Text messages provide a convenient, inexpensive, easy way for people to keep in touch. However, the very ease of use of text messages can lead to its being misused. While adults generally know how to deal with inappropriate texting, children may not. Yet kids spend tremendous amounts of time using electronic devices, including mobile phones, often for texting. Cell phone parental controls can help prevent your children from receiving inappropriate messages.
In the old days, the landline was in the kitchen, and the most privacy a child might expect would be having a phone extension in his or her room. Today, phones go everywhere your child does, and parents don't know what their child is doing on their phone when they're not in view. Kids may not be up front about what they're doing either.
Text messages can be used to befriend people you wouldn't want your children in contact with, and many teens may send provocative photos to one another via text message. Unfortunately, there are some adults who use text messages to solicit underage people. How can you ensure your child uses his or her phone responsibly and that they're not being harassed? You do have some options if you want to track text messages.
You might think it would be easy to monitor text messages through your phone provider, but it isn't that simple. One thing you can easily do is monitor the phone numbers your child exchanges text messages with. Generally all you do is sign into your account on your mobile provider's website. You can look over account activity, which should include a list of phone numbers that have been used for phone calls and text messages. So if you recognize the number of someone you don't want your child in contact with, you can bring it up with your child and find out what's going on.
Simply knowing which phone numbers your child is interacting with, however, is not enough for many parents' comfort. Logging into your mobile account online doesn't let you see text messages online, just the numbers with which exchanges were made. Furthermore, text messages are hardly the only ways that kids communicate with each other. There are numerous internet-based messaging apps that can be downloaded to phones and tablets, and if you don't know your child is using one of these, how can you track text messages? You can take the device physically and manually check all the apps, but messages can be easily erased, and retrieving them can be difficult or impossible. Monitoring text messages is only one part of a comprehensive internet safety strategy for kids.
What Alternatives Are Available to Monitor Text Messages?
Ideally, parents need to be able to monitor text messages as well as monitoring other online activities. Your children's activities across devices, social messages, apps, and emails are things you may want to monitor closely, and one solution that allows you to do precisely this is Familoop Safeguard. Familoop Safeguard analyzes calls, monitors text messages, and keeps you informed about online profiles, friends, shares, tweets, and other social media activities and automatically notifies you when questionable activities take place. And you can do it all from a single dashboard that you can access from any device that can get online.
Another tool that many parents use as an extra step when they track text messages is called geofencing. Geofencing allows you to set virtual boundaries for your children. For example, your child may be permitted to roam within an area bounded by his school, his bus stop, his best friend's house, and your house. With a geofence, once your child's mobile device crosses outside one of these boundaries, you are automatically alerted.
You can also set up geofence alerts to let you know, for example, when your child's bus drops her off at school, or when she arrives home in the afternoon. Geofencing isn't a substitute for engaged parenting, but it can be a very useful tool when you are trying to balance your child's independence and safety, and Familoop Safeguard includes geofencing and alerts in its suite of features.
Particularly when your child is first allowed to carry a mobile phone, you may want to track text messages as a way to ensure he is behaving responsibly and is not the target for predatory behavior. When you have a comprehensive solution like Familoop Safeguard, you are not only able to monitor text messages, you can also see text messages online, and monitor your child's other online activity as well, for greater peace of mind.
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