Giving a smartphone to your child is a modern day rite of passage. You might trust them enough to use their phone only for games and emergency phone calls, but you can’t guarantee that they’re always using their phone for the right reasons.
Turning to surveillance apps can put your mind at ease. These apps can keep track of your kid’s smartphone usage, and some can even monitor their current location. This way, you’ll never have to worry about your child’s safety both on the web and out in the real world.
MMGuardian gives you total control over your kid’s web access, messages, app use, and contacts. To get started, you have to download the parent version of the app on your own phone, register for an account, and then download the child version on your kid’s phone.
Once you download both apps, you can enable all of MMGuardian’s features. Not only does it come with a map to visually see your child’s location, but it also comes with a feature that lets you input schedules and track your kid at specific times of the day.
MMGuardian also allows you to block specific contacts and unsafe websites. If you’re suspicious that your child uses their phone too much, you can set time limits that will lock your child’s phone at certain times.
Download: MMGuardian (Free, $3/month for Premium Plan)
Worried about who your child is messaging, and what they’re saying? You can use MMGuardian to manage that as well. This makes it a very versatile cell phone surveillance and parental control app for Android.
2. Google Family Link
When you want to keep track of your child’s internet usage as well as their location, use Google Family Link to protect your child. Like most phone surveillance apps, you have to download the parent version of the app on your phone, and the child version of the app on your kid’s.
Once you get everything set up, you can view your child’s web activity in an easy-to-read chart. It shows you each app your child has recently used, along with the amount of time spent on the apps. When your child wants to download a new app, you’ll receive a notification that lets you approve or disapprove the download. This makes it easier to encourage your child to play educational apps for kids instead.
When your child is out with friends or at school, you can see their location on a map. You can also opt to lock your kid’s device when you don’t want them to use their phone.
Download: Google Family Link (Free)
3. AllTracker Family
If you’re looking for an audio surveillance app combined with a mobile surveillance app, AllTracker Family is a great choice. However, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access more of the advanced features.
The free version still gives you plenty of tracking tools. You can monitor your child’s battery level, check their last used app, keep track of their calls, and see their location. You’ll also get the chance to view helpful statistics on messages, calls, photos, contacts, and deleted pictures.
On the other hand, paying a monthly fee gives you access to your child’s photos and videos. It even lets you listen to audio through the microphone on your child’s smartphone, and allows you to use the smartphone’s camera to stream live video. You can use AllTracker Family to save and review your child’s phone calls, as well as the recordings from the mic and the camera.
Download: AllTracker Family (Free, $4/month for Basic Plan)
KidsControl offers a less invasive approach to child surveillance apps. Instead of functioning as a remote listening app, or an app that monitors your child’s internet use, it works as a way to monitor your kid’s location.
Upon opening the app, you’ll see a map with the location of your child marked on it. The icon will show the battery percentage of your kid’s phone, and if the phone is on vibration. When your child’s phone reaches a battery level of 15%, a notification gets sent to your phone.
Clicking on the info box gives you more detailed information regarding your child’s location history. You can also opt to set locations as “dangerous,” and get notified when your child enters them. KidsControl lets you connect the app to your child’s smartwatch for even more convenience.
Download: KidsControl (Free, offers in-app purchases)
5. Find My Kids
Find My Kids lets you view your child’s location on a map, and even listen in to the teacher, babysitter, or the friends that talk to your child. If you try to get in touch with your child, but they don’t answer, you can sound an alarm on your child’s phone. This makes it very useful for those moments when your child’s phone is on vibrate.
You can also use the app to chat with your child—open the built-in messaging system to send texts and stickers to check in with your kid. To make sure that you child doesn’t spend too much time playing games, you can keep track of which apps they use throughout the day. Like the KidsControl app, this surveillance app for Android also allows you to view the battery level of your kid’s phone.
Want to make sure that your kid gets to school on time? Enable notifications when your child gets to school and comes home. Use Find My Kids to take note of your child’s location history, and make sure they’re not visiting any sketchy parts of town.
Download: Find My Kids (Free, offers in-app purchases)
Surveillance Apps Keep Your Child Secure
Some might view surveillance of your child as a breach of privacy, but it’s really in their best interest. Audio surveillance apps and GPS trackers exist for your child’s safety—they help you ensure your child isn’t frequenting any dangerous locations or getting bullied.
You might always worry about your child’s safety without thinking about your own. When visiting unsafe areas, you still need to protect yourself. Fortunately, these self defense apps for personal safety can keep you and your family safe.