Is Monitoring Your Child’s Cell Phone Appropriate?

Do you remember the old school public service announcement shown alongside the evening news broadcast which asked if you knew where your children were? These days parents concerns are more about who their children are texting than where they are largely down to the fact that today’s kids seem to be permanently attached to their smartphones and tablet devices. Kids have always been able to get into trouble, but advances in technology have opened up a whole new world of dangers that were never an issue before.

Threats Facing The Technology Savvy Generation

In days gone by, the school yard bully was the main concern parents had, but these days bullying is not confined to face to face confrontations. Instead, cyberbullying is the norm with bullies sending hurtful messages via text messages, emails or social networks. In some ways this is more concerning than traditional bullying as it is more difficult to catch. Parents, teachers and other adults may have no idea that it is happening.

Another risk facing today’s kids is the new trend known as sexting. This involves sending sexually explicit images and messages over text messages. What many teens fail to grasp is that this can actually be considered as child pornography if they are under the age of 18. In certain states, teenagers caught sending these photographs can actually be charged and registered as sex offenders. Parents are often totally unaware that their children are participating in these potentially illegal activities.

Something may teens never even consider the possibility that there could be a sexual predator targeting them online. Our kids are much more open to communicating with strangers thanks to social networking and chat facilities on the internet. Often they do not think twice about giving out their cellphone number or other personal information.

Tackling These Threats

iphone-parental-control-application Simply being aware of these threats is not enough, even if you have discussed them with your teen in detail. Teens are predisposed not to listen to their parents and they are likely to think they know better. This is where using tracking software to monitor their cell phone activity comes in. Some parents feel uneasy about giving this, but for most the ability to protect their kids trumps this. In the past, the phone and computer were placed in a family room allowing supervision of kids using them, but now that pretty much every kid has their own smartphone it is no longer possible.

Cellphone monitoring software is one of the best ways to find out what your teens are doing. You will be able to view call logs, SMS, photos, GPS locations, web browsing history and more via a secure online account which can be accessed from your computer. It is even possible to block inappropriate content.

While it may feel like intruding on your child’s privacy, you will find that young teenagers will really benefit from your involvement. They may understand that messages they are receiving are inappropriate but be afraid to discuss them with you. Teens also feel they are invincible and make some pretty dumb choices, so being able to access messages will tip you off allowing you to act before the situation escalates. It may not be that your child is purposely being badly behaved, but rather they are not emotionally prepared to make smart decisions.

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