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.
“Sexting” Shockingly Common Among Teens
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
Crimson Wife says
Unless the teen is old enough to drive, why do they even need a cell phone at all? I’m not planning to get my kids a cell phone until they get their driver’s licenses.
John Doe says
You show an iPhone but I don’t think this ‘service’ works on iPhones
Disturbing. Unless the phone is just for emergency use.
Not everyone has a landline. We got rid of ours years ago and got everyone a cell phone. We actually stay in touch with each other more through SMS just to keep everyone up to date on where we are at. I feel safer knowning our 11 year old has his cell phone with him as he walks to and from school.
Cell phones aren’t just for drivers, but parents need to be aware of what is going on on their kid’s devices, just as they should in all aspects of their lives.
I have a love/hate response to this.
IF I was a teenager, I would hate this technological intrusion into my life and feel like my parents didn’t trust me. I would eventually find out, once they confronted me about my activities. It would jeopardize my relationship with them, unless we had a very strong, loving bond. Kids make mistakes, sometimes very big mistakes, and need forgiveness for violating boundaries and trust.
IF I wanted to continue with these kinds of activities discussed in the interview, after I found out I was being “watched and monitored”, I would simply find new ways of continuing my activities, which could possibly lead to a more tragic outcome.
However, as a parent, and having had young members of my extended family fall victim to “sex criminals”, I would appreciate knowing about any means available to monitor their activities, to ensure their safety. Better yet, my preference would be to avoid such intrusive measures,if possible….
The first line of defense to thwart this kind of activity is to spend more quality time with them – build a relationship with them based on trust, open and honest communication, instilling the importance of morals and values, educating them about the dangers that surround them, supply precautionary warnings, and limit their cell use to emergency only.
Our kids did not have a cell phone until they started driving. They were only allowed to use their phones for the purpose of safety and communicating with us, as parents. As great as the peer pressure can be and the conflict it can provoke, I still think this is a good family policy to follow.
We know we can’t hover over and watch our children 24/7. This is quite a dilemma! Depending on the family’s or teenager’s history and circumstances, it might be the only option parents and guardians have.
As adults, we abhor the thought of a Big Brother society, where our privacy is compromised and our rights are violated. It’s scary to think we have come to this, in order to protect our children in an every increasing violent world. Pray for wisdom!
I don’t think it’s right for parents to invade their child’s privacy UNLESS they are sending nudes and they get caught..
Or if the child is sexually active.
Ron Howard says
Crimson Wife, your name should be stupid bitch. The reason parents get phones for their kids are to keep in contact with them and thousands of single parents can also keep in daily contact with their kids when they do not have them. I keep in contact with my boys daily when they are with the other parent.
how is it loaded on the phone and can it be loaded with the kid knowing