Why Parental Monitoring Apps Are Necessary

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When it comes to tweens and teens and cellphones, there are two philosophies.  One camp of parents believe that everything a child does on a cellphone should be monitored.  The other camp believes that children deserve their privacy and if their kid is a good kid, surveillance isn’t needed.

Having heard a number of stories from parents through the years, I tend to weigh in on the monitoring side.  I liken it to driving a car.  The phone, like a car, can be a dangerous tool.  But if taught correctly how to use it, you minimize possible deadly errors.

I’ve often heard the words, “my kid is a good kid, I trust her.”  But here are some things that come up, due to the prevalence of cellphones in kids’ hands,  you wont see coming like…

Bullying – many times other kids don’t like good kids.  Unbeknownst to you, your child may be a victim of bullying and s/he hasn’t told you.  Surveying texts and social channels can give you helpful warning signs.

Unknown Friends – you know your daughters friends, you see them at practice, after school, at your home.  But friendship is easy to strike-up online.  As a young adult, it’s easy to think people who befriend you online are honest and straightforward, especially if they’ve been a good friend to you and compliment you.  Don’t underestimate the power of unscrupulous adults  who build relationships with kids online.

Harassing – girls are getting more bold these days through texting.  Your son might enjoy the texting attention at first, but may be in over his head in how to handle this newfound, unsolicited attention.  Don’t think for a second that his number won’t be passed around.

Hooking Up – Nowadays, kids don’t talk directly to each other anymore…especially when asking others out.  They start relationships through texting.  As a relationship with the opposite sex develops at school, it is quite common for girls to be asked to send naked pictures of themselves.  If girls complain, the boy jokes that his friend grabbed his phone and texted that, “he’s so sorry!”  Is this the kind of boy your want your daughter to have a crush on?

Suicidal Hints – your son or daughter may receive texts that indicate a friend is thinking about attempting suicide.  Does your child know how to handle this?

Running Away – your child may have a friend text them that s/he is running away.  Does your child have the tools to help their friend through this very possibly dangerous situation?

Selling Drugs – your child could very well receive unsolicited offers to receive “mind powering” brownies (with drugs inside) or options to buy drugs directly.  Most likely these texts will include slang to it’s not as obvious.  What if the messages keep coming despite your child’s rejection?

Pornography – you know your child wont directly search for pornography, but what if it’s sent to them and it becomes a form of harassment, how will your child handle this?  Will s/he tell you?

Tweens and teens do not have the tools or even the emotional maturity to handle these types of issues.  If your child tells you about these issues, great, you can help maneuver them through ethics, legal ramifications, and friendships.  But what if your child doesn’t tell you?

Unlike learning to drive a car, kids get little to no instruction on how to handle these issues that stem from mobile/online relationships.  They aren’t the normal issues you think of when you give your child a phone, like setting up email, using the calendar, setting up an address book, loading music files, etc.  With as fast as society is going these days, these are real issues happening on school campuses everyday.

In doing research for this article, I ran across this quote from David S. Rose, an eentrepreneur, mentor, and parent.  The rule he enforced in his family was

“For so long as you live under our roof, privacy is a privilege that is earned by responsible actions, and not the inherent right of a minor child.”

“In practice, this means that (a) I reserved the right to monitor ALL communications and accounts at all times, but (b) the frequency of such monitoring decreased in inverse proportion to responsible use of the medium.”

The key here is that as the child shows responsibility, his monitoring decreased.  This gives the parent the chance to help children with possible scenarios early on in phone use and create discussions on how to proactively solve problems.

Parental Monitoring Apps

Fortunately, there are a number of apps out there to help parents and t(w)eens maneuver the potential dangers of t(w)een cellphone usage.  Monitoring varies per each app, no one app does it all, but all are a good start.




Can use to manage multiple children 

WebSafety app

WebSafety helps parents monitor questionable and potentially harmful content on their t(w)een’s phone.  Through the WebSafety account, you will be able to monitor…

  • Apps downloaded
  • Text messages
  • Websites visited
  • Location of device – through GPS you can see a trail of where the phone has traveled during the day
  • Social media posts when pictures are added
  • Usage curfews can be set, parent will be notified if t(w)een tries to use device after curfew


 Our Pact by ParentsWare



Can use to manage multiple children Our Pact app

ParentsWare aims to help parents and their t(w)eens work together to set up appropriate limits.  They encourage using mobile phones as a tool to strengthen the relationship between parent and t(w)een through communication and compromise.

  • Set limits or a schedule on when your t(w)een has access to apps/Internet
  • Easily allow more app/Internet time at your discretion
  • Block Internet access across all Apple devices
  • Block Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.





Can use to manage multiple children 

parental monitoring


TeenSafe is a parental monitoring service that allows you to view much of the activity happening on your t(w)een’s phone.

With TeenSafe, parents can see:

  • Sent, received and deleted SMS text and iMessages
  • Call logs of sent and received phone calls
  • Device location and location history
  • Web browsing history, bookmarks and contacts
  • Messages sent via Whatsapp and Kik Messenger
  • Instagram images, posts, comments and followers


$4.99 for iOS app.  The Family Protection Pass rates:   

5-licenses  for $59.99 (USD) per year – licenses can be used for Android, Windows, or Mac

   10-licenses  for $89.99 (USD) per year

   15-licenses  for $119.99 (USD) per year


Can use to manage multiple children NetNanny app

NetNanny claims to be the #1 rated parental control software to help protect kids from online predators, cyberbullying, and more and is the most comprehensive, including PC’s, Mac’s Android, and iOS devices.  NetNanny offers a monthly subscription and offers…

  • Internet filtering
  • Set limits or a schedule on when your t(w)een has access to apps/Internet
  • Profanity blocking – will block out profanity used on websites
  • Social media monitoring – view pictures/videos uploaded by t(w)een
  • Set up categories, key words to be notified if t(w)een surfs on sites containing these categories/keywords
  • Parental reporting



One Time Licence – Family Plan $99.99 covers up to 5 devices (tablets & phones)

other plans are available


Can use to manage multiple children MMguardian

MMGuardian is geared towards teens as it includes a Safe Driving module that parents can set so teens will not be able to text while driving.  Parents can set restrictions on app usage, time use, calls/texts, and more.

  • Control access to App stores
  • Control of which apps are added
  • Set limits or a schedule on when your t(w)een has access to apps/Internet
  • Prevents Texting While Driving
  • Web filtering and safe browsing
  • Monitor texts
  • Location updates


There are plenty of other parental monitoring apps available at varying prices.  Almost all major mobile carriers also offer some sort of monitoring systems as well for a monthly price.  From our research, these five apps offer the most features at a reasonable or even free price.  No one app does it all, so you have to choose based on your most prioritized needs.


We found this great infographic that gives some great tips to help keep your child…and their phone protected.  This infographic includes some apps popular with teens you should be aware of.
How to Keep your Kid Safe on a smartphoneHow to Keep your Kid Safe on a smartphone [Infographic] by the team at Pumpic


We know the topic of parental monitoring  with children under 18 brings up a lot of discussion.  Leave us a comment on where you weigh in on the matter.

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I think one app I'm using can help- LEO Privacy: goo.gl/BCKwGqIt's totally free but very powerful! It is one of the best app for parental Control. You can secure  all your my all personal data from eyes of your children. Lock whichever app you like and hide whichever photo or video. So i recommend to every one to install this and give it five stars. You can have a try!

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