Children grow up way too fast these days, and handing them a mini-computer in the form of a smartphone only contributes to that. While access to the internet puts a world on knowledge at their fingertips, it also paves way for using any number of social networks available.
While most social media is age-restricted, the advent of text messaging has taken most conversations from face-to-face to screen-to-screen, making it nearly impossible to know what your little ones are getting into.
Trust is one thing, but if you have a kid that's constantly getting into trouble, sneaking out of the house, or you speculate may be indulging in drugs, then it's integral to their welfare that you keep track of them. But alas, some things can't be discovered rummaging through drawers or eavesdropping.
Before you go installing this app on your kid's device, read on to find out how make sure you do it without getting caught.
You obviously don't want to notify your kid of the application, so install before giving them their new phone, or be stealthy and snatch their phone while they sleep—whatever it takes.
To comply with Google's app policy, the Play Store version includes an ongoing notification that rests on the status bar. Though, as stated by the developers, "If your child has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, you may want to consider using our completely hidden version."'—I assume most of us will want this version anyway.
All that needs to be done after installing the app is opening it up and following the prompts. You will be required to create an account, label the device being tracked, then sign on to the SMSTracker site to activate the service.
With your account information handy, go to the login page to begin accessing texts. Once in, click the SMS Log tab.
Towards the bottom you'll see a time stamp, as well as fields for From, To, and the body of the message.
The free version is limited to texts, but if you really want to monitor someone, purchase premium features starting at $2/month, like MMS tracking, GPS tracking, call tracking, and browser tracking. Personally, SMS is enough with these tweens.
Now, let's also be real for a second—this entire process and application can be implemented on others in your life, kids or not. I'm not condoning it, but you do what you want. Just don't blame me when you get caught.
Oh... and if you're working from home these days, be sure to check out Gadget Hacks' Working-From-Home Essentials.