Used cell phones are now able to feature applications designed with the intention of protecting young children from potential predators.
“Hackers are climbing in your windows, so hide your kids,” says Chris Duque, a specialist in cyber safety. Many SmartPhones come with GPS technology, which is capable of tracking both location and movement, and there are also other applications that enable parents to know exactly what texts a child is receiving or sending and will allow them to check up on photographs as well. There are even applications for making sure a child does not break certain rules, such as a curfew, when it comes to their cell phone use.
“If the phone is used after ten o’clock, the service will pick it up and record it for you,” Duque points out. “Or maybe email you a notice or even call you to say “Hey, your daughter’s phone is calling this number’.” Duque says the applications can be extremely useful and give parents peace of mind, but he strongly advises against parents installing such applications on their child’s cell phone without telling them about it first. “I’ve seen wedges or break ups in families because of the spying, because of the lack of trust,” he admits. While cell phone apps can be useful, especially for younger children, Duque acknowledges that at the end of the day they are no replacement for good parenting.