How Can I Monitor My Child’s Text Messages For Free ?
Long gone are those days where the stranger danger is not about someone unknown outside and bullying is not by some kids we see face-to-face at school/college. The pressure is not about finishing your class projects, grades or getting a prom date. The internet has changed the face of everything around us. Cybercrimes are taking tremendous toll on every level and a casual chat room of your child if unchecked can bring in the worst person right into your home. Monitoring your child’s smart phone messages is really an important one for every parent. If you are asking how can I monitor my child’s text messages for free? This article might help you with that. We can’t even imagine the necessity to monitor your child’s messages and internet presence with a hawk eye. Let’s see about that in detail.
Best Ways To Monitor Your Child’s/Teenage Kid’s Text Messages
One of the best and advisable ways to track your child’s text messages without them knowing is to go for State-Of-Art Parental Control Apps. You can find unique parental control app’s specific to android and iOS based phones, tablets and PC’s, so go for it. They can help you monitor/track text messages and not just that, they can do more. They can help you stay in track with your child’s location, online activities and even block a site sitting at home when a pop-up of inappropriate content shows up on your kid’s smart phone/laptop/Computers.
With good Parental Control App’s you can set more restrictions and avoid many cyber disturbances to reach your children and also make sure they get the benefit of internet and knowledge sharing. It’s a must to have quality parental control app to keep you kid safe online. Before we get in to kid, it’s important for parents to stay abreast on potential cyber risks, threats and crimes in order to make their child understand, so always stay up-to-date with cyber knowledge and trends.
What Kind Of Parental Control App You Need ?
You might wonder that smartphones, operating systems, apps and tabs comes with settings and restrictions to block inappropriate content. It’s not enough. If you want to monitor your child’s messages, then chatting is not enough, you need to scan their entire internet presence and guard them.
Important Parental Control App Features You Need To Look-For
A good parental control app will have many advanced features than simple content blocking settings for your child. You need to pay but the benefits and kid’s safety part is what’s important for us.Look for advanced features like:
- SIM Change Notifications
- Remote Lock facilities, Remote access facilities
- GPS, Geo-Fencing
- Monitoring your child’s text messages, Chats, Contact Details, Calendar Events, Bookmarks, Email
- Monitoring your child’s Social Media platforms like snapchat, FB, Photos & videos, Kik, Whatsapp, Skype, Viber etc.
- Key logger facility
- Websites visited, internet browsing history, website blocking
- Keyword restriction, message sending limitations
- App limiting, App downloading check, App blocking
It doesn’t stop with that. A good parental control app should also make sure they provide:
- Software Updates on time to meet current trends
- Excellent customer support
- Live chat as when needed
- Email communication
- Good Help/Support facilities
- Should be Monitoring and not prying.
Read/Monitor Child’s Text Messages For Free With Android and iOS Devices
To Monitor/Read Child’s Messages for Free on Apple iOS Devices
So are you asking how can I monitor my childs text messages on iPhone ?It’s simple task with a parental apps. One advantage of apple iOS is that you have good sync options to try than android platforms. For apple platforms, iCloud credentials are a must i.e. Email and Password. If your kid changes his/her iCloud credentials then it’s tough. You’ll lose the sync unless you update yourself with their new iCloud account password or email.
The simple steps to monitor your child’s iMessages on iPhone to iCloud Sync
- Open your child’s iPhone and go to Settings
- Tap in the Username and select iCloud
- Turn ON messages tab and this will began uploading all the messages to your iCloud
- You will need another apple device, something unused like old iPad or iPhone.
- Sign in with same iCloud account and wait till the sync is complete.
Read messages from an iMac Device:
- Create a new user account on your iMac i.e. MacOS device
- Go to Messages app. Try entering the iCloud credentials of your child
- Under the message settings > Accounts > set “You can be reached for messages at:” to your child’s personal phone number.
- You keep this account running in the background and in time it starts collecting messages from your child’s device.
To Monitor/Read Child’s Messages for Free on Android Devices
Android is drastically different from apple. You cannot read your child’s text messages in android devices unless you use parental control apps in android. You have android compatible parental control apps like KidsGuard Pro, Boomerang Parental Control, Cocospy which will help monitor your child’s activities.
Since it’s an android a Gmail account becomes a must. So if you get to know your child’s personal email and password only then you might have chance. As you enter in to new android device or using and old unused one, the first thing the android will prompt is to sign in with Gmail account. If you did, it starts to sync thereby you can retrieve your child’s messages, Gmail’s, pictures, videos and Whatsapp messages. So other than that, using a parental control app is the only way to read your child’s text messages.
If your kid is using your phone and he/she hasn’t got a separate one for them yet then it’s easy to put restrictions and also track their messages. These steps are only good for kids and not for elder/teen kid’s as they will be more aware of using the smartphones.
- You can set up restricted separate user profile for your kid when handing the android device other than your personal profile.
- Let he/she use separate user profile but keep the administrative rights to yourself.
- Make sure you don’t show them the facility of switching user modes
- Set permissions and limit access to apps, downloads, data speed limits, app’s content etc.
- Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Multiple Users > Add User > create a separate profile for your child and hand them over.
Reading your child’s text messages can be done. But, the internet has opened backdoors where it’s not just parent monitoring the child. There’s always someone looking for ‘how to read someone’s messages without having their phone’. It’s a piece-of-cake for cyber criminals but on the other hand you can make your kid safe online and for that checking messages will alone not help.
Ensuring Your Child’s Safety
Apart from reading the text messages, your kids phone will show where they are. So the parents can make sure that their kids are doing safe. If they lost on somewhere with their phone or their phone lost on somewhere, the geofencing in the android keylogger will notify them. You can use this same keylogger on iPhone too. So check whether the parental apps come with keylogger feature.
It is more helpful when the device is stolen too. You can track the location of your mobile from the account that comes with the app. You will also be able see the activities of the thief even if he/she changed the Sim card. It is more helpful for law enforcement services to track criminals. One thing for sure, you can stop worrying about your child’s phone ever getting stolen because you can always find it.
Understand the Internet Acronyms/Texting Slangs In Your Child’s Messages
Their messages can be coded or rich with slang you might not understand so you need to update online language. In addition to learning on how can I monitor my Child’s text messages for free every parent should know these acronyms as well. Online Acronyms keep changing time to time so keep yourself updated. Check for any such slang or acronyms on your kid’s chats. Check to make sure your kid is safe and also see what type of person is on the other side behind the phone. It can be your kid’s friend, new acquaintance, stranger or your neighbor or even well-known person, just whoever it is your kid is chatting, the slang and chat acronyms can reveal them. Familiarize with the internet slang’s/abbreviations, pay attention to what your kid’s are talking in their messages.If you see any of the below acronyms or teenage texting slang while reading your child’s messages, then it’s time to take steps. The acronyms keeps changing but still some of them are:
KPC – keeping Parents Clueless
WTTP – Want To Trade Pictures
TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me
P911 – Parent Alert
WYRN – What’s Your Real Name
GNOC – Get Naked On Camera
WUF – Where are You From
NIFOC – Nude In Front Of the Computer
ITS – Intense Text Sex
PIR – Parents In Room
PAL – Parents Are Listening
1174 – Meet At A Wild Party
FINSTA – Fake Instagram Account
LMIRL – Let’s Meet In Real Life
RU/18 – Are You Over 18?
ASL – Age, Sex, Location
FWB – Friends With Benefits
SUGARPIC – dirty/erotic pictures.
These are very few acronyms and slangs in teenager’s text messages. For more to know you can check in Parental Protection software firm BARK, which has released a graphic depicting today’s text slang. You can visit McAfee™ official site and under ‘Family Safety’ the firm has shared about all the recent risky illegal and highly offensive text slangs for the sake of educating the parents to become aware.
Monitor Your Child’s/Teenage Kid’s Digital Footprints: It’s Not Enough To Just Monitor/Read Your Kid’s Text Messages.
Reading your child’s messages has become an old school way. Internet and the nuances are much more intelligent. What you actually need is to watch over your child/teen kid’s digital footprints and monitor them. Digital footprint is set of information about a particular person/individual that exists online as a result of his/her online activity. Digital footprints flag the way for more than 90% of intrusion, privacy data gathering and other cyber disturbances for child/teens who use internet from home/school/college.
The Digital Footprints
Secretly reading your child’s text messages will not be of good help alone. As a parent you need to closely monitor your child’s social media presence which is an active digital footprint. Every time your child/teen kid posts something online, fills out any forms, shares content, forwards messages or even a shopping website collecting your postal address data creates a digital trail aka digital footprints. Imagine what hackers and intruders would do with it once they get access to your footprint data.
- Active Digital Footprint of your kid involves their ‘social media platform presence like posting on FB, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc. Monitor them. See what they post and who they
- Posting their achievements, college degrees, day they get their driving license, college/school trips, their intern places, job interview dates and such things are real safety deal-breakers.
- The Apps they use are like live digital footprint which keeps gathering data on all their activities. Educate them about safe trust- listed apps usage.
- Filling online forms, doing pop-up/personality quizzes (which is a real deal-breaker in stealing personal data and gather our personal mental attitude), web-site sign-ups, agreeing to install cookies, flash content, adobe contents etc. is another way of digital foot printing. Make sure you monitor you explain the risks in it to your children.
- Make them understand the need for positive footprint they leave online. Schools, colleges, employers and law enforcement can use an individual’s digital footprints as a character assessment.
The word is fancy, but the thing is get close with your kid and watch them. See if they are emotionally well and if you notice anything out of normal approach them gradually and talk because handling cyber bullying takes more than just advice. It is one of the worst cybercrime. You might be monitoring your child’s text messages but cyber bullying can take other forms like personal phone calls, emails, social media poking’s, believing in online reputation through social media comments/likes/subscription , posting mean content about fellow kids/friends, sharing personal pictures and can even go up to making your kid scared of even touching his/her computers. So tread in this area carefully.
As a parent you can do so much to free your kid from cyber bullying. If you notice your kid’s behavior in more emotionally down distanced state, then instead of checking their phone messages you need to divert yourself in to checking their social media contents, friend’s lists, talk with their fellow mates and finally, start talking with them directly and slowly deal with it and bring them out.
Our Final Thoughts
Monitoring your child’s messages is becoming important. When you look at the monstrosity the internet is casting today, keeping your kid, Family safe from online cyber-attacks and cyber-predators is a must. So just instead of just monitoring your child’s text messages, guide them when they need or when the time arrives. Most importantly good communication between you and your kid is the key. Make sure you monitor your kids but not invade them.