Internet Resources for Parents
Cell Phone Monitoring
Cell Phone Monitoring: Qustodio
Qustodio lets you monitor chat app use as well as text and email messages without rooting or jailbreaking your child’s phone, which keeps the device secure and any warranties intact. It monitors an impressive amount of activity on your child’s smartphone, including newly added contacts, images sent from or to your child, and photos and videos your child takes. Its detailed reports let you see exactly where your child has been and what they accessed using their device. From the parent portal or mobile app, you can adjust settings, including blocking access to web browsers and specific webpages.
The program comes with a minimum of five licenses, so you can protect multiple devices at once. It also runs invisibly on your child’s cell phone, and it gives you the power to remotely lock the device.
Budget Cell Phone Tracking
Budget Cell Phone Tracking: WebWatcher
WebWatcher is a budget cell phone monitoring program that helps you track your kids’ smartphone activity to make sure they aren’t viewing inappropriate content or talking to dangerous people. You can view basic activity, such as calls and texts, along with the apps they have installed and their GPS location and history. The program also shows you low-resolution versions of any photos taken with the device. A single license costs much less than other, similar cell phone trackers.
Easy to Use Cell Phone Controls
Easy to Use Cell Phone Controls: Mobile Spy
Mobile Spy is one of the best cell phone monitoring solutions because it is easy for parents to use and difficult for children to work around. It’s easy to install the program as well as monitor activity logs, set web filters and block apps from the online parent portal.
The software logs deleted content such as texts and photos. You can also see browser searches and history, including searches and sites your child viewed in incognito mode, which otherwise cannot be tracked. One of this program’s most impressive and powerful features is its live control panel, which lets you view most activity as it happens so you aren’t left waiting for updated reports and statistics.
Mobile App Blocking
Mobile App Blocking: Net Nanny
Net Nanny lets you track your kids’ internet activity as they browse on their smartphones, and it has powerful tools to block apps and websites.
The software makes it easy to limit the kind of content your child has access to thanks to its built-in filter. You can block certain categories of sites, such as those that deal with pornography or drugs, or blacklist specific websites and apps so your child can’t access them. The program also has a whitelist where you can add sites and programs you are okay with them using.
In addition, you can block phone numbers you don’t want your children sending or receiving texts or calls from. Net Nanny also alerts you if your child searches for certain keywords using their cell phone’s internet browser.
Older Device Compatibility
Mobistealth is a good choice if your child uses an older cell phone model since it is one of the few programs that is compatible with iPhones, Android and BlackBerry cell phones. It also works with all major cell phone carries. This means your child can use an old hand-me-down cell phone instead of the newest and most expensive model, but you also don’t have to worry about purchasing another program if you do upgrade. You need to purchase a separate license for each phone you track, but you can monitor them all on one parent control dashboard on the Mobistealth website.
As a parent, you do your best to raise your children and prepare them for adulthood. Along the way, you can get a little extra help from cell phone monitoring software. It can help you teach them responsibility and time management while also protecting them from inappropriate content.
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- Bullying and Cyberbullying Resources: A directory of hand-picked resources to help kids, parents and caregivers of people dealing with bullying and cyberbullying. Maintained by ConnectSafely’s sister site, SafeKids.com.
- Childnet International – A London-based nonprofit organization, Childnet provides online safety education to youth, parents, educators, and policymakers with a great deal of input from young people themselves. Childnet also serves as the UK’s national Safer Internet Centre.
- Crimes Against Children Research Center – According to the CCRC, its mission is “to combat crimes against children by providing high-quality research and statistics to the public, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and other child welfare practitioners.” Based at the University of New Hampshire, the CCRC “is concerned with research about the nature of crimes including child abduction, homicide, rape, assault, and physical and sexual abuse as well as their impact.”
- Cyberbullying Research Center – Founded and operated by researchers Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja, the Cyberbullying Research Center is “dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents. Cyberbullying can be defined as ‘willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices’.”
- CyberTipline.com – The US’s congressionally mandated CyberTipline is “a reporting mechanism for cases of child sexual exploitation including child pornography, online enticement of children for sex acts, molestation of children outside the family, sex tourism of children, child victims of prostitution, and unsolicited obscene material sent to a child.”
- Embrace Civility in the Digital Age – operated by Eugene, Ore.-based Internet educator and author Nancy Willard, the provides advice and resources for schools’ effective prevention of and intervention against cyberbullying and other Internet-related risks.
- Enough is Enough – a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting kids from pornography as well as sexual predators. They tend to take a bit more of a rules-based approach than we do, but we respect their commitment to and passion for keeping kids safe and admire their CEO Donna Rice Hughes.
- Family Online Safety Institute – FOSI is an international non-profit organization that facilitates the meeting of thought leaders in technology and policy in order to find innovative solutions for children’s online safety.
- GetNetWise.org – Run by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Internet Education Foundation, GetNetWise is one of the Web’s most comprehensive collections of information about children’s Internet safety and family computer security. The IEF also educates US lawmakers through the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee.
- IKeepSafe – The organizatin’s missing is “to give parents, educators, and policymakers the information and tools which empower them to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the Internet.” The group is known for its Generation Safe project that “helps the whole school community navigate the digital environment by providing a comprehensive set of resources for all stakeholders: professional development (online videos), incident management, and a comprehensive self assessment.”
- NetSmartz.org – online-safety education for kids, parents, educators, and law enforcement from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (which also operates the CyberTipline)
- SafeKids.com – one of the Net’s oldest and most comprehensive Internet safety sites, founded in 1996 by ConnectSafely CEO Larry Magid.