Keeping your children safe in today’s digital world isn’t easy. While smartphones are essential in case of an emergency, they can also present several dangers.
Monitoring apps can help to keep children safe online and when used appropriately, they can provide peace of mind. However, it’s also important to take the time to educate your child about online safety so that you can trust them to use their phone responsibly. Here, you’ll discover why you might monitor your child’s device, and the best apps you can use.
Why should I monitor my kid’s device?
Let’s face it, monitoring your kid’s device can feel like a complete invasion of privacy. There is a lot of debate over whether we should ‘spy’ on our children using the latest tracking apps. However, provided it is done correctly, monitoring your kid’s device not only gives you peace of mind but can also potentially shield them from the unsavoury side of the internet.
Ideally, it is generally better to talk to kids about their online safety. Tell them why it is important and teach them how to protect themselves. That way, they can be trusted to use their devices safely.
However, if you plan on monitoring their phone use, it’s wise to tell your child about your plans, especially if they’re teenagers. As a starting point, explain why you are installing parental control apps on their phone. You might be met with some resistance here. After all, which child wants their parents to spy on them? There is also a risk that they could look for ways to override the app if they know about it.
Still unsure whether to use one of these apps? Here are some of the reasons why you might want to monitor your kid’s mobile phone include:
Help protect them from cyberbullying – Sadly, mobile phones have made it easier for bullies to target their victims. Now, bullying doesn’t just occur in school, it happens in the comfort of a child’s home too.
Kids aren’t always forthcoming about getting bullied due to the fear of making it worse. Having access to your kid’s messages can therefore help you to pick up on any form of cyberbullying they may be exposed to.
Prevent them from being exposed to adult content – Many mobile tracking apps allow you to see exactly what your kid is looking at on their phone. Naturally, children are curious, which means they may seek out adult or inappropriate content or come across it by chance. They may also be exposed to adult content when talking to friends or strangers online. This brings us nicely to the next benefit…
You can monitor who they are talking to – The internet has made it possible to meet and talk to people from all over the world. Unfortunately, many kids don’t fully understand the dangers of speaking to strangers online. With monitoring apps, you can see exactly who your kids are talking to and the type of conversations they are having.
Ensure they aren’t going over their screen time limit – Monitoring apps don’t just help you to keep your kids safe on their mobile phone. They can also help to track how much screen time your kid is using. Studies show that too much screen time can have adverse effects on our health. It can also interrupt your child’s learning if they use their phone too much in school, or when they should be focusing on homework.
These are just some of the reasons why you should consider monitoring your child’s device. So, what are the best apps to do it and how can you monitor them without invading their privacy?
How to monitor device usage without invading privacy
If you’re worried about invading your child’s privacy, there are ways to monitor their usage without doing so. Some apps feature a report that lets you view activity without reading actual messages. You can also ensure you talk to your kids about the apps you plan to install on their device. That way, they will know about it, and you won’t be going behind their back.
Best apps to monitor your kid’s mobile phone usage
There are a lot of apps to track kids out there, so how do you know which one to install and use? Let’s look at some of the best apps to monitor kids' phone usage that are available right now…
MSpy is one of the oldest and most effective monitoring apps for kids. Unlike a lot of apps, this one runs in the background on your child’s phone. This means, unless you tell them, they will have no idea they are being monitored.
The app lets you scan emails, messaging apps, and texts on your kid’s phone. You will also be able to see any photos or videos your child takes. To ensure you are kept fully up to date about what your kid is up to, MSpy refreshes itself every five minutes. There is even a built-in GPS that alerts you to where your kid is at any given time.
You will receive 24/7 support and there are several pricing plans available to suit most budgets. If you are looking for the best tracking app, MSpy is a leading contender.
Kids Guard Pro
Kids Guard Pro is available on both Android and iPhone. It provides an extensive monitoring service, offering over 30 different features. You’ll be able to view your child’s browsing history, track their location with GPS, and monitor their texts and social media messages.
Artificial intelligence is used to record everything your child types when they use their phone. You’ll also be able to see exactly how much time they are spending on each app on their phone. This can help you to monitor screen time, as well as to detect issues such as cyberbullying and inappropriate content.
The app comes with an easy-to-use dashboard allowing you to view everything in one location. You’ll need to download it to your child’s phone before connecting it to your account.
QUSTODIO is frequently listed as one of the leading apps to monitor your child’s mobile phone. It is one of the few that offers a free plan for parents. The free version offers basic tools such as monitoring web search terms and tracking social media logins.
The premium version provides extra tools and capabilities such as blocking apps and games, as well as monitoring texts and phone calls. Paid plans protect up to 5 devices at any one time. This makes it ideal for those with several children to monitor.
These are just some of the best apps to monitor your kid’s mobile phone. Take your time comparing the different options on offer and check out online reviews to see which one’s parents recommend.
How can GoHenry help you monitor your kid’s spending?
It isn’t just strangers and too much screen time you need to worry about when your kids are online. It is also easy for them to spend money using their device. Games often give you the option to make in-app purchases. While you can set up basic parental controls, it is a good idea to ensure their financial transactions are restricted through their apps too.
GoHenry provides an extra layer of reassurance that your child won’t overspend when using their prepaid kids' debit card. There is an option to turn off online spending completely on your child’s device. You can set limits on how much can be spent in a week, which platforms they can spend on, and how much they can spend in a single transaction. You can also choose to receive notifications each time your child spends on their prepaid card.
But, if you feel you need a little more oversight on the way your child uses their phone, it only takes a minute to download one of the apps featured above.