The prevalence of smartphone technology and the convenience and power of smartphone apps have made the task of keeping children safe a bit tougher for parents. Teens and children share personal information, such as names, addresses, and cell phone numbers with strangers. Children of all ages become victims of cyberbullying or access sites with inappropriate content. Sometimes, very young users quickly and easily make purchases without realizing the consequences. Fortunately, there are many ways to safeguard children while they use smartphones and similar technology.
Parental Control and Supervision Apps
One of the easiest ways to do this is with the help of parental control applications. There are many hidden spy apps for Android available, parents must recognize the difference between “spying” on others’ phones and establishing parental controls. For example, adding spy apps to a phone that someone else owns is illegal, but parents who provide their children with phones may install the software on those phones. Parental control software for gadgets is designed to allow parents to keep their kids safe while online, and these apps can rarely be used in inappropriate ways.
Popular Safety Features
There are a number of common features that tend to show up in most parental control software programs.
- GPS tracking
- Call tracking and recording
- Browser and internet activity trackers
- Internet activity monitors and controls
- App, site, and content blockers
- Pornography and mature content blockers
- Alerts and notifications, such as when apps are launched or when children travel
- Screen time limits for school hours and bedtime
- Controls to block in-app purchases
- Remote access and ability to adjust settings
The best app for any parent may depend on the potential risks for their children and their ages.
Monitor and Control Social Media Use
One of the features parents want most from these apps is the ability to keep track of their children’s social media activity. Many of the available apps allow parents to remotely monitor Facebook conversations, and direct messages on Instagram and other social platforms. It can also often record the names of people involved in the conversations, and the date and time when the communication took place. Parents may also have access to videos, photos, and audio files that were shared through social media.
These apps give parents the ability to recognize cyberbullying and identify potential predators before teens or children are targeted. They can also help parents address their children’s addictions to technology by limiting screen time.
Real-Time GPS Tracking
Another feature, popular among parents, is one that helps moms and dads determine where their children are at any moment. Android has a GPS tracking functionality that keeps track of your children’s whereabouts based on their phone location. This type of software can send parents a notice when teens leave their school and when they arrive home safely. This feature is particularly valuable for parents of new drivers and teens with jobs and busy schedules.
Resistance to Tampering
One of the most powerful hidden spy apps for Android is pcTattletale. This app and many others reside on the child’s phone, but remain hidden, so teens can’t disable or adjust it. The app is easy to install and doesn’t require the parent to root or “jailbreak” the phone and void the warranty. Parents who worry about how their children use smartphones and those who worry about predators targeting their children can feel more comfortable when they’re able to closely monitor the use of the phone.
Internet Safety for Children and Teens
Being a parent is a tough job, and, in many ways, modern technology makes it tougher. Fortunately, tools such as parental control software offer solutions. As children and teens become aware of the risks and hidden dangers of smartphone and internet use, the need for supervision may decrease. Until then, these apps provide safety and peace of mind for the concerned parent.