Tuesday, 17 March 2015 17:02

TeenSafe monitors your child's communications - but who else monitors TeenSafe?

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Closely monitoring your child's mobile phone or tablet use is a contentious issue. But if it is something you believe you should be doing and you trust an overseas company with your child's communications data and metadata, then the TeenSafe monitoring software is now available in Australia.

TeenSafe allows parents to monitor their children's incoming and outgoing text messages, web browsing history, contacts, call logs, Facebook, Instagram, and on iOS only iMessage, WhatsApp and Kik Messenger activity plus deleted text messages.

If you're worried about sexting, TeenSafe might not be the complete answer. "It is TeenSafe's policy to not display images or videos send via text from their phone. You can see that an image or video was sent (when and to whom) but you will not be able to view the image or video itself," according to the company's web site. Still, the content of the surrounding text messages would probably provide a clue.

TeenSafe is quite stealthy. It is supposedly undetectable on iOS, and is implemented as a background app on Android. While it's up to the parent to decide whether to tell their child that it has been installed, that's probably a good idea in order to avoid a major conflict if and when it shows that a discussion about online activity is necessary.

On the other hand, it might encourage the child to start using social networking and communications apps that aren't monitored by TeenSafe.

Given current concerns about telecommunications privacy, parents might also ask whether they are happy to allow a commercial organisation - especially one based overseas - to vacuum up so much of their children's online activity.

"Since our US launch in 2011, TeenSafe has received an overwhelming amount of positive response, signups and personal testimony from parents," said TeenSafe CEO Rawdon Messenger.

"Our mobile monitoring technology has opened the eyes of thousands of parents, allowing them the visibility to detect problems early and act accordingly or simply be assured that their children are okay.

"We are excited to offer TeenSafe in Australia, reaching parents who want to ensure their children are protected in this mobile digital age."

The service costs US$14.95 a month for an unlimited number of devices. A seven-day free trial is offered.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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