Parents constantly fret about the safety of their children, be it when the kids are online or away from home. With their busy lifestyle, parents are not able to keep a close eye on the activities of their kids who are prone to various kinds of threats and harassment from different sections of the society. So how can parents ensure the safety of their children?
There is a very thin line between monitoring and spying. Though the intention of a parent who likes to keep his/her child safe cannot be questioned, the approach adopted might make a huge difference. Everyone appreciates privacy, and that includes children. Considering that, spying on kids is not a wise option at all. But then, in this age of social networking and high tech gadgets, children can’t be left unmonitored just like that. So how best can one keep a tab on the child without actually losing his/her trust? This is what I’ll try to address in this article.
Monitor and Protect Kids Online
Internet has become an integral part of our lives. No wonder that the kids these days are getting more and more web savvy and browsing takes up a considerable time of their day-to-day life. There are lots of tools available to monitor your kids’ activities on the web.
If you are particularly worried about how your child spends time on social networking sites like Facebook, have a look at ZoneAlarm SocialGuard. This software strikes a good balance between safety and privacy. Every five minutes, it monitors kids’ Facebook accounts for approaches by potential predators and strangers, cyber-bullying, age fraud, account hacking, and links to inappropriate or malicious websites – all these in a way that is invisible to the kids’ friends and without the parent being a “friend” to the kid on Facebook! But yeah, the service is not free and costs $2 a month or $20 a year.
In case you are a Windows user, make sure you go through these valuable tips provided by Microsoft to ensure safety of your children on the web. It guides you about how to block inappropriate content on the web using some in-built tools on Windows and also provides information about increasing the security and privacy for your children.
Monitor and Track Kids Offline
Off late, the mobile phones have become a must-have accessory for kids. Some might argue against this, but the fact is, in US alone, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. Isn’t that scary? The good thing is mobile phones can ensure safety of the children to a great extent, provided, the parents make the right use of the technology.
Track Kids and keep them safe using Mobileminder
Mobileminder is a great tool for the parents to monitor their children’s mobile-phone activity, and to also utilize the phone’s features to ensure their safety. Mobileminder uses the phone’s GPS feature to track, locate and send the details to the parent. It also offers a feature that allows a child to send a call for help when they’re lost, which sends the child’s location on a map to the parent’s phone. It has another helpful feature called “GeoFence” which can send alerts when a child strays from a certain area.
Mobileminder also monitors the child’s text messages for keywords that parents may be watching out for. It lets parents monitor a child’s call history, text message history and the photos being taken with the phone’s camera. This can mean a breach of privacy for those kids in their teens. So take a call after due deliberation. Note that the app is currently available for Android only, while Blackberry and Symbian versions will be coming soon.
The developers of Mobileminder are clear that iPhones won’t be supported, but then there are other similar (but less comprehensive) mobile trackers for iPhone. Blackberry users can check My Mobile Watchdog which is pretty similar to Mobileminder.
Suggested Read: How to Pick the Best Mobile Device for Your Kid