Teens are more connected than ever before, with 92% reported being online everyday. So many of today’s youth have a smartphone to stay in contact with their friends, but many parents end up feeling left out of the loop. The built-in iPhone parental controls can help filter out the bad so your kids only see the good.
Making mistakes is all part of the teenage experience, but you can’t blame parents for wanting to help their kids make the best choices. Keeping an eye on your child’s smartphone use allows you some control over what they see and helps guide their choices.
Using Family Sharing and Restrictions
Apple’s Family Sharing is free and allows you to keep some control over each device in the family. Everything from a shared calendar and photo album, to purchase requests in the App Store. Although this service doesn’t allow you to monitor your child’s messages, it does turn on Find My Friends by default, and allows you to limit purchases on the account.
You can go even deeper by enabling Restrictions on your child’s iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and then set a passcode to enable this feature. Here you can block several features, enable website filtering and require a password for all purchases in the App Store or iTunes.
Simple iPhone parental controls
If you’re just wondering where your child is, Apple’s Find My Friends app is a free and easy way to monitor their location. The app allows you to share each other’s location, so you’ll be able to check where your child’s iPhone is at any moment.
Basic text message monitoring can be done on your cellular carrier’s website. The online billing keeps track of where phone calls and text messages are being sent and received from. You won’t be able to see the actual messages, but at least this gives you an idea of who your teen is in contact with.
There is still one last way to monitor what your child receives in iMessage. Netsanity has a full article about how to setup monitoring for free in iOS 9 by using the same Apple ID to forward messages to a parent’s phone.
The disappearing act of messages
There are more than a few messaging apps in the App Store which your teen might be using outside of texts and iMessages. Services like WhatsApp, Kik, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are all messaging apps where your child’s activity can’t easily be tracked.
Disappearing photos and messages is a new trend with apps like Snapchat. Even if you tried to monitor everything your teen says online, messages get deleted before you the chance.
Paid iPhone parental control apps
If you’re still interested in installing monitoring software for your child’s phone, here are some of the best services available right now. Each of these is available with a monthly subscription fee and needs to be installed on the phone in order to work.
Ultimately, monitoring your child’s every move online can be a little sneaky if you don’t let them know. The iPhone parental controls should be more than enough to keep track of where your child is and what apps and websites they can visit. When it comes time to buy your next iPhone for your child, there’s plenty of ways to monitor their usage.