Today’s kids are practically born into a world full of cell phones and tablets. While it is great that they know how to use these technologies, we need to keep in mind that they’re still young and impressionable. In this article, we will go over some of the negative effects of excessive cell phone use and some tips for cell phone monitoring for parents.
Why You Should Monitor Your Child’s Cell Phone Activity
Naturally, no child (especially a teenager) wants you to monitor their cell phone activity. However, there are negative effects that you as a parent need to keep in mind. Some of these negative effects include but are not limited to:
Risk Of Chronic Pain
Since text messaging requires constant use of your fingers and your head is often faced downwards, this can lead to strain on your neck, back, and hands. What is now known as teen texting tendonitis or TTT has become very common. According to Pew Research Center, American teenagers send and receive 24,120 text messages per year on average. This number has likely gone up since then, and doesn’t include other messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Lack Of Sleep
It is very tempting to check your phone at night. From every beep or vibration to all the distracting apps, your child could be up all night texting, watching videos, or playing games. Insomnia itself is bad enough since it can lead to many other health risks, the last thing you need is a device that enables it.
Anxiety And Other Mental Health Issues
There’s already a lot of social pressure that comes with growing up, but cell phones have amplified this. With the instant gratification that comes with texting, kids develop anxiety if they don’t get immediate responses. This also plays itself out on social media, with everything being about likes and shares. Kids often get depressed when they don’t receive enough engagement on their posts.
The Zebra conducted a national survey that showed that 36% of respondents aged 18-24 admitted to texting while driving. This is very alarming since this is only the ones that admitted to it. In the same article, it shows that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident that drunk driving.
Given the power of today’s mobile devices, your child is vulnerable to any online threat. From cyberbullying to online predators, you want to be able to keep your kid safe from them. To learn more about these online threats, read our article on monitoring technology use of children.
Tips For Monitoring Your Child’s Cell Phone
Now that you know some of the dangers that come with your child using a cell phone, let’s look at some of the steps we can take to keep them protected.
Use Parental Controls On iPhone
After following this guide to iPhone parental controls, you will be able to do the following things:
- Set content and privacy restrictions
- Block App Store purchases
- Allow built-in apps and features
- Prevent explicit content and content ratings
- Restrict Siri web search
- Restrict Game Center
- Prevent web content
- Allow changes to Privacy Settings
- Allow changes to other settings and features
- Safari on iOS – with the ability to automatically filter website content iOS can limit access to adult websites. You can add websites to either an approved or blocked list or just limit access to approved websites only.
- Ask to Buy – This feature allows your child to freely browse iTunes, Apple Books, or the App Store. Once they initiate a purchase, the family organizer (you) will get notified and have the ability to review and either approve or decline the purchase.
Use Parental Controls On Android
There are 3 things you can do on Android to monitor your child’s activity:
- Create a separate user account on your own device which they can use. Unfortunately you can only create a restricted profile on Android tablets.
- Use Google Play Store’s built-in parental controls. This will allow you to restrict apps, movies, and games.
- Google Family Link: You can use this to create a Google Account for your child, manage their app usage, control their screen time, and have a set time where they can’t use their device.
Use A Parental Control App
Also known as cell phone monitoring apps, these third-party applications work by extracting data from the device they are installed on. These are some of the most notable features when using the best parental control software:
- Keylogger: This feature records every keystroke that takes place on the target phone.
- Enhanced GPS: Locate your child’s phone within a few feet of its real-time location.
- Social Media: View social media activities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
- Text Messages: Read all texts, iMessages, and SMS messages.
- Private Messages: View private messages on WhatsApp, Messenger, Kik, WeChat, and more.
- Multimedia: See photos, videos, and other media taken and received on the phone.
- Monitor Undetected: Using a parental control app, you can keep an eye on your child’s phone without them finding out.
- Internet History: Review the sites they visited and what they searched online.
- Stealth Camera: Remotely take a photo of you child’s phone surrounding via their phone’s camera.
Best Cell Phone Monitoring Apps For Parents
All of the parental control apps listed below include the features we just mentioned and more! They have been tested and approved by our Best Cell Phone Spy Apps Team. Plus, they all work on the latest iPhones, Androids, and operating systems.
What makes Highster Mobile special is its No-Jailbreak feature for iPhones. While many other products require you to jailbreak an iPhone in order to spy on it, Highster Mobile only requires you to have the user’s Apple ID and Password for installation. So, you won’t need access to your child’s iPhone at all!
PhoneSpector is very easy to install, has the latest parental control advanced features, and has a reliable customer service team. Because PhoneSpector doesn’t decrease battery life, show pop-up notifications, or display an app icon on the phone screen, it leaves no trace on the target phone that it is being tracked.
Considered the best cell phone monitoring app for beginners, Auto Forward specializes in extracting information from Android phone of all types. Data from the target phone shows up immediately after activation on a very user-friendly dashboard.
With all of the dangers that exist online, your child’s cell phone can be a gateway to a world of trouble. It is good to know that there are ways to monitor and put some restrictions on their cell phone activity. Whether it is too keep them safe from external threats or to protect their own health, using a Parental control app is the best way to do so. Remember to keep in mind the tips we mentioned for cell phone monitoring for parents. Learn more about the best Parental control apps and decide which one is the best for you.