Cell Phones

There are quite a lot of new tools for monitoring teen activity, but almost all of them have workarounds or drawbacks.  Some families do not allow their children to have internet enabled phones, which are too much of a temptation, because there are too many workarounds that other youth will describe and detail.

What Parents Can Do
  • Parents may limit how many minutes teens can put on their cell phones, how many text messages they can send and receive, and how much can be spent on ring tones and games.  
  • Parents may prevent teens from texting during school, talking after 10 p.m., calling or receiving calls from a particular person, block visits to particular web sites, and track the actual location of their children carrying cell phones. 
Additional Resources

  • TeenSafe Phone Tracker - built by Parents for Parents.  Monitor your children's texts, calls, social media, phone location, and more.  https://cp.teensafe.com/

  • Some parents rely heavily on OpenDNS, a free wifi filtering service — it redirects all internet activity on your wifi signal to a different Domain Naming Service (DNS) that can be filtered based on your preferences. It works through your router. It filters everything from gaming, gambling, pornography, and lingerie sites to cheating, dating, video sharing, social media, etc.  It has robust options to customize to each family’s preferences. It is a baseline tool, and every family needs some sort of filtering support. It also disables the capabilities of browsers to support “private browsing,” if you select that option. You can see every website that is visited from any device that is using that signal. It is a free service.