Dealing with a teenager is rarely easy. They are at an age that turns them into secretive, stubborn, and sometimes even aggressive versions of your previously sweet and joyful children. Their phones are a central part of their lives and at the same time the source of some of the greatest fears for their parents. So teen phone monitoring has become extremely popular. Parents are looking for the best apps to protect their teens from the dark side of the internet.
Parental control apps help parents set limits and block certain content or prevent negative influences on their children. However, when it comes to teens, it’s a very slippery road. It’s not easy to keep an eye on their activity without them thinking you are invading their privacy and creating tension in the family. It’s actually hard to keep things balanced, and using these apps is a decision every parent needs to consider personally.
Why Should You Consider Monitoring your Teen?
Since the internet has become so popular, parents are now facing more reasons to panic. They worry about what their teens do when they leave the house, but mostly what the internet brings into their lives wherever they go. Smartphones are must-have accessories for teenagers, and they are no longer young enough to be tricked into having their phones monitored. So, should parents risk damaging their relationship by imposing teen phone monitoring apps?
If you’re not sure this is the right way to go, here is a list of threats your child can face online. Some of them haven’t even crossed your mind until now, but they are all extremely dangerous.
Cyberbullying is one of the most common forms of online abuse. It can get even worse than what they face in the schoolyard because anonymity makes bullies even more aggressive.
Pedophiles are definitely one of every parent’s worst nightmares, and the internet is a perfect hunting ground for them.
Sexting. You may not be able to imagine such a thing, but it happens more often than you think. And it can lead to very dangerous situations.
Pornography can cause serious damage to a teenager’s psychological development. And unfortunately, this type of content is becoming more difficult to block.
Exposing private information is another serious problem teens can easily be tricked into because of their strong desire to become popular.
Getting into a bad entourage happens a lot easier online. A few messages can lead to drugs and alcohol and many other horrible things.
The list is even longer, unfortunately, but these are the major areas of concern and some of the best reasons to try a teen phone monitoring app.
So How Can You Monitor Your Teen’s Phone?
That may be easier said than done because teenagers know all about parental control apps and there is always the risk that they will try to bypass them. However, if you manage to successfully explain your reasons and do the best you can to let them have at least some level of privacy, there are things you can do to keep them safe.
Apps are the best method of phone monitoring for teens, and they have all sorts of useful features. They can help you set limits to their online exploration, block dangerous websites and apps, see who they are talking to and if there are new and suspicious contacts in their list. You can also use a tracking feature, which can be very helpful if you have a rebellious and wondering teen.
What Are Some of the Best Apps to Monitor your Teens?
These are some of the most popular options when it comes to parental control software. The best thing to do is to carefully read all about them and see which one is closer to what you are looking for.
1. FamiSafe Phone Monitoring When it comes to monitoring the smartphone activity of teenagers, FamiSafe is one of the most common names. It enables geofencing but doesn’t update the information frequently enough. The web filtering feature is rather weak, and the entire app usage is very limited for iOS smartphones.
The app works as a powerful web filter that allows parents to block websites by category. This way, parents can keep internet surfing safe and get regular reports of their children's online activities. It also lets parents inspect the screen time of their children, filter Youtube or TikTok search results.
In case of any explicit content access on the kids' mobile phones, parents receive an instant update. Similarly, it allows parents to access the real-time location, driving report, location history of the target phone. In short, the app allows parents to access all the info from their child's phone and let them protect their kids from any harmful content or contacts.
2. Spyzie Monitoring App is easy to install and use and has some advanced features like keylogger and keyword alerts. It also tracks a good number of messenger apps. But it’s quite expensive and doesn’t have great customer support.
Here are some of the features that you will get on Spyzie –
- Access the contact list on their phones with all the details
- Monitor their WhatsApp messages, including the deleted ones
- Access the entire call history and all the details of the calls
- Geo-fencing, i.e., making virtual boundaries for their location
- Access the browser history and the websites they visit the most
- It is fully discreet and won't let your teens ever know that you are tracking their activities
3. mSpy Mobile Monitoring has great real-time location tracking, keylogger and access to everything from emails to texts, calls and images. You can even block an incoming call as well as apps and websites. It can also be used on the invisible mode.
mSpy is one of the most powerful and frequently used teen phone monitoring applications in the world. The reason behind its immense popularity is its great list of features and easy to control interface.
When you choose mSpy, you get access to the following features –
- Track all incoming and outgoing calls along with timestamps, duration, and caller's information
- View all SMS sent or received from the target phone even if they are deleted
- View their current location on the map and frequently visited places
- Access all web browsing history and bookmarks
- Check messages from most messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Snapchat, iMessage, Skype, Telegram, Viber, Hangout, Line, etc
- Monitor social media usage by tracking apps like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, etc
- Access all media in the target phone, like shared, stored, received, or downloaded
- Track other activities like contacts, calendar, emails, wifi networks, etc
Also, the app is really easy to install, and there won't be any icon on the target phone. So all the information gathered via spying will be safe with you.
4. ESET Parental Control only works on Android smartphones and doesn’t help you monitor your teen’s calls and texts. But you can use it on as many devices you want and does a good job filtering web content. Read our ESET parental control review.
ESET is another popular name in the cybersecurity domain for developing powerful anti-virus software. ESET parental control helps you monitor several activities on your child's phone and protect them from any online threat or cyberbullying.
ESET lets you guard your kids against unknown users by managing the time-usage of particular applications and controlling their online presence. It also enables you to control any inappropriate web content such as porn or violent content and filter their web search.
Using the app, you can also locate your teenagers by using the live location feature and creating personalized location zones for them, also known as geo-fencing.
5. FlexiSpy Monitoring is a great option for teen phone monitoring. Along with the usual features, it also helps you turn on microphones remotely to listen or record conversations and even take screenshots of the apps your child uses. You can also listen or record the sounds surrounding the phone and remotely take photos. But all that comes with a serious price tag.
Here are some of the features that you can access with FlexiSPY-
- Monitor installed applications
- Track phone calls and even record calls from your device
- Access all the messaging applications and monitor their social media usage
- Monitor all the media stored or shared on the smartphone
- Trace location of the user via live location feature
- Track all types of digital communication made from the target phone
- Manage internet usage by filtering the web browsing and blocking/allowing specific websites
Pros and Cons of Teen Phone Monitoring
These teen monitoring apps are a great tool in trying to keep your child safe from the increasing number of threats they face online. They help you see if there are negative influences around them, stop them from sharing too much personal information, and from downloading malware or accessing inappropriate websites. On the other hand, teens are especially fond of their freedom and personal space, and these apps are a great intrusion. That can easily cause fights in your family or make them act out even more. So, whenever you approach such an app, make sure it is either by mutual understanding where you discuss the benefits of such monitoring and make them understand that it is helpful for their safety and security. Or, you have to outsmart your digital generation kids by installing these apps on their smartphones and tracking their activities.
Figuring out how to use a parental control app without causing a war inside your family is definitely not easy. Not when you have teens. But it seems that the older your kids get the more dangerous their time spent online can be. So, it may be time to stop sugar-coating it and find the best teen phone monitoring app you can afford. It will probably cause some heated discussions, but you will be able to block at least some of the dangers your children are facing.