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Smartphone Monitoring 101

Recently, I’ve gotten quite a few comments from readers and friends about smartphone monitoring. This practice, using a service to monitor your kid’s phone usage, has become increasingly popular over the years and with that popularity has come a slew of questions. So I’m gonna give a brief overview of some of the main ideas to be aware of when considering this type of service for your family. I’ll be talking specifically about TeenSafe, since it’s my personal favorite, but there will be plenty of general information here as well.

Why Use a Monitoring Service?

The reason these services exist in the first place is that technology has increased by leaps and bounds in the modern era. Those increases are really great for a lot of things, like keeping our kids connected with friends and helping them complete schoolwork. But along with those increases have come some negatives as well. The internet is full of explicit content that we don’t want our kids to encounter. It’s also rife with bullies who have the potential to inflict real psychological harm. Perhaps most worrying, the internet is often used by predators to locate victims. Monitoring a child’s phone usage helps you protect them from these dangers and more.

What You See When Using a Monitoring Service

Each monitoring service varies a bit on what they provide, but here’s what you get with TeenSafe, which I think has the most complete feature set of the bunch. One of the big tools you get after installing the service on your kid’s phone is the ability to read their text messages, even if they’ve been deleted. This message monitoring also works with apps like Kik and WhatsApp. You’ll also be able to check your child’s call logs to see who they’ve been talking to. Another big one is the service’s ability to monitor website usage, including bookmarks. And finally, you’ll be able to track the location of the phone and view a map of where it’s been.

How to Approach It With Your Kid 

The above list of features gives you a great way to keep track of your kid’s usage of technology in order to keep them safe from people or content that might do them harm. However, it’s important to remember that using this type of service isn’t a battle against your kid. Ideally, you’re working together with your child toward the same end goal. In order to encourage this type of collaborative approach toward phone safety, I’d recommend keeping a very open line of communication with your child. It’s important to let them know why you want to keep tabs on their phone usage, and what are the boundaries and norms for it. Establishing a level of two-way trust from the start will go a long way in helping to make a monitoring service effective.

Hopefully that was a helpful starter guide if you’ve been wondering about the use of phone monitoring to help protect your kid. For more information, I’d recommend going to the TeenSafe website for a full overview of the service. Until next time!