Should you become a cellphone spy?
Many children, tweens and teens are given smartphones by their parents as a safety measure and an entertainment device. But having regular or contact Internet access of their smartphones also opens your children up to a host of online dangers and inappropriate content. This is why many parents implement parental control software that can monitor children’s smartphone activity.
Why use smartphone parental control apps?
- Children don’t always demonstrate good judgement when it comes to internet usage
- To watch over and protect your children
- You can check that your children are at a destination safely
- You can monitors texts and internet use
- This can encourage the development of productive and safe smartphone habits
What to look for in cellphone parental control software
- Remote functionality – are you able to track information even if you don’t have the target device on you?
- Quality of monitored data – are you able to track deleted content and search histories?
- Quantity of monitored data – does the app allow tracking of phone calls, email and text messages? And what about chat apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Viber and Hangouts?
- Limits and alerts – such as flagging or blocking certain content, or setting time limits for device and Internet usage
- Fits within your budget
- Must be compatible with the device you’re looking to track (for example, with either Android or iOS)
- Help and Support resources – how can you contact the company if you need help?
What are some good apps for smartphone tracking?
- PhoneSheriff – gives parents complete control over website blocking and time limits and comes with three device licenses
- Mobile Spy – has extensive reporting and surveillance abilities. It is also known for being one of the most user-friendly apps
- Mobistealth – good reporting capacity and visually appealing
- Net Nanny – allows for up to five devices on a single license
The legalities – is smartphone spying allowed?
Monitoring and tracking smartphone activity is only legal if your child is still a minor and you own the device When it comes to adults, they need to know beforehand that the software is present on the device and they need to sign a form of consent.
Many cell phone parental control software providers require you to root your Android phone or jailbreak your iPhone to access certain features. There are many risks associated with either of these processes, so we do not advocate doing so. As such, we did not test features that required us to root our Android test phones.
Google and Apple must approve apps sold in Google Play and the App Store. This minimizes security hazards and keeps malware off most smartphones. Jailbreaking or rooting your device to install unauthorized software or apps bypasses this process and increases the chances you’ll download malware on your phone.
Beyond the security risks, jailbreaking or rooting your device can prevent vital operating system updates and void the warranty. Any mistakes during the jailbreak process may destroy the device’s ability to function at all.
As we tested the software, we looked at what you can track on target cell phones. We also evaluated how easy each program is to install and the variety of remote functions it has. In addition, we looked at the restrictions you can place and what alerts you receive, along with how easy the reporting functions are to use.