The next time you head out, take a look around you. You are likely to notice that the majority of teenagers are glued to their smartphones. Mobiles and tablets have become an ingrained part of everyday life. While they can provide hours of entertainment and a useful and convenient way to stay in touch, they also come with numerous potential dangers. Parents are understandably concerned about how their teens use their mobile devices. The question is how can you monitor your teen’s phone and tablet usage?
What exactly do you want to monitor?
The good news is there are plenty of ways you can monitor your teen’s tablet and phone activity. The bad news is there are very few services that enable you to monitor everything. Therefore you need to figure out what it is you mainly want to monitor. Your main monitoring options include:
- Phone calls
- Website viewing
Of course, you may also be concerned with where your teen is using their phone. Are they where they say they are? Do they use their phone while driving? There are additional ways you can monitor when and where they use their device.
Do your homework
Apps are one of the most common things parents are worried about. There are around 700,000 applications your teen has access to on the Apple store. There are only slightly less in the Android store with 600,000 to choose from. There are of course more popular apps that most teens will use including Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat. However, while you might recognise these apps, there will no doubt be some you have never heard of. Frequently check which apps your kids are using and research the ones you are unfamiliar with.
Make use of monitoring apps
There are a number of applications you can use to monitor your child’s internet usage. One of the best by far is UKnowKids. As featured on Be Web Smart
, the Android version of the app is particularly impressive and it monitors social media accounts, photos and keeps a call list. One of the best features of the app is the fact you can set it to send you an alert if there is any suspicious activity. This means you don’t need to constantly monitor your child’s interactions. It does come with a monthly fee and there are different levels available. You can also try the app free of charge for up to 30 days.
How can you monitor their usage?
It’s all well and good having apps and ways to monitor your child’s phone and tablet usage. The question is how do you gain access to their phone in order to install these apps? Many teens will be reluctant to part with their phone and let you view it. Of course, you could wait for an opportunist moment. If they break the phone and send it off to a reliable repair company such as LoveFone
, you could install the apps as soon as the phone comes back. This is typically only a problem for older teens. With younger teens you can enforce a strict policy where they have to show you their phone regularly so you can check nothing untoward is going on.