child with phone May 28, 2021
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How Can I Monitor My Child’s Phone Without Them Knowing?

The online world can be unsafe for kids, especially when they are unsupervised. From cyberbullying to sexual harassment, your children can be vulnerable online to a plethora of threats that continue to evolve along with new technologies. Responsible parents, and you are probably among that group if you arrived at this article, must invest in their child's safety and keep them from harms' way. One of the best ways to keep your kids safe and and maintain your peace of mind as a parent is is to monitor a child’s phone using the latest apps or software available.

With an app to monitor child’s phone, you will be be able to “Spy” on your kids and basically be aware of their whereabouts, and all of their digital activities . Whether it is their current location, the last conversations they had, text messages sent, social network posts or even the most recent photos on their phone, you can be in complete control. You can block certain websites, as well as unauthorized online payments, gaming apps, content etc.

To be effective, just like any spy, you need to monitor child's phone without them knowing. Otherwise, and this depends on their age and how savvy they are with their phone, they might end up finding a loophole, disable the app and “trick” you. But life is not a spy movie, these are our kids and the first thing we recommend talking with them and explaining the dangers of the internet and why we, as parents, need to safeguard them.

If you want to take baby steps you can start with reading our 9 Tips for Parental Control – most of them are free. Read further to continue learning about the apps can help you monitor your child's phone without them knowing.


  • mSpy– Discreetly track your child' phone activity 24/7. Grab an additional 20% discount with coupon code: PARENTALCONTROL.

Try mSpy For Free!

  • BARK – Allows you to track over 24 social networks including Facebook of course and is very affordable at $14 a month.

Try Bark For Free!

  • QUSTODIO – Get an additional 10% discount for all plans. Use coupon code: PARENTAL10

Try Qustodio For Free!

  • NORTON – Save $50 with Norton's 360 Deluxe 5 device protection package for only $49.99/y.

Try Norton For Free!

What Do You Need to Monitor Your Child’s Phone Without Them Knowing?

If you are thinking about monitoring child's phone without them knowing, then there’s one thing that you need – the right app or software. You will need a program to monitor their phone and in most cases, you will need access to their phone to install the program. Depending on what you will choose, it will be discrete, which means that your kids will never know that they are being monitored. You will also need to install the app on your phone, or you can use a web portal. In some cases, there is a need to root or jailbreak the target device.

What are Some of the Best Software for Monitoring Your Child’s Phone?

We have summed up the few top monitoring apps for your kids's phone. Check out our detailed comparisons of all the available apps per device type Best parental controls apps for iphone and for android

If you want to monitor a computer you should take a look at our best parental control software reviews section.

1. mSpy – 100% discreet

Mspy parental control software

As the name suggests, mSpy is a leading parental monitoring software/app and the best choice when looking to view the activities of your kid's devices without them knowing through your personal smartphone or computer. These activities include text messages, live and past locations, calls , social platforms like Instagram, Tiktok and many others. This is a great option for monitoring your kid’s phone without them knowing. It has a user-friendly interface and quick installation, making it effortless to use for most parents.

* Grab an additional 20% discount with coupon code: PARENTALCONTROL

Try mSpy For Free!

Or read our mSpy Review

2. Bark

Bark homepage free parental control app

This is probably the best under 10 bucks solution you will find to monitor your child’s phone. Bark charges only $5 a month (for the junior app) and after a simple installation process you will be able to monitor iOS, Android, and Amazon mobile devices. With Bark’s easy to use dashboard you will be able to closely watch and monitor texts messages, emails, videos and different social networks that your child uses.

Try Bark For Free!

Or read our Bark Review

3. Qustodio

Qustodio homepage

One of the most reliable apps to monitor your child's mobile activity. The app has many monitoring features, from location tracking to text messages to phone calls and social networks. A new cool Android only feature that we like is the SOS button that allows kids to click it and send an automatic location coordinates to the parents. Qustodio's app sends parents a detailed daily report of all of their activities, making it super simple for parents to monitor their kids activity on their phone.

Try Qustodio For Free!

Or read our Qustodio Review

 4. Norton Family Premier

When it comes to online and offline security and the protection of your computer, Norton is one of the most trusted brands in the world by global customers . What people are less aware of is that they also have a great parental control software that is available for as low as $49.99 per month with the Norton 360 Deluxe for 5 devices. After a short and easy installation you will be able to set time limits (mainly on PC and Android) and get email reports when your kids are connecting online.

Try Norton For Free!

Or read our Norton Family Premier Review

For as low as $2.25 a month, you can enjoy the basic version of this parental monitoring app which can be installed without kids knowing but only for one device. The app offers some great features and works both on Android and iOS. Although the basic plan allow you to monitor only one device it does let you enjoy all the powerful features of the app. It can monitor calls and texts, some social media activities, and emails. We liked the PickMeUp feature that is pretty much like the regular whatsapp share location but lets kids tap on a button on their FamilyTime app and the parents immediately get a notification on where to pick them from.  Other basic features like web and app blocking also available.

Visit Family Time

Or read our Familytime Review


Whether it is getting your kids away from online predators, prevention of cyberbullying, and managing inappropriate behavior, this parental monitoring software can be helpful. It can be installed in just five minutes and there is no rooting required on the target device. Texts, calls, photos, app usage, website visits, and location history are some of the things that you can do with this software. There is a money-back guarantee. As for the price, the licensing fee for the use of this app is $99.95, which is quite high.

Visit WebWatcher

Or read our Webwatcher Review


From its set-up to its use, KidLogger is known for being user-friendly. It is also cheap. There is a free plan available, although the features are limited. For the paid subscriptions, the cheapest is $29 for one year, which is affordable for most of you. This surveillance software has powerful tracking options, including chats and photos. You can even listen to phone calls and view the typed keystrokes. Also, when you send a message that says “where are you,”, you can receive a reply containing your kid’s current location.

Visit KidLogger

Or read our Kidlogger eview

So How Do You Prepare Your Child’s Phone for Monitoring?

The first thing that you will need is to have physical access to their phone. Once you have it in your hands, you can now download your choice of software or app, including those that have been briefly mentioned above. Make sure that there is enough battery to finish installing the app and setting it up. You will also need to create an account for ease of monitoring. After completing the previous steps, you will need to connect the phone being monitored and the phone that will be used for monitoring, i.e. parent phone. Take note that the process can vary depending on what software you will use.

Read our guide on How to Monitor Your Childs Activity Online for further instructions on how to keep your kids safe online.

Why Should You Consider Monitoring Your Child’s Phone Without Them Knowing?

The world has always ben dangerous place and it's our job as parents to create the best possible environment for our kids to grow up in. With the evolution of technology and the online world, a major part of our kids' environment is their online activity and identity. Parents need to monitor their kids in order to keep them safe but also for their own peace of mind. The right monitoring software or app will help you track their online activities, as well as their location and much more. You should definitely be active if you believe that their behaviors will put them at risk. Get more information on the best monitoring apps here and make sure you read the reviews on the updated features and prices. Parents need to decide if they want to install parental control apps without the kids knowing about it, or if you wish, open it for discussion. To install the monitoring app you should get a hold of the device and just go through a quick set up. That said, we recommend having an open discussion with your kids about parental control apps before installing one without them knowing. This is an important step in building a positive relationship with your kids. If your kids find out that you are monitoring them, they might think that you don’t trust them. in addition, if they know that they are being monitored, they will most likely find a loophole in the system to avoid your prying eyes.


If you have always been curious about how to monitor my child’s phone, we hope that you now know what to do. Consider the programs or apps mentioned above, and you will never go wrong. They will make you one step ahead in terms of monitoring your kids, making sure that they are safe and sound while they enjoy the online world.

     1. mSpy – Discreet 24/7 live tracking of all all incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, calls and GPS location.

     2. Bark Best value for money, monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails.

     3. Qustodio User Friendly, limits screen time, games, social media activities, blocks inappropriate content.

     3. Norton Full online security suite, limits screen time, block and filter inappropriate content.

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