There’s a tricky line that most parents have to walk every day. When do you buy your child a mobile phone? Are you buying it for safety reasons?
If you are, and you want to be able to call them and keep track of them, that’s good; but simply having a mobile phone opens up a whole can of worms when it’s a smartphone.
Here at Coolsmartphone we’ve seen a number of ideas. We’ve seen phones shaped like Teddy bears and .. err… slightly different Teddy bears plus ideas somewhere in between. Unfortunately, with most kids feeling the peer pressure and “having” to get a smartphone, parents mostly end up getting them one of those – and the prices of smartphones are falling all the time.
A smartphone, if I’m bluntly honest, will let your innocent child access all sorts of pornographic / lewd / unwanted material within minutes, and there’s an unfortunate laziness and buck-passing attitude amongst some parents that simply want, “someone to do something about it”. The end result is an internet feed from the major ISPs which has restricted access to music sites, torrent sites and some hit-and-miss blocks to other sites, but not a great deal of protection against anything else.
However, your child can still access a variety of sites you never thought existed. They can dive into a myriad of chat apps and social networking sites who, in reality, really don’t give a stuff about their users provided there’s lots of ad revenue coming in.
Long gone are the days when children could be made to use a PC in a family room. Age-controlled access doesn’t work and ultra-mobile devices mean that most parents just give up trying to keep track of usage and hope for the best.
However, it’s not hard to keep track of your child’s activities. Last year we covered Children Tracker and it’s now been updated. Now, before I go on, I need to answer the question that is buzzing around in your head when someone mentions an app that’ll track your child and what they’re doing on their phone…
My kid will just notice it’s running and shut it down. He’s a clever sausage.
Yes, unfortunately kids are annoyingly clever at times. The Google Play version has some restrictions in order to meet Google rules. With this version it’ll show a little notification when the app is running. Your kid will know that they’re being watched, which for some children is a good thing and can build trust with a parent etc. However, in order to run the app without the notification showing you’ll need to side-load the app from Safety.me (the developers). If you get that version it’ll also track Google Chrome activity, plus Firefox, Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, BBM and a whole load more. Although GPS is preferred it can use network information too (to stop the little GPS notification flashing up on the mobile).
Version 2.7, once installed on your child’s phone, will provide location, text message activity and which WiFi hotspot they’re connected to in realtime, but the odd feature does require root access.
There’s features like “Geo-fencing” and which apps are being installed too, but this isn’t just a way to “watch” your child – you can also ensure that they’re not getting bullied via their phone too. The parent just needs to log into tracker.safet.me to see everything.
Yes, there’s a price to all this. Head to their website for all the details. You can expect to pay €8.99, around £7.40 for a full 6 months of access. Not too bad for peace of mind.