The 5 Most Effective Cell Phone Surveillance Apps to Monitor Your Kids
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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.

1. MMGuardian

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 5 Best Parental Control Apps for Android 5 Best Parental Control Apps for Android If you want to control what your children are able to do on their Android phone or tablet, you need one of these apps. Read More .

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 Protect Your Child's Android Phone Using Google Family Link Protect Your Child's Android Phone Using Google Family Link Google Family Link provides a simple and sensible solution for parental control on Android devices. Here's how to use it. Read More . 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 The 10 Best Educational Apps for Kids on Every School Subject The 10 Best Educational Apps for Kids on Every School Subject These educational apps for kids let your children learn important skills in reading, math, programming, and more anytime. Read More 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)

4. KidsControl

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 The 5 Best Self Defense Apps for Personal Safety When Walking Alone The 5 Best Self Defense Apps for Personal Safety When Walking Alone These self-defense apps provide personal safety for anyone walking alone at night. Keep them on your phone for peace of mind. Read More can keep you and your family safe.

Explore more about: Personal Safety, Smartphone Security, Surveillance.

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  1. Anna
    November 28, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Better try spytomobile for phone monitoring. You can use it for free

  2. Alexis Pawn
    October 8, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    I recently used one of these app when I suspected my husband might be stepping out on me and I needed to gather enough evidence just to be sure he was being unfaithful before confronting him. At first the app seemed to be working a bit even though not as much as I expected but eventually, the updates completely stopped coming in after about 20-22 hours, it got really frustrating. Luckily for me, I checked a couple of forums &I saw referrals to "I N C F I D E L I B U S at G M A I L.C O M", who I eventually decided to contact since I was desperate &felt I had nothing to lose at that point. True to his words, he helped me gain full &unrestricted access to my husband's phone in less than 24 hours. I'm glad I used his service &I'm recommending him to anyone who may be in need of a similar service, you can always count on "I N C F I D E L I B U S at G M A I L.C O M" to deliver

  3. Brooke Chloe
    October 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

    These days spying apps are available like a germs within food. I have tried most of tracking, spying, monitoring software features. There is no doubt about the technology they have implemented. But my most concern was security, privacy, remote controlling. I tried to use a spy app mSpy, Flexispy etc. These apps were fantastic but I couldn't afford any of both because mSpy is visible to target and Flexispy is so expensive that I couldn't use that regularly. Now using TheOneSpy android spy software and it is totally secret, hidden and invisible monitoring app. The most important I did switched from iPhone platform to android platform and it was so smooth and supportive. I have unlimited chances to switch platform. Anyone of you can try it. It is up to your choice and requirements. I needed cheap and hidden app and TheOneSpy meets my requirements. You may try flexispy, mspy. They are good enough to...

  4. Lada
    June 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    There are many ways to spy on a phone.
    If you google for such apps, you'll find much info. I tried spytomobile service, it works well.

  5. Brand M
    December 25, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Just one question. Is ther a user manual for this product. I have installed it and cannot make it do anything. No setup, not tools, no nothing.

  6. carmondrake
    April 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    i use these programs to spy on phone users to get credit card
    info.. really the only use ive found so far..

  7. Lady in Distress
    March 11, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I have been the victim of stalking and harassment through use of apps like these. I'm on my fourth phone number in a month and he just keeps getting back in. I replaced my phone and changed the phone number at the same time, and immediately started getting phone calls from random numbers, so I believe he is back in again. I'm going around emailing developers now to try and get some information on the person stalking me. I have to say I'm not too impressed with these apps, and frankly, I think they would do nothing more than damage the parent-child relationship anyway. So definitely, developers, let's figure out how to prevent these apps from being installed in the first place. It's an absolute crock.

  8. Anonymous
    June 20, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    yeah why don't you teach us how to take this crap off of our phone because I'm not a child and it was put on my phone illegally depression that I was married to so why don't you tell me how to take this shit off of my phone please thank you

    • Anonymous
      August 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      I would suggest asking nicely... because no one here is obligated to help you.

    • Jay Smith
      February 6, 2018 at 2:57 am

      What were you doing to make the person you were married to do something like that to you? Lmao!! Sounds like you deserved it!!!!

  9. Amber
    February 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    "Can you think of any other useful ways to use these awesome surveillance apps? "

    Replace the word 'kids' with 'cheating spouse' and you'll find you've empowered many a victimized spouse. It's not illegal if I bought him the phone in the first place and my name's on the phone.

    Yes it must already be over but unfortunately he introduced disloyalty into the marriage and I can't leave based on 'suspicions', so it can't be officially OVER until I have proof.
    I know I heard her voice in the background IN MY HOME and found her lipstick tube in his truck which he denied along with countless other incidents, but I just have to be 100% sure and I need proof for that.

    This may be low but it's lower for him to take another 15 faithful years of my life without doing the same in return. I deserve a man who will be exclusive and won't ever make me consider stooping this low. I mean, how hard can it be to stay faithful? I've managed to turn down offers and dates from good catches because of my vow, why can't he?

    Nice apps.

    • Anonymous
      July 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Amber you had with " I can’t leave based on ‘suspicions’, so it can’t be officially OVER until I have proof." and " which he denied along with countless other incidents, but I just have to be 100% sure and I need proof for that. "
      I hope you found your needs and I hope you also have kept your sanity through it all.
      I too am in this ugly matrix of life and we do not deserve it. Wasted 20 years of my life being blind and I will not allow this to waste anymore. Here's to you Amber!

    • Stephanie
      April 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      You know you are absolutely correct. No one is obligated to do shit. So you continue to be a stalking secret squirrel spy and consign and enable the behavior of others that are Just like you. Aaaaaand while you are doing as such YOU can go phuk yourself too!

  10. Baby'sJ
    January 6, 2015 at 3:13 am

    To TLW - Yes recently I found one that works on iPhone called iKeyMonitor. But it has no call interception feature. Just things like sms, gps, whatsapp, safari and so on. Free trial is available. Maybe helpful to parents who want to monitor kids: http://ikeymonitor.com/

  11. Sunsetwebproject
    December 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, and how will you like it when your tech savvy teenager turns the application on you. I'll bet you won't be so happy you brought in the house in the first place. Good luck explaining why you think it's okay for you to spy on him, but are really, really upset when you find out it is happening to you. You get what you give. What comes around, will go around. Good luck.

  12. Sunsetwebproject
    December 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Kids also need space and freedom to grow and evolve, as well as privacy and boundaries. Understandably, there are advantages, and sometimes the need, to know if you can trust a sitter or another person. These apps are advertised for "parents", but they attract a lot of creepy motives and behaviors. We need an equal amount of attention to detecting these devices illegally used by undignified losers. The public, not just web savvy developers and tweeters, but people of all walks should know how easy it is to violate their privacy and more....and measures need to be readily available for adults to enforce not only their personal boundaries, but their legal rights when casually violated by the type of people who would do so. I happen to be related to someone like that...unfortunately. It's disgusting.

  13. Mark
    November 26, 2010 at 6:31 am

    With all these surveillance apps your going to need a fair amount of power. We have you covered, Check out our site: http://www.thebatteryonline.com , We do stock batteries for this phone.

  14. King
    November 8, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I can say that my Just5 phone is really effective in answering my kids’ needs when it comes to safety. One time I went to work and my daughter is in her swimming lessons when I received a message saying she is having an emergency. The automatic voice call of her Just5 phone enabled me to talk to her. She had an accident and is currently inside the school clinic. Just5 phone really works well. Check http://www.just5.com for details.

  15. King
    November 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I can say that my Just5 phone is really effective in answering my kids’ needs when it comes to safety. One time I went to work and my daughter is in her swimming lessons when I received a message saying she is having an emergency. The automatic voice call of her Just5 phone enabled me to talk to her. She had an accident and is currently inside the school clinic. Just5 phone really works well. Check http://www.just5.com for details.

  16. Terry
    October 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    "I found something you might want to try. These are the Smartphone’s that is very useful in giving safety and protection of your kids and family.
    Just try to visit this Site and see how it works: http://safekidzone.com/

  17. Terry
    October 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    "I found something you might want to try. These are the Smartphone’s that is very useful in giving safety and protection of your kids and family.
    Just try to visit this Site and see how it works: http://safekidzone.com/

  18. TLW
    October 23, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Ryan, I located two. The first is "Night Recorder". They slipped it by Apple by listing it as a health app. Lol. It's noise activated and works great. The second is "Security Cam". It was developed by Crowded Road. They have a couple handy apps. I'll skip telling you what I did with the use of these Apps. Use your imagination and factor in my Grand Daughter :)

    P.S. I'm so pleased the link to your name brings me to the articles you've written. I was dreading trying to locate this article :)

  19. TLW
    October 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Ryan, I located two. The first is "Night Recorder". They slipped it by Apple by listing it as a health app. Lol. It's noise activated and works great. The second is "Security Cam". It was developed by Crowded Road. They have a couple handy apps. I'll skip telling you what I did with the use of these Apps. Use your imagination and factor in my Grand Daughter :)

    P.S. I'm so pleased the link to your name brings me to the articles you've written. I was dreading trying to locate this article :)

  20. Danny Wilkins54
    October 17, 2010 at 5:14 am

    hmm...this is creepy

  21. Ryan Dube
    October 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Eric - you make an excellent point. On the flip side, instead of using the surveillance as a "watch out because I'm watching you" tactic, it could be used as a way to keep kids (such as teens) honest.

    Letting your kids make their own mistakes is well and good, and trusting that they're telling you the truth and giving them freedom is also good. However, there's also something to be said for catching your teen in a lie (because we all know they eventually choose to lie to you to test the limits) - and showing them the ramifications of lying to you, is an important part of establishing a healthy level of discipline and laying down the point early on that you are not the type of parent that is clueless and can be steamrolled.

    With that said - there are parents out there that believe in extreme leniency, and others that believe it's best to be extremely strict. I personally believe in a little of both (provide plenty of rope and hope you've taught them well enough in the early years not to hang themselves) - but every parent believes their way is the right way!

    With all that aside, the apps are pretty useful for a multitude of purposes. :-)

  22. Ryan Dube
    October 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi TLW - I'm not sure. I have a colleague here at MUO that said he looked and couldn't find any for the iPhone either.

  23. Ryan Dube
    October 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Eric - you make an excellent point. On the flip side, instead of using the surveillance as a "watch out because I'm watching you" tactic, it could be used as a way to keep kids (such as teens) honest.

    Letting your kids make their own mistakes is well and good, and trusting that they're telling you the truth and giving them freedom is also good. However, there's also something to be said for catching your teen in a lie (because we all know they eventually choose to lie to you to test the limits) - and showing them the ramifications of lying to you, is an important part of establishing a healthy level of discipline and laying down the point early on that you are not the type of parent that is clueless and can be steamrolled.

    With that said - there are parents out there that believe in extreme leniency, and others that believe it's best to be extremely strict. I personally believe in a little of both (provide plenty of rope and hope you've taught them well enough in the early years not to hang themselves) - but every parent believes their way is the right way!

    With all that aside, the apps are pretty useful for a multitude of purposes. :-)

  24. TLW
    October 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Ryan, is there anything like these apps for the iPhone. I've looked and man, I can't one.

  25. Eric
    October 15, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I'm sorry, but parents need to learn to let go. Your kid is never going to grow up if you are watching them all the time. Do you really want your kid to think that you can hear anything they say at any time? You're going to drive your kid to paranoia thinking that there is always someone watching their every move. Yes kids will do stupid things and get in trouble, but that is all part of growing up. You learn a lot from your mistakes; kids need to make mistakes and do stupid things. They need to learn why they should and should not do things beyond just "My parents are watching my every move and I'll get in trouble."

    If you think the only thing keep your kid safe is your ability to keep them under constant surveillance then how do you expect them to function as an adult? And one thing that I've noticed from my experience as a teen is that the less the parents trust the kid, the less the kid respects the parents.

  26. Eric
    October 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I'm sorry, but parents need to learn to let go. Your kid is never going to grow up if you are watching them all the time. Do you really want your kid to think that you can hear anything they say at any time? You're going to drive your kid to paranoia thinking that there is always someone watching their every move. Yes kids will do stupid things and get in trouble, but that is all part of growing up. You learn a lot from your mistakes; kids need to make mistakes and do stupid things. They need to learn why they should and should not do things beyond just "My parents are watching my every move and I'll get in trouble."

    If you think the only thing keep your kid safe is your ability to keep them under constant surveillance then how do you expect them to function as an adult? And one thing that I've noticed from my experience as a teen is that the less the parents trust the kid, the less the kid respects the parents.

    • best dad34
      March 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      I have noticed that this is true with my sons

    • best dad34
      March 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Yah let's get our kids to value their privacy before there is no longer such a thing