Can I Monitor My Child’s Text Messages on the iPhone?

monitor text messagesMany parents are concerned about the texting habits of their children and with whom they communicate. I receive many questions from parents wanting to monitor their child’s text messages and iMessages. Unfortunately, there is no quick, easy, and free solution that will allow you to monitor everything.

There are ways to keep track of your child’s iPhone activities. However, it can be a little challenging because of all the different ways your child can communicate with others.

Understanding the Messaging Options

The iPhone is capable of sending and receiving regular SMS text messages as well as iMessages. SMS text messages are managed by the cellular provider according to the child’s text messaging plan. An iMessage is managed by Apple and can only be sent between Apple devices.

In addition to SMS text messages and iMessages, your child can download a host of other third-party Internet-based messaging apps such as Text Free, Text Plus, Viber, and other instant message and social media apps. These Internet-based messaging apps provide additional avenues for your child to communicate with others.

Using a Professional Monitoring Service

If you don’t mind paying a monthly fee, a professional monitoring service such as TeenSafe provides a fairly simple solution for monitoring your child’s iPhone activities. There are also many monitoring apps such as PhoneSheriff, mSpy, and Mobile Spy. Of these examples, only TeenSafe and the PhoneSheriff Investigator edition claim to be able to monitor iPhone usage without jailbreaking the iPhone. If you don’t know what it means to jailbreak an iPhone, it probably isn’t something you will want to attempt.

DISCLAIMER – The examples above as well as many other monitoring apps are available on the Internet. I am not affiliated with any of these companies and have never used their products. Therefore, I can not provide a recommendation of one product over another. I only provided some examples as a starting point for your own research. If you do use a monitoring service, I would be interested in hearing some feedback on your experience with the service.

What No-Cost Monitoring Options Are Available?

While the professional services are convenient, there are some monitoring methods you can use that do not require any specific monitoring fees. However, there isn’t one single method to monitor everything like a professional service. You will need to monitor the various communication methods separately.

Monitoring SMS Text Messages

SMS text messages are handled by your cellular provider. You can monitor the phone numbers your child is texting by signing in to your account on your cellular provider’s website. When viewing your account, there should be a list of all the phone numbers for which your child has sent or received text messages. Since the actual content of the text message is not available online, you will not be able to read the message, but at least you can see the phone numbers.

Monitoring iMessages

When it comes to monitoring iMessages, your options will vary based on whether your child has their own Apple ID or if they share your Apple ID.

Separate Apple IDs

If your child as their own Apple ID and you know the password, you can access their iMessages. A simple way to monitor their account is by using an old non-activated iPhone, an iPad, iPod touch, or a Mac computer that is not currently used for your own iMessages.

Sign in to iMessage with the child’s Apple ID and password and keep the device somewhere in your home so it has a Wi-Fi connection. All your child’s iMessages will be delivered to the monitoring device as well as the child’s device. Any iMessages previously received by your child will not be available, but it will display all future iMessages. Once an iMessage has been delivered to the monitoring device, it will remain on the device even if your child deletes the iMessage from their device.

SMS text messages will not be delivered to the monitoring device, only iMessages.

To avoid missing any iMessages, keep the monitoring device on all the time. If the monitoring device is turned off, iMessages will still be delivered to the device the next time it is turned on. However, if your child deletes any iMessages while the monitoring device is turned off, those deleted iMessages will not be available when the monitoring device is turned on.

Sharing an Apple ID

It is generally not recommended that people share the same Apple ID for iMessages. However, many parents do it to monitor their child’s iMessages. If you are sharing an Apple ID with your child, you will need to configure the iMessage Send & Receive settings to display your child’s iMessages on your device. Care must be taken to ensure the child is not receiving the parent’s iMessages. Additionally, you may want to enable Restrictions on your child’s device so they can’t change the settings.

Other Internet-Based Messaging Apps

There are a wide variety of Internet-based messaging apps available on the App Store. These apps allow the user to send text messages over the Internet and are difficult for a parent to monitor. It is important to understand a teenager is likely using more than one of these apps. Most professional monitoring services can monitor some of these apps, but you probably need to verify what apps are supported by the individual monitoring services.

In the end, your best solution may be the old fashioned method of physically taking your child’s device and manually checking these apps.

Find My iPhone

It is worth noting that many of the professional monitoring services offer location tracking of your child’s device. There is a free app available on the App Store called Find My iPhone that will also provide location tracking of your child’s device.

Using the Find My iPhone app on any iOS device, you can locate all devices associated with a certain Apple ID. For example, if your child has their own Apple ID, you can open the Find My iPhone app on your iPhone (or any Apple device) and sign in with your child’s Apple ID and password. The Find My iPhone app will locate all devices associated with your child’s Apple ID and display their location on your iPhone.

Click here to find best iPhone monitoring apps

By T Mitch. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8506424

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One Response to Can I Monitor My Child’s Text Messages on the iPhone?

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