Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones

If you are a parent concerned about what your child is doing with their mobile phone– whether or not they’re talking to strangers, for example– you may want to keep reading. This topic was spawned by a question from such a parent.

And if you’re the kind of person who’s easily agitated about technology and the erosion of privacy, a Luddite, a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist, or anyone else who hasn’t quite come to terms with the modern age we’re living in– you might want to stop reading here.
You’ve been warned. I will not respond to your e-mail.

Regular readers (and tech-savvy people in general) know that your computer use at work is monitored. And you’ve probably heard of “spyware” and “keyloggers” that record what you type (my readers have, and that’s fer sher). And you know that GPS devices can pinpoint your location.shhh

And you know that cameras (usually hidden) are being installed everywhere– as a crime and terrorism preventative, and to stop red-light runners. Cities compete to have the highest percentage of camera coverage.

And you know that modern phones allow text messaging, the sending of photos and movies, and surfing the Internet. (They are becoming more like little laptops everyday.)

And you know that the Internet can be a dangerous place. Especially for kids.
(read Monitoring Your Teenager’s Internet Usage – Should You?)

And thus the parent’s dilemma. If you have a child, the day will come when they want a phone. I think that happens around the ages of 7-9, these days.
And being kids, they won’t want just any old phone, but they will want a “kewl” phone; one with all the bell’s and whistles. (Your hands are kind of tied on this.. nobody makes a “plain old cellphone” anymore. Haven’t for years.)

“But Mom, everybody’s got one!”

The answer, for you, may be to give your child a phone that allows you to see what they text and IM, control who their “contacts” are, and, maybe, even record their calls. It’s called “parental monitoring”, and the extent to which you use it is up to you.
[note: if reading that made your blood pressure go up a notch, refer now to the second paragraph.]

You don’t need to buy a special phone.. or even a new phone, to monitor your child’s activity.
* There is commercial software that can be installed on every type of phone– such as RADAR and MobileSpy. These can notify you in “real time” if a parameter you set is being broken. iPhone users can look at safe eyes.
[note: did your employer give you your cellphone? Think, people. Think. Let’s add two and two here.]

* There are USB dongles that read a phone’s SIM chip –even if your child’s erased their messages– for $50.

So, if you’re a concerned parent, you have several options that will allow you to find some middle ground. And if you’re a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist.. well, friend, it’s twice as bad as you dare to realize and it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s free link(s): Concerned parents who have a child reaching the driving age (and Big Brother Conspiracy Theorists) might read my article “What Your Car Is Saying About You.
Or you can give them a Guardian Angel cell phone which reports their location and speed..

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 21, 2008 - Posted by | advice, cellular, gadgets, hardware, how to, IM, Internet, iPhone, kids and the Internet, privacy, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. As a tech Blogger myself, I can assure your readers that you have not overstated the case; parents should be very concerned with the dangers to their children, that the Internet presents.

    Monitoring a child is prudent, given that most cell phones are now Internet connected devices.

    Recently, I was asked by a parent for advice on developing limits for his 9 year old who had his own BlackBerry. To say I was astonished that a 9 year old had a BlackBerry would be putting it mildly.

    Interesting article. Thanks.

    Bill Mullins


    Comment by Bill Mullins | October 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] child’s cell phone usage (most cell phones today are really Internet connected devices), see “Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones” by my tech wizard friend TechPaul. Tags: anxiety, Bill Mullins, child, communicate, danger, […]


    Pingback by How Does Your Teenager Use The Internet? - Should You Care? « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts | March 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] child’s cell phone usage (most cell phones today are really Internet connected devices), see “Parental Monitoring and Cellular Phones” by my tech wizard friend […]


    Pingback by Instant Messaging – Tips You Need to Know « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Interesting article. It’s good for parents to monitor the kids. However, there should be an age limit for kids to be allowed to have a cellular phone. In my personal opinion kids younger than 11 or 12 years old shouldn’t have one. And if they have one. It should only be used for communicating with the family members for security reasons. The kids will have plenty of time later on. To be social with their friends on the phone and the internet.


    Comment by dunnderboy | April 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Dunnderboy,
      While I agree with your premise.. (and maybe even the ages selected).. How would an age limit be enforced?


      Comment by techpaul | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] additional information on teenage cell phone usage, checkout “Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones” on fellow Blogger TechPaul’s […]


    Pingback by Sexting – A Real Problem or An Overreaction? « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] cell phone usage (most cell phones today are really Internet connected devices), please read “Parental Monitoring and Cellular Phones” by my tech wizard friend […]


    Pingback by Where Does Your Child Go On The Internet? « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts | June 25, 2009 | Reply

  7. Cellphone spying should be done when we want to supervise and monitor our children. Children should be guided accordingly on how to use their cellphones. Parents are truly glad to this mobile phone spy devices.


    Comment by Anonymous | April 14, 2011 | Reply

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  9. […] most controversial post: Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones If you are a parent concerned about what your child is doing with their mobile phone– whether or […]


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