Nov 5, 2014

4 High-Tech Solutions to Keep Tabs on Your Kids

Back when you were a kid, all your parents had to worry about was you sneaking out or speeding when driving. With all of the advancements in technology have also come more worries like cyber-bullying and identity theft. Here are some apps that can act as mother's helpers to make sure the kids aren't getting into trouble.


The MamaBear app is an all-in-one monitoring app that monitors your child's location, social media accounts, check-ins and can even let you know if your kids are speeding when driving or riding. The options available with this app are robust and you can set various parameters and receive alerts when those parameters are broken (like when a curse word is posted on his Facebook page) or met (when your son arrives home from school). The app is free for iOS and Android users and there are paid levels of membership that offer more in-depth monitoring features (pricing ranges from $4-$5 per month). Setup is simple; you just install the MamaBear app on your phone, then install it on your child's phone and then customize the settings to create your monitoring parameters.

This app is ideal for younger kids who are getting their first taste of independence, rather than teens, since it requires the app to be on your child's phone and a rebellious teen could uninstall it to quickly disable monitoring. It's also designed for two-way communication as much as it is monitoring, allowing kids the option to "check in" with you using emoticons or emergency alerts, which is especially helpful for kids who are beginning to walk to or from school on their own.

Lifelock Junior

With clean credit scores and no credit history, children are ripe targets for identity thieves looking to score big. Your innocent child could be unknowingly sharing sensitive personal information online, making him a target for online predators. Instead of taking the alarmist approach and banning social media and Internet usage, instead get proactive and use an identity theft protection service. Identity theft protection giant Lifelock offers a service designed specifically for kids. Lifelock Junior monitors usage of your child's social security number, credit history and regularly searches file-sharing networks for leaks of sensitive personal information. You'll be alerted immediately if the system detects any issues. Lifelock Junior costs around $5 per month per child and is available as an add-on with their adult protection plans.


If you're looking for a way to monitor your angsty teen in a way that's a bit more covert than a service like MamaBear, TeenSafe is for you. With TeenSafe you can read your teens texts (even the deleted ones), view Internet browsing, search history and monitor location, phone calls and contacts. Best of all, you child doesn't even have to know that you're monitoring his or her phone. TeenSafe uses your child's Apple ID to access all of the information on the phone, so without a visible app, they'll be none the wiser. You can view all activity from your computer by logging into the monitoring portal, which you can access from any computer at any time. This service, a bit more expensive than its competitors at $14.95 per month, it's impossible to put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes with it.


Want to know what your son's doing on his iPad? iKeyMonitor acts as your eyes and ears when your kids think you're not looking. This spy app enables invisible iPad monitoring to give you access to your kids' iMessages, WhatsApp messages, browser history and it even takes periodic screenshots to show you what they are doing. All of this information is sent to you regularly via email in the form of usage logs. Pricing starts as low as $8 per month when you purchase a 12-month license of the iKeyMonitor software.

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