For the past several years, Internet activity has increased dramatically among young people. Many kids are engaged in using different social media sites, emailing friends, and participating in chat rooms. Today, not only do kids have Internet access on their home computers, but they also have it on their cell phones. As a result, Smart phones can prove challenging for parents when monitoring a child's cell phone and internet usage. Recently, experts have noted that many kids engage in a new activity called sexting. Essentially, sexting involves kids sending naked pictures or semi-naked pictures to other people’s phones. Unfortunately, when kids begin to engage in these types of activities, they can increase their chances of being arrested and being known as criminal for the remainder of their lives. Luckily, parents are provided with many different programs that will allow them to monitor their children’s Internet and cell phone activity.
One of the latest applications for cell phone monitoring is known as TextGuard. With this particular application, the parents will install it on their child’s phone, and once it is installed, the parents can use a website to monitor all internet usage on that particular phone. For example, the parents will be able to see all calls, text messages, emails, and websites that have been visited. Not only can the parents see calls, text messages, and emails that have been sent to the phone, but they can also see the ones that have been sent from the phone. Many kids have the false assumption that when they are texting, no one will know what the message says once it is deleted, and this is one of the main reasons that parents can benefit from this application. Furthermore, this application gives parents the ability to block certain numbers, and once these numbers are blocked, no texts, emails, or calls can be received from those numbers; additionally, no activity can be sent to those numbers either.
My Mobile Watchdog
A second application that will allow parents to monitor their children’s cell phone activity and internet usage is My Mobile Watchdog. Similar to TextGuard, this application allows the parents to have access to any activity that occurs on a particular phone. Parents can receive alerts if any activity occurs from a certain phone number, and parents can send notifications to proper authorities if a suspicious number is contacting the child’s phone. For example, teachers, police, and other authoritative adults will receive notification about that particular number; therefore, if the parents do not notice the alert, teachers or police officers will notice it, and action can then be taken. One of the main benefits of this particular application is that it allows parents to print reports of any email, text message, or call, and this report can be taken to the proper authorities. If a person is texting vulgar messages to the child, the parent can print the text of that particular message, and further action can then be taken.
If parents are interested in monitoring their children’s Internet activity, they should invest in iWonder Surf. Similar to the cell phone monitoring applications, this application will give parents the opportunity to see all activity that occurs on the computer. If the child visits any websites, the parents will see what website was visited, how often the website was visited, and how long they stayed on the website. With iWonder Surf, a computer log can be kept of all Internet activity, and once the child visits a certain website, a report is created and sent to the parent.
Establish parental controls
If parents are unsure about using different computer applications, they can simply establish parental controls on certain sites. With parental controls, any websites that the parents do not want their children visiting can be blocked. These parental controls will be set by using a password and username; therefore, the only person who can remove sites from the block list will be the parents.
When it comes to protecting children, no parent can be too careful. Children are in an age in which they communicate by texting, chatting, or emailing others, but these children can be especially vulnerable to online predators; therefore, it is important for parents to always monitor their child’s Internet access and cell phone usage. After the parents begin to monitor their child's behavior, they will have confidence in knowing that the child is texting rather than sexting.