Children and teens’ cell phones can now be monitored by parents for suspicious activity by using the parental control software My Mobile Watchdog, which has also been used by police to catch sexual predators.
“With the rapid growth of mobile technology, children today are exposed to many of the same dangers using a cell phone or mobile device that they face on the web; dangers such as cyber bullying, child predators and exposure to adult themes. RADAR, Your Kids’ Mobile Watchdog, is a parental control service for cell phones and mobile devices that uses patent-pending technology to help parents monitor and protect their children from harm while on their cell phone.”
My Mobile Watchdog works like this: The software is loaded onto the child’s phone, and a list of authorized contacts for the child is compiled. An online file is created, accessable by the parent on the web or via their smart phone, which stores all activity to and from the child’s phone. The cell activity captured by the software includes text messages, calls, and any shared photos.
The My Mobile Watchdog web page allows parents to view all contacts for their child and to determine if those numbers are trusted (relatives, family, close friends), suspicious, or unapproved. When an unauthorized phone number calls or texts the child, the number is flagged and the parents receive a text message immediately to let them know of the incident.
Parents can access the full text and any pictures sent and received from the phone, and download and print any suspicious activity to share with school or law enforcement officials to assist with tracking and capture of sexual predators.
If you aren’t aware of the issue of “sexting” (sending nude or semi-nude photos via cell phone), it’s become a very real issue for parents of kids and teens. One of the biggest dangers is that sexual predators can send and receive photos virtually anonymously, posing as another child and luring kids into meeting in person. The practice of sexting has picked up steam among teenagers, with girls or boys sending pictures to each other which may end up in the public view or in the hands of other adults.
If you’re interested in My Mobile Watchdog, the service is $9.95 a month, and you can get the full scoop on the company’s web page.
I’ll throw out another suggestion: don’t pay for or allow text messaging for your child. While that isn’t quite the same as the Watchdog service, it will keep children from sending or receiving photos via phone.
Image: BdwayDiva1 at Flickr under Creative Commons