What you’ll need, in this particular setup, is a cheap Android phone for your son or daughter. These are everywhere and we’ve reviewed many here. For a kid who’s just starting to perhaps walk to the corner shop on their own or to a friend’s house a short distance away, it shouldn’t cost the earth to see if they’re OK – so get something cheap. Next, you’ll need a SIM card of some sort. For a small amount of data and a call package you shouldn’t need to pay more than £5. Head to comparison sites – you should be able to get 500MB or 1GB for a fiver, which is more than enough for some WhatsApp calls, pictures and what-not.
That’s about all you need to do, but you can – if you don’t want your child to know that you’re tracking them – go into the Settings menu on the phone and then into “Apps”. Choose “all” or “system apps” from the menu and then find “Google Play Services”. Select “Block” on the notifications. This will stop the notification popping up saying, “You have just shared your device location”.
Right, next up is to go onto your phone and install Android Device Manager or, if you want, you can use the Google website to do it there. At this point you’ll need to ensure that you login as your son or daughter. You can setup an additional Google account on your own phone at this point – just put the exact same details you put in on the cheap Android phone you bought. You don’t have to sync the email or the contacts etc – you only want to be able to login “as” them so that you can locate the phone.
The final stage is then, after giving it a quick test, to send your little ones out with the device. You can then either locate them (without them knowing, if you set it) or remotely wipe the phone. Plus, of course, you can call them or have a video / audio conversation.