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Tech tips

Track GPS, phone calls, text messages and web activity on a phone for free

Keeping your children and grandchildren safe is any guardian’s first priority. Thanks to smartphones, tablets and the internet, there are many potential threats they might see or misunderstand.

They could be using dangerous apps or be in contact with an online predator and you have no way of knowing or stopping these scary situations. That’s why we encourage parents to talk to kids before they use technology and set clear rules. Tap or click here to download Kim’s free tech safety contract for parents and kids.

But even if they sign the contract, there are times when their safety can still be at risk and they don’t even realize they’re in danger. How can you protect them? Try this free tracking app that keeps you informed of everything from their location to phone habits.

How to protect children online and in the real world

In the perfect world, you can check in on your children with a simple phone call or text message, but when they’re having fun they may not hear their device go off, or they might even purposely ignore you. What can you do if you can’t reach them or they won’t talk to you?

Though it may sound invasive, sometimes to protect our kids we have to resort to spying. There are several remote spy options, but most will set you back $30 or more. Don’t waste your money, turn to the free app Phone Tracker.

This nifty app was created by Spy Phone Labs and it allows you to keep tabs on up to five phones. Here’s a video to explain more of its features:

Once the app is installed on your children’s phones, open it, set up an account name and password, give the phone a nickname and you’re done. To monitor multiple gadgets with the same account, just install the app on each device and use the same account name and password you used for the first one.

Here’s what you can expect to learn from Phone Tracker once it’s installed to your kids’ devices:

  • Incoming call times, length and caller’s phone number.
  • Outgoing call times, length and the number dialed.
  • GPS location log — updated approximately every 30 minutes.
  • SMS messages logged.

Not bad for a free app! And to access all the data collected from each phone, simply log in to the control panel and view the information.

Once installed and properly set up, send texts and browse the web to generate data, and give the app up to 20 minutes to start working. If you can’t see anything in the control panel after 20 minutes, try restarting the phones you’re monitoring.

Bonus tip: Another way to track your child’s phone

Not ready to install a new app? Here’s a simple way to track a phone’s location, no download required.

iPhones running iOS 12 or later can continuously send location information to another iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. On the phone you wish to track, go to Messages and find the thread they share with you. In the upper-right corner, touch the “Information” icon.

Tap “Send My Current Location” to instantly send a map of the phone’s current location, one time only. Or just below it, hit “Share My Location,” which will continuously send the phone’s location to your Apple gadget.

To see the phone’s location, go to your Messages app and find your child’s contact. Tap the “Information” icon and a map will display the phone’s location.

Note: Your child can easily turn off this location sharing any time, but perhaps a firm conversation about the consequences of doing so might encourage him or her to leave it on.

Want to track your child’s Android device? Tap or click here to learn how.

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