Do you totally trust your kids with the internet? Probably not, which is why there are a myriad of parental controls available to parents for every type of device and media. But for as long as there have been prying parental eyes, there have been kids who want their privacy. When I was younger, this meant a closed door and whispered conversations on the phone, hoping someone wouldn’t pick up the other line and listen in. These days, there are tools like Snapchat, which make your messages disappear quickly so that prying eyes can pry all they want, but they won’t find anything interesting.
As a parent, this leaves a lot of room for concern. Kids are going to try to hide what they’re doing from their parents, but what if something serious or inappropriate is going on? What can you do besides set whatever parental controls you have and hope that your kids are upstanding, honest, and make excellent decisions without fail? You check out mSpy.
How you can keep tabs on your kids’ mobile devices
There are a handful of different software programs that you can install on different types of mobile devices (many offer versions for computers, too), which monitors all types of activity on the device. Depending on the service and plan you choose, this can mean everything from text messages, voice recordings of phone calls, logs of Snapchat messages, and keystrokes.
Flexispy is the more robust of the two great options that we explored. It tracks a wider variety of things with fewer limitations and fewer ‘package’ options than the second option below. The cheaper option is $149/year and includes tracking of most messaging apps. A second, more expensive option ($349/year) offers call recording, remote control of the camera, and more. Flexispy is compatible with a wide range of devices, making it appealing for many different people.
Click on this image to check out the crazy number of things you can do. Seriously.
mSpy is another great option, but it does have a few more limitations (which you can get rid of by choosing a more expensive plan. Monthly payment options start at $39.99, and discounts apply for multiple devices. The software offers ‘spying’ on a ton of different things that the phone can do, which it shows in an easy to use dashboard (below). You’ll pay extra to track photos, keystrokes, and messaging apps, and it only offers Snapchat tracking for Android. The offer of monthly or longer term use of the tool is appealing, especially for those who want to try it out without making a yearly commitment.
I spy, you spy, why spy?
While it may seem a little bit big brother-y to track everything that is done on a device, it is important to remember that when you put a smartphone in the hands of a kid, there are a lot of different ways they can get into trouble with it. Sexting, for example, could have more serious repercussions than your teenager may think – like in the case of the Virginia teenager who can face felony charges and may be added to the sex offender registry for sexting his then-15 year old girlfriend.
Would you track your kids’ mobile devices? Have you done it? Weigh in on the conversation by leaving a comment below, visiting the Daily Genius Facebook Page, or mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter – we want to hear what you think!