The web can a fun place for a kid, with many amazing things to explore. But there are dangers out there, too. Predators are luring them into inappropriate conversations and showing them sexual images.
Some predators are using popular games to target kids. Tap or click to learn more.
You've heard heart-wrenching stories about kids getting on a bus to head across town or across the country to be with a potential friend or love interest, only to have their lives cut short. You have heard about kids being so badly bullied on messaging apps that they turn to cutting themselves, running away, taking drugs -- and worse.
You might be thinking there's only one thing to do: Take away their smartphone. Yet, with good reason, you're torn.
Bonus: Keep reading for details about the No. 1 parental monitoring app to keep your kids safe from our sponsor, WebWatcher.
Smartphones are a family's lifeline
Your connection to your family is their smartphones. If you're worried about where your kids go after school, you can immediately call them to find out. You're punishing yourself, in a way, when you take their phone from them. All of a sudden, they're out of touch and you have no way of finding them.
Kids are sneaky, too - no surprise to any parent. You do not think they'll remain unconnected for long, do you? They'll just take out their SIM card and stick into a friend's smartphone. There are a lot of extra phones collecting dust in kids' bedrooms these days. Your kid can borrow one of those.
They're out of touch with you, but not they're not out of touch with their friends and strangers. They will also use Wi-Fi to connect to messaging apps like Kik, Snapchat or TikTok.
Monitor your children's phones instead
You don't have to take your kids' phones away. You need to know about a better solution, the parental monitoring app from our sponsor WebWatcher, which is already being used by millions of parents.
Your kids want to know that you care about them and that you're making sure they are safe. You talk to them about dangers they should be aware of, including who they chat with online and the topics they chat about.
Your conversations should be age-appropriate and honest. "I am going to monitor your phone, so I know where you are and who's talking to you online and what they are talking about."
If you're like most parents, you are not spying on them. You're keeping them safe.
WebWatcher is straightforward to use. Once you've signed up (keep reading for details), you can see where your kids are with GPS and view their recorded conversations from a secure website, whether it's their phone call log, texts, chats on messaging apps and social media, photos and screenshots.
You can view their behavior in real time from any internet-connected device, no matter where you are. That will give you a sense of relief when they get home early from school, for example, and you are still at work.
WebWatcher has another solution to monitoring your kids' behavior that will save you time. It's called Alert Log. WebWatcher will only alert you to risky behaviors.
This way, your children have their phones so you can stay in touch. Plus, you can keep them safe by monitoring their risky behavior while respecting their privacy.
How to get WebWatcher
You can start using WebWatcher in a matter minutes. You can get the iPhone app on the App Store or the Android app on the Google Play Store - you just sign up to create an account.
You can also do that from your Windows laptop, an Apple Mac or a Google Chromebook. Start protecting your children right now.
For more on WebWatcher, watch this video review from "Shark Tank."
5 things parents need to watch out for online
Your kids are in danger when they're out of sight. Your heart races and you sweat. Where are they? Yet, they're also in danger right in front of your eyes when they are online. They could be in serious trouble.