “This is my Child’s [device]” & follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode and enter a passcode. Re-enter the passcode to confirm. You may also need to enter your Apple ID login information, so you can reset the passcode at a later time.
- Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode, then turn on Content & Privacy.
Now, you have many options to set content and privacy restrictions,, preventing purchases, limiting explicit content and scheduling Downtime, which allows you to choose which phone calls and apps that are available.
Set downtime and app limits
During downtime, only calls, messages, and apps you choose to allow are available. You can receive calls from contacts you’ve selected to allow communication with during downtime, and you can use apps you’ve chosen to allow at all times.
- Go to Settings > Screen Time > Downtime > Enable the slider next to Downtime
- Enter the start and end times > Then, tap Set Downtime.
- To set limits for categories of apps you want to manage, select the categories.
- To see all the categories, tap Show All Categories.
- Tap Set, enter an amount of time, then tap Set App Limit.
- Tap Continue, then enter a Screen Time passcode for managing your family member’s Screen Time settings.
Here are some more tutorials from Apple on how to set up additional features and restrictions:
- Prevent iTunes & App Store purchases
- Allow built-in apps and features
- Prevent explicit content and content ratings
- Prevent web content
- Restrict Siri web search
- Restrict Game Center
- Allow changes to privacy settings
- Allow changes to other settings and features
How to use parental controls on an Android device
On Android devices, the parental controls are found inside the Google Play app. Here’s how to get started, but please note that directions may vary depending on your device’s manufacturer and OS version::
- First, be sure you are using the device you’d like to enable parental control on.
- Then, go to the Google Play app & tap the profile icon at the top right
- Tap Settings > Family > Parental Controls
- To protect parental controls from tampering, set up a PIN that your child doesn’t know
- Now, you can select types of content and restrictions, including Apps & Games, Films, TV, Books & Music.
You can learn more about Google’s parental controls here.
Google Family Link
If you’re looking for additional controls, including limiting screen time and more detailed monitoring, another robust solution is Google Family Link, a free and easy-to-use app that allows you to create a family group and control or monitor a specific family member’s device usage, help guide them to appropriate content, set bedtimes and restrict or allow apps, websites, and other content.
To learn more and how to get started, visit the Google Family Link website.
Posted on October 18, 2021
Donald Trump’s favorite propaganda network peddles dangerous conspiracy theories and COVID misinformation, LGBTQ hate, election lies, and white supremacy. Fox News, right?
Actually, it’s One America News Network — which is so far-right that it makes Fox News look like Bernie Sanders — and the largest telecommunications company in the world has been behind it.
A stunning new report by Reuters found that this certain Big Telecom company “has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue.”
Can you guess which company — with a long and troubling history of funding right-wing causes — it could be?
You guessed it: AT&T.
Earlier this month, Reuters released its first of two special reports that found “ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV, according to 2020 sworn testimony by an OAN accountant.”
Quoting from a deposition the outlet obtained, OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring testified that AT&T executives “told us they wanted a conservative network…They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”
If you’ve never watched OAN before — and we highly suggest that you don’t — you’ve missed out on a lot of hate, anti-semitism, conspiracy theories, baseless claims of voter fraud and a weird obsession with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. In addition, one OAN host called for mass executions of election officials and another called for shooting unhoused people.
As Media Matters Bobby Lewis recently wrote, “OAN and all of its lies would not exist, and could not survive, without AT&T’s blessing. Whatever the figure AT&T has paid to help keep OAN alive, the network has been using the airwaves to push toxic — and often dangerous — misinformation.”
It’s no wonder that this is Donald Trump’s favorite propaganda network, and we’re not surprised that AT&T would be behind a ultra-conservative propaganda network.
For years, we have been raising the alarm that AT&T has been funding conservative causes and right-wing politicians. We recently highlighted that AT&T is the top corporate funder of Texas lawmakers behind the state’s egregious abortion ban. And their millions in donations to insurrectionist members of Congress and state lawmakers who push racially-motivated voter suppression or anti-LGBTQ bills. And we’ll never forget the $2 million that AT&T donated to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
At CREDO, our customers never have to worry that we would fund a far-right propaganda network, Republican lawmakers or right-wing causes. We donate millions every year to progressive organizations working on economic justice, civil rights, climate justice and so much more. Since 1985, we’ve given hundreds of groups more than $92 million, thanks to our customers who use our products and services every day.
If you or someone you know is still an AT&T customer, consider what that phone bill is funding — and consider making the switch to the mobile phone carrier that shares your values. Visit CREDOMobile.com and find a phone and plan that’s right for you and your family.
Posted on October 14, 2021
CREDO is on the nation’s best network — there’s no dispute. But we all have those notorious spots in our homes or workplaces where cellular coverage isn’t perfect.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. With Wi-Fi calling, you can make and receive calls on a Wi-Fi connection with your existing device and phone number at no extra cost — and it may even improve your call quality at the same time.
In this week’s tip, we’ll walk you through how to enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone or Android device.
Before you begin activating your smartphone to use Wi-Fi calling, you must be connected to the CREDO cellular network as well as your home’s Wi-Fi connection and able to connect to the Internet. You will also need your home address, which is required by the FCC and may be used to aid response efforts when you place an emergency 911 call.
If you have a newer smartphone, your device is likely eligible for Wi-Fi calling. Check the settings on your smartphone and search if the Wi-Fi Calling feature is available. For older devices, you may also need to check with the manufacturer to see if HD Voice is available on your device.
How to enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling
- Turn on Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone switch.
- From the Enable Wi-Fi calling pop-up, tap Enable.
- You may receive a prompt to enter your Emergency 911 address
- Enter your address information and tap Done.
- From the Terms and Conditions screen, tap the circle to agree to the terms then tap Continue.
- If prompted with the ‘Edit Emergency Address’ pop-up, choose the preferred address then tap Save Changes.
- Ensure the ‘Wi-Fi calling on this iPhone‘ switch is set to on.
- Once active, Wi-Fi is displayed after CREDO in your iPhone’s status bar.
How to enable Wi-Fi calling on your Android device
Note: Instructions to enable Wi-Fi calling may differ depending on your device manufacturer and Android OS version.
- Tap your Phone app, then choose Settings
- Toggle on WiFi Calling
- Alternatively, this menu item may be found on some phones by going to Settings > Networks & Internet (or Connections) > Mobile network > Advanced > Wi-Fi Calling
- Accept the Terms & Conditions, then enter your home address if prompted.
If you run into any trouble, please call us at 800-411-0848, and our extraordinary and friendly customer service team can help.
Posted on October 13, 2021
Through people power and strategic advocacy, our long-time allies at UltraViolet are working to improve the lives of women of all identities and backgrounds by disrupting patriarchy and creating a cost for sexism.
Since 2014, CREDO members have helped us donate $273,496, and the organization was most recently a March 2021 recipient of a $53,520 grant. Since receiving the grant, UltraViolet has achieved several victories in combating the spread of racist and misogynist disinformation and creating a world where all women can thrive.
Here are just a small sample of some of UltraViolet’s recent victories, which the CREDO grant made possible:
Combatting Sexist And Racist Disinformation By Holding Social Media Platforms Accountable For The Amplification And Proliferation Of Hate Speech And Racist And Misogynist Disinformation
Over the past few months, UltraViolet continued to build an inside-outside strategy in advocating against misogynist and racist disinformation and for deep policy changes on social media platforms. UltraViolet met several times with senior leadership at TikTok and Twitter to call out the platforms’ inconsistent policies and highlight UltraViolet’s and coalition partners’ demands.
Here’s just one example of how the organization has worked to hold Big Tech accountable:
At Twitter, UltraViolet now has a direct relationship with the Head of National Security, Democracy, and Civil Rights Public Policy, Americas. We secured a big win: After public pressure and months of one-on-one conversations with Twitter leadership, Twitter began testing a COVID-19 disinformation reporting function for users. UltraViolet and allies launched a petition calling on Twitter to create a COVID-19 disinformation reporting button in early August, and on August 17, Twitter rolled out a “misleading information reporting function.” Twitter users can now report misleading COVID-19 information, triggering Twitter’s internal content moderation system. UltraViolet is currently monitoring the effectiveness of the reporting button and will follow up with Twitter.
Advancing Survivor Justice And Working To End Violence Against Women And Girls
Survivors of sexual violence are demanding justice and calling for perpetrators to be held accountable, and UltraViolet is creating campaigns supporting survivors. They are leading a coalition to create a new, more fair, and more transparent process for political workplaces to address sexual abuse allegations, so that sexual predators are kept from positions of power in the first place.
UltraViolet was one of the first and leading organizations of the #MeToo movement to call for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation for his widespread sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment. Since UltraViolet’s inception in 2012, they have always listened to and sided with survivors over powerful interests, which is why the organization called for Cuomo’s immediate removal from power despite the popular opinion that Cuomo couldn’t be forced out.
Throughout New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of Cuomo, UltraViolet spearheaded the development of principles and processes for how such investigations should be conducted–so that they are transparent, trauma-informed, and fair to survivors–and published them in The Washington Post and shared them with the attorney general’s team.
After checking in with some of the survivors, UltraViolet made sure to let them know that it had their backs by flying two airplane banners in New York–one in Albany and another in the Hamptons–calling for Cuomo’s removal from power. The organization also delivered a letter with more than 500 signatures from New York survivors and kept the pressure on Cuomo by keeping this story in the news.
Bridget Todd, the group’s communications director, made an appearance on MSNBC, and Shaunna Thomas, its executive director, and Elisa Batista, its survivor justice campaign director, made appearances on the New York affiliates of ABC News, NBC News, and Univision (with the interview conducted in Spanish), discussing their work calling for accountability in cases of sexual abuse and harassment, including accountability for those in positions of power.
UltraViolet helped ignite an intersectional feminist awakening in the United States, and they are working to create lasting, impactful change and build a world beyond sexual violence, where all women can thrive. Following Cuomo’s resignation, Elisa published an op-ed on what true accountability means for survivors.
If you’d like to learn more about UltraViolet’s important work to combat racist and misogynist disinformation and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Posted on October 12, 2021
Amazon Watch is protecting rainforest and advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples with help from CREDO members
For 25 years, Amazon Watch has worked to protect the Amazon rainforest and advance Indigenous rights in solidarity with Indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and climate justice.
In March 2021, CREDO members voted to distribute a $58,290 grant to Amazon Watch, and since 2018, we’ve been able to donate $144,840 to help the organization fight for Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, elevate Indigenous women’s voices, and demand climate justice.
Since their March grant, Amazon Watch has secured a number of victories and launched new programs, with help from CREDO members. Here’s a quick sample of some of their recent work:
Recent Amazon Watch Victories
After months of sustained campaigning in solidarity with Amazon Watch’s partners, including the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), in July British mining company Anglo American withdrew 27 mining research permits in Indigenous lands in Brazil, including the Munduruku territory of Sawre Muybu. These permits posed a significant threat to Indigenous peoples and their withdrawal is a major win for Indigenous self-determination and climate justice.
In response to the current trend toward the tipping point of the Amazon, when ecosystem destruction will push the rainforest to ecological collapse, as well as the calls from Indigenous peoples for allies to show solidarity, Amazon Watch hosted a Global Week of Action for the Amazon (GWOA) from September 5-11 in coordination with its coalition partners. The group organized online and in-person actions against a multitude of threats and amplified Indigenous-led solutions including the campaign to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025 (80×25).
While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made false claims downplaying the severity of Amazonian deforestation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September, Amazon Watch and its partners at Amazon in Flames Alliance released aerial photographs showing the real-time destruction of the rainforest to counteract these falsehoods.
CREDO’s grants supported Amazon Watch’s work to hold governments and leaders accountable for rainforest destruction and harm to Indigenous communities.
Amazon Watch’s recent work to avert the tipping point
Excitingly, on September 10, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved Motion 129, the 80×25 initiative proposed by Indigenous leaders and bolstered by Amazon Watch and its partners. This decision is monumental for Indigenous solutions and for avoiding the point of no return for the Amazon.
80×25 is a visionary proposal that Amazon Watch is committed to seeing across the finish line. Following the notable victory at the IUCN, Amazon Watch and its allies are amplifying the call of Indigenous peoples to safeguard the rainforest on the global stage. In November, Amazon Watch is attending the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to accompany Indigenous leaders to advance the 80×25 campaign. The IUCN approval of 80×25 sets the stage for advancing this proposition at COP26 and attaining commitments from key international stakeholders.
This is a critical time for the Amazon. CREDO’s support has allowed Amazon Watch to respond to threats as they arise, and effectively move these unprecedented opportunities for ecosystem protection and Indigenous self-determination forward.
Posted on October 11, 2021
Women are the largest voting group in the country — Supermajority is making sure our leaders don’t forget it.
For decades, women, especially women of color, have been the backbone of our democracy. Women have been the majority of voters in every presidential election since 1964. But our country is still not working for us. The pandemic has deeply exposed the structural inequities that have always existed for women. It’s long overdue that our government listens to us and prioritizes us.
At Supermajority, we believe women can be the most powerful political force in this country, but only if we organize across our shared values. Supermajority uses values-based organizing to build women’s civic power. We’re building a multiracial coalition of women who are ready to vote together, have difficult conversations together, and make this world work for women.
Supermajority is giving women the skills, tools, and support they need to mobilize other women in their lives, have deep meaningful conversations with women frequently excluded from political programs, and a community to do this work. Our uniting values based agenda has already brought millions of racially diverse women together since we launched in 2019.
Our values based agenda, the Majority Rules:Supermajority is working to build this aspirational, long-term vision of gender equity and pairing it with our superpower: organizing women who share our values but may not already be civically engaged.
Like many organizations, it’s been quietly busy here at Supermajority for the past nine months. After the 2020 election, we worked hard to regroup, set our sights on the next four years, and analyze the results of our programs.
Here’s what we learned: By Election Day 2020, our team of volunteers contacted 4.5 million voters, 93% of this community voted, and countless more in the circles of Supermajority members had tough conversations about voting, misinformation, and the power of women to determine the outcome of the election and every election going forward. Women, led by Black women, voted overwhelmingly to move this country forward.
The truth is women won the 2020 election. And after four years of Donald Trump, and months into a global pandemic, that felt more than great — it was a relief.
But after the Biden-Harris administration was sworn in and the celebration came to a close, we were still left with the reality of modern-day America. A reality where we didn’t know whether George Floyd’s murderer would be held accountable. A reality where GOP state lawmakers work overtime to pass voter suppression and anti-trans bills. A reality where we need to have all hands on deck to fight to pass funding for the care economy and for paid leave. And a reality where the precedent set by Roe v. Wade is being challenged in the Supreme Court.
These realities are why I’m constantly reminded our work cannot happen only every four years. It can’t only happen when it’s time to vote for the president. And it can’t only happen three months before Election Day. It has to happen every year.
In 2021, we are focused on Virginia. We’re training members of this team to have deep canvassing conversations with young women to make sure that they turn out. Keeping Virginia blue means we can help prevent copycat bills that will restrict voting rights and abortion access, among other things from being passed.
Organizing is sometimes slow work. It’s sometimes hard work. And we are not promised a quick win, an easy fight, or endless resources. We are promised moments of joy, conviction, and laughter. Those moments are what keep me going.
That, and the vision of the world we’re working toward: a world where our lives are safe, our bodies are respected, our work is valued, our families are supported, our government represents us, and the lives and experiences of women, particularly women of color, are front and center in addressing all of our nation’s challenges.
It’s clear that we’re not there yet. But I believe one day, we will be. And in the meantime, I’m moving forward for my girls.
I wouldn’t be in this role if I didn’t believe with my entire heart and soul that women can change this country for good.
On my wishlist for next year? Contacting over 3 million young women in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia to protect the Senate and give the Biden administration more runway to pass sweeping progressive legislation.
Posted on October 11, 2021
Hollaback! works to end harassment in all its forms by transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harassment. We carry out this mission by building the power of everyday people to create safe and welcoming environments for all.
One of the main pillars of our work is bystander intervention: we train people to respond to, intervene in, and heal from harassment. We recognize that the systems and structures that create and reinforce harassment across our society are fundamentally made of people. We aim to equip everyday people with the tools to undo harassment in their everyday lives and to create impact in the organizations, institutions, and businesses around them.
Injustice can feel overwhelming: It can be hard to know what each one of us can do to help ourselves and communities feel safe – especially in times of crisis. Bystander Intervention is a safe and accessible tool that you can use to act when witnessing harassment. It’s something we can all do to show up for one another and make our communities safer. In fact, research from Cornell University shows that bystander intervention significantly reduces trauma for the person being harassed. In Hollaback!’s trainings, we outline the 5Ds of bystander intervention – actions you can take to make a difference.
Let’s talk about what the 5Ds can look like in action:
Distract: Creating a distraction to de-escalate the situation
Distraction draws attention away from the intensity of the harassment and ultimately de-escalates the situation. For example, you could drop your coffee — and people would scramble to help you clean it up or avoid the mess. You could also start a conversation with the person experiencing the harassment. Here, the idea is to build a safe space with the person being harassed while denying the person doing the harassing from getting the attention they are seeking.
Delegate: Finding someone else to help
Our favorite person to delegate to intervene is the one right next to us. Like us, they could share the very human desire to take care of other people. Unlike us, they may not have been trained in bystander intervention. Asking them to document a situation, intervene directly, or go and grab the manager while you monitor a situation are simple ways to create support for you when intervening, as well as for the person being harassed. You can also reach out to your HR department if you’re at work, and/or the social media companies where the harassment occurs — but it’s best to check in with the person being harassed first.
Document: Creating documentation and giving it to the person who was harassed
Whether you’re using your cell phone camera, pen and paper, or saving screenshots and hyperlinks, documentation is powerful. It offers their power back to the person being harassed and gives them the reassurance that what happened was wrong — while simultaneously giving them the concrete evidence they will need if they decide to report it.
Delay: Checking in on the person who experienced the harassment
Sometimes the harassment occurs too quickly for any intervention during it, so your intervention happens after the fact, and hence, is delayed. When this happens, a quick check-in can remind the person that what happened wasn’t okay and that anyone would be upset by it. When you Delay, you’re showing them that you’ve got their back regardless of what they choose to do about it (even if they choose to do nothing).
Direct: Setting a boundary with the person doing the harassing, and then turning your attention to the person being harassed
This is the most misunderstood of the 5D’s. It’s easy to assume that it’s about telling the person doing the harassing off, or at the very least, educating them. But it’s not really about them at all — or even about you for that matter. Like all of the 5Ds, it’s about prioritizing the person being harassed. Start by setting a boundary: say,“Hey, what did you mean by that?” or “That’s so disrespectful; give them some space.” Then turn your energy away from the person doing the harassing, toward the person being harassed. As tempting as it may be, don’t get into a back and forth. People actively harassing others aren’t in a mindset to learn at that exact moment, anyway.
In Hollaback!’s bystander intervention trainings, we say that each person has a superpower – a method of intervention that they feel most comfortable with. If you’d like to find your superpower, learn more about the 5Ds, and practice showing up as a bystander, we invite you to join one of Hollaback!’s upcoming bystander intervention trainings, including trainings addressing anti-Asian/American harassment and xenophobia, conflict de-escalation training, street harassment, online abuse, and more.
CREDO and supporters like you make it possible for our trainings to be free and accessible – thank you for investing in a world where everyone has the right to access public space!
Posted on October 6, 2021
We’re 18 months into the pandemic, and we all know that face masks are critical to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
But we also know that it’s impossible to unlock our phones in public using facial recognition while wearing our masks. While this sounds like a problem of privilege, there are many people who must wear masks in their workplaces all day (think nurses, food service workers and other essential employees) and need to use their phones without removing their masks.
If you’re still struggling to quickly unlock your phone in public while wearing a face mask, we’ve got you covered. In this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to unlock your iPhone or Android device while wearing a face mask using facial recognition or Face ID.
How to unlock your iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mask
Instructions if you own an Apple Watch
Early in the pandemic, there were few good solutions for Apple users who wanted to unlock their phones with Face ID while wearing a face mask. In the months since, Apple has introduced a clever solution, but it requires an extra Apple device — an Apple Watch — which will act as a secondary authentication device to unlock your phone. Here’s how to enable this feature:
Before you begin:
- You must own an iPhone that uses Face ID (iPhone X or later) and has iOS 14.5 or later, as well as an Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later
- Make sure your Apple Watch and iPhone are paired and that both have Bluetooth and WiFi enabled.
- Ensure your Apple Watch has a passcode, and wrist detection is turned on.
How to enable & use the feature:
- Put on your Apple Watch & unlock it. Then, put on your mask.
- Go to Settings > tap Face ID & Passcode and type your passcode.
- Find Unlock with Apple Watch, then turn on the feature next to your watch’s name.
- To unlock your phone while wearing your mask, raise or touch your phone to wake it up.
- Glance at the screen, which should unlock it. Then, you can slide the screen up to begin using it.
Train your phone to recognize your mask (maybe)
This is an unofficial tip, but you may be able to train your iPhone to recognize your face while wearing a mask. There are many anecdotes and YouTube videos claiming this is possible. You’ll need to set up an alternate appearance with your mask on or partially on.
We haven’t tried this for ourselves, so we can’t vouch for its effectiveness. The folks at 9to5mac detail some possible steps you can take if you’d like to reset your Face ID or set up an alternate appearance using this method. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
Unlock your Android with facial recognition while wearing a mask
We must preface this by saying this is also an unofficial tip so we cannot guarantee success. However, Android also has a version of facial recognition that can unlock your phone without entering a passcode or pattern — and may work if you’re wearing a mask.
To enable it, you have to set up an alternate appearance similar to the steps for the iPhone noted above. Here’s how, but please note that these instructions may vary or not work depending on your device’s manufacturer or version of Android OS.
- Unlock your device and put on your mask.
- Go to Settings > Security (or Security & Location, or Biometric & Security)
- Tap Face Recognition
- Tap Add Alternative look
- Follow the on-screen instructions to add a new trusted appearance