This is one in a series of blog posts I have put together describing how to setup parental controls for an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch. If you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book. It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.
Section 9 – Other useful Tools
Monitoring Cell Phone Use
In order to ensure that your child is making the right choice with his phone, you may feel more comfortable being able to monitor his activities. There are apps you can load which allow you to monitor his phone calls, texting sessions, and browsing history.
Spying and monitoring software is targeted towards tweens and teenagers. I would consider using it if you just started to remove some restrictions from your child’s phone and you are going through a trial period.
Mobile Spy is an example of this type of application. Mobile Spy is an app you use to monitor your child’s iPhone™ in real-time. It will record your child’s activities. To do this, you install a small app onto your phone which starts silently every time your phone is turned on. The app remains stealthy, so your child won’t know it is running.
Once the app is running it records all phone and texting activities. These are silently transferred to your private web account where you can view the results. Some of the types of activities the app records are:
- Text Messages – records every message. Deleting them on the iPhone™ doesn’t affect the results.
- Call Log – Logs each call made or received. Details such as duration and time stamp are stored.
- Website Visits – Maintains a history of visited websites.
- GPS Locations Log – Records GPS position every thirty minutes.
- Photo & Video Log – Logs all photos and videos, which become available for viewing.
- E-Mail Log – Records all email activity.
- YouTube Videos – Logs YouTube videos watched on the iPhone™ with link to each video.
- Social Networking Logs – Records activity from Facebook.
- Apps Installed – Lets you see which Apps are installed on the iPhone™.
- Phone Usage – Records all phone activities.
This software comprehensively monitors all of your children’s activities and in certain circumstances may be a good option for you to use. Of course, every individual needs to decide upon the balance between privacy and security, but at least Mobile Spy gives you options.
Cell Phone Provider Tools
Child safety and protections do not stop with your phone. In addition to the monitoring, restrictions, and special apps you can set on your phone, many cellular phone providers offer services to assist in monitoring or restricting access to their services.
For instance AT&T offers AT&T Smart Limits for $4.99 per month. With this service you can:
- Block calls – Specify up to ‘30’ blocked numbers.
- Limit Purchases: Limit purchases to AT&T premium services. Note: this doesn’t apply to purchases made in the iTunes store.
- Restrict the time of day texting and outbound calls can be made.
- Set a monthly limit to the number of text messages your child makes.
- Block calls to “411” services.
- The disadvantages to these services are that monthly charges can add up.
They cover some items you can’t restrict on your phone, but for the most part these items can be just as easily restricted using features of your smart phone at little to no charge. For instance, there aren’t easy ways to limit messaging on the phone itself, but if this activity worries you, you can turn texting off.
Regardless of the disadvantages outlined, visit your provider’s store or website to learn about these restrictions. In your case, some or all of them may be worth purchasing.
Questions or Comments?
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If you are interested in more, please take a look at my blog: www.easycomputeracademy.com. There, you’ll find some great articles about computer security.
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One Last Thing…
If you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book. It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.