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Droid Parenting Done Right with Hidden SMS Tracking

Briley Kenney
10

We’re in an age where technology is everywhere, and everyone has a cell phone these days. I’ve seen more minors walking around with top of the line phones than I’ve ever owned in my life. Okay, maybe that’s a terrible comparison because you have no clue how many phones I’ve owned, but you get the point!

SMS Tracking App for Android

There are lots of kids walking around with brand new phones. Frankly, I have to admit I’m a bit jealous when I see a twelve year old with a brand spanking new Galaxy SIII.

My real concern, however, is that some of these kids are doing unspeakable things with their new devices. Sure, a child’s intentions may be innocent enough, but the world around them is dangerous. It scares me to think about who might be texting them or contacting them on a regular basis. Hell, these days you can’t even trust eleven year old boys to remain abstinent. That last statement may seem like it’s a little too forward, but it’s the honest truth.

As a parent, it makes sense that you need to know what your children is doing at all times and who they’re associating with. That can be difficult to keep track of thanks to all these confounded gadgets and mobile devices!

Luckily, there’s an app called SMS Tracking that can help.

It’s a pretty straightforward app. You put SMS Tracking on a device you want to monitor, and it records all conversations locally and stores the messages in a file. When you want to view recorded messages, you can access that file locally, on the device, or export it using email or Bluetooth. If you so desire, the messages can even be exported as a .csv file for use in Microsoft Excel.

SMS Tracking for Android Google Play Banner

The exchange data is stored locally so that the information cannot fall into the wrong hands. Quite frankly, I think this is a brilliant idea!

Of course, kids are pretty smart, so you don’t need an app icon sitting around that says, “SMS Tracking,” especially if you’re trying to observe their conversations secretly. There’s no need to worry though because the SMS Tracking app installs no such icon. In fact, it doesn’t even show up in the application list under the same name; instead it goes by “VIPSha1.” This will keep the app from being uninstalled, by children or even by third parties who get a hold of the device (think the kind of person who walks off with someone else’s phone). The only way to start the app is to find the appropriate page in Google Play and select the “OPEN” button. Once it’s installed, it monitors all activity on the device in the background.

Before you think about using this app to spy on your significant other, the developers have asked you to consider your actions. VIPSha does not want the app to be used as a “phone spy” or “sms spy” for illicit sources. We’re pretty sure there are some grey areas concerning the local information, as well. If someone catches you using an app like this, it’s possible they could sue you for invasion of privacy. Don’t quote me on that statement though, because the world of technology is an extremely uncomfortable place when it comes to individual rights.

All you parents out there can rest, at least a little easier, at night with an app like this on your child’s phone! SMS Tracking is totally free via Google Play.

If you’ve used the app in the past or plan on using it, please share your experience below! I would love to hear how SMS Tracking worked out for you!

Comments

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  • Anna F. Nov 21, 2012 Link

    "Parenting done RIGHT"?!!? Are you out of your mind?! In what way shape or form is being so distrustful and controlling of your children right?! And no, if you're a parent it DOESN'T make sense that you need to know what your kid is doing at all times. Ever heard if the word privacy? Well, it applies to children too!
    I'm 15 years old and I've owned a smartphone since I was 13 and an iPod touch since I was eleven. My parents have never tried to monitor my activity or restrict it in any way and for the trust and respect they show me I've never let them down. That's the way it's supposed to be.
    If you were my father and you installed this app on my phone (which would be pretty hard as my phone is with me at ALL times) I'd sure as hell find it and uninstall it and I'd hate you for the rest of my life. Just so you know.
    You said kids can't uninstall the app because it shows under a different name in the applications list. Well, if I saw some weird name in my applications list I'd Google it and find out what it is. Also the Play Store now has a "my apps" sections so if my parents installed anything on my phone without my knowing, I'd easily see it there. There's simply no way to hide.

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  • Briley Kenney Nov 21, 2012 Link

    Whoa, calm down killer.

    Actually, there's absolutely nothing wrong with parents monitoring what their children are doing. Especially these days.

    My children will never have unrestricted access on their devices, at least until they're of age. You call me strict all you want, but there's way too much evil in the world that children could potentially get involved with.

    This post was mainly directed at parents who have very young children with cell phones. Like I said above, there are children under ten years of age with their own full featured smartphones now. They have full access to the internet, and they can talk to whomever they wish.

    Just because this is installed on a device, does not mean someone is monitoring everything. If it were me, I would mainly check to see WHO my kids are talking to, that way I can be sure they're not having restricted conversations with dangerous people.

    When you look up some of the things that kids are doing these days, you won't think this is a bad idea. My gf works for CPS (Child Protective Services) down here and there are cases where 8 year old children are taking nude photos and posting them online, unbeknownst to the parents.

    Also, I never said that kids "CAN'T" uninstall it, I was just mentioning that SMS Tracking is not relatively easy to discover. You are obviously very intelligent, not everyone is.

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  • Anna F. Nov 22, 2012 Link

    That still doesn't justify spying on your children. Honestly, I think that if you want your children to be safe online and not do stupid things with their phones you should raise them right. If you did the danger is minimized to them same level as that of adults. As I mentioned I never did anything like what you wrote with my phone not because I was afraid my parents would see it but simply because I knew it wasn't right. I care about my safety too you know.

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  • Briley Kenney Nov 22, 2012 Link

    No one said you don't care about your safety. In fact, no one said I was talking about you at all.

    Sometimes no matter how you raise children, even if you "raise them right" things happen. They can turn to drugs, fall in with the wrong crowds, it just doesn't matter. People make bad choices all the time and all it takes is one very bad choice. When you're young, it's not hard to make the wrong choice. Parents are there to keep children moving on the right path, and steer them in the right direction when they veer off. You can't very well do that if you're clueless as to what is going on.

    I'm of the mind that when you're underage, and you're living under your parents roof, they have the right to know what is going on at all times, especially considering they are responsible for you.

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  • Anna F. Nov 23, 2012 Link

    I didn't say you were talking about me. When I said that I care about my safety to was too show you that kids aren't that reckless. And of course anyone can make a bad choice but imagine if your kid found out you had access to all of their text messages. When we text our friends we usually talk about things our parents don't know. For example imagine if your son/daughter found out you read that text they sent to their friend that was about a guy they liked. Now for me that would be really embarrassing and to know that my parents read it on purpose would be even worse.
    I guess it would be OK if there was an app that would allow parents to only see WHO their kids are texting as long as they can't read the actual messages.

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  • Mike Lambert Jan 19, 2013 Link

    Anna F -- what you perceive as "spying on your children" is -- believe it or not -- a parental *RIGHT*, especially if a child's smartphone is billed on the parent's plan. I have 17- and 15-year old sons who have had smartphones for two years now -- they've also had iPod touches for several years before that. The primary stipulation for getting iPod touches, or upgrading to smartphones, was that their mother or I reserved the right to observe the content and recipients of their internet communications AT ANY TIME. Not ALL the time -- but AT any time. And we don't abuse that right.

    We do not monitor their communications 24/7/365, but in the occasional spot-checks that I've conducted, there has indeed been occasionally inappropriate content going out from my sons, or coming in from their friends. They swear, talk about girls, and engage in all kinds of other not-important-to-adults conversation, all of which I expect and pay little attention to in my "sweeps" unless there's a major infraction.

    My sons are generally good kids, well-respected by their peers, teachers and neighbors. But they are young enough to make dumb mistakes using their smartphones, and they have -- when it's happened, we've had VERY constructive conversations to follow.

    You are fooling yourself, and nobody else, if you believe that kids aren't reckless or make bad choices with their smartphones or the internet. I have neither the time nor the space to go into all of the horror stories that I've heard from some of our friends and neighbors about the trouble that their kids have gotten into on Lamebook and Twitter alone. You're certainly old enough to have an opinion on how to keep kids out and away from trouble ("by raising them right," in your words), but alas, you ARE far too young to know that it's simply not that easy. You can teach kids all the right things to do and say, and they'll still exercise their free will to make bad choices. You may understand someday when you have children of your own.

    And if you were MY daughter and threatened to "hate" me for the rest of your life because I installed a monitoring app on your phone, whose service I pay for? Well, that just perfectly illustrates the maturity level of an overly entitled teenager. My take on that is this -- I'M the parent, and my rules are to be observed until you're 18, or until you stop living under my roof, whichever comes first. Respect and trust is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT -- and it most certainly does not flow one-way from parent to child only. You'll learn that some day, and very likely the hard way.

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  • Anna F. Jan 19, 2013 Link

    I'm not saying that kids are not reckless. Some are and some are not. Everyone has the potential of making a wrong choice and I'm just saying that teenagers in general are almost as likely (OK,maybe a little more likely) to make bad choices as are adults. Does that mean that we should monitor the activity of ALL the people we care about? How would your friend/mother/cousin/whatever react if they found out you were monitoring their text messages and online activity because you just wanted to make sure they're safe? Why do you think that it's different when it comes to your children?

    What I don't get is how you adults have forgotten what it was like when you were children. How would it make YOU feel if you knew that you parents could see all the conversations you had with your friends or girlfriend?

    And when I say I'd hate my parents for the rest of my life if I found out they had installed such an app on my phone, that's not a threat at all. It's a fact. I'd just never feel comfortable around them if I knew they had seen all the private conversations I had had with my friends either via SMS or online.

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  • Mike Lambert Jan 19, 2013 Link

    Anna, I'm sorry for coming on so strong in my reply to you, and if I implied that you were immature, that wasn't my intent -- I wish more teenagers (including my own sometimes!) were as open and frank about their feelings and opinions as you are here in this discussion.

    I get very passionate about this subject because my only desire is to protect my children -- not just from bad choices (which the need to make to learn sometimes), but from bad people "out there." From your perspective, if/when we parents get a little crazy or restrictive on rules, etc., it's almost purely our reaction to protect you and other young folks out of love -- not because we want to pry in your business.

    To answer your questions honestly -- I don't have the right to monitor everyone's online activities around me, just my children's (in my opinion). I'm not sure how my parents would have handled this situation -- I grew up in a very non-wired world in the mid-80s. :) I suspect they wouldn't have even thought to monitor my online communications, although I remember them not being very happy about us finally getting MTV on our cable system at the time (which I couldn't WAIT for).

    I actually remember very vividly what it was like to be your age...I had pretty strict parents, but I wish they'd taken more time to have THESE kinds of conversations with me, because they really didn't. I do try to keep in mind that my own teenage sons think the same way you do (that we as parents don't always understand them), but I also remind my sons that they (and you) are growing up in very different (and much more dangerous in many ways) world than what I was dealing with in the mid-1980s. And that -- again -- my rules do not come from a desire to restrict, but out of love and concern to keep them as safe as possible

    Some of the very best conversations between my sons and I have come from my *occasional* monitoring of their texts or tweets -- conversations about how to relate to girls, how to react in certain online social situations, how to "cultivate" your online reputation, etc. Like I said before, they're pretty good guys, and they make missteps sometimes, but they learn quickly from their mistakes!

    Again, thank you for sharing your opinions and for the honest dialog -- believe it or not, I and my wife do try very hard to balance having respect for our sons' privacy with our need and obligation to keep them as safe as possible online, AND to always try to remember what it was like to be their age...we have to. :)

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  • Anna F. Jan 20, 2013 Link

    I know you parents only want to keep us safe but sometimes you gotta ask yourselves if you want your kids to be as safe as possible but only have little privacy and always know that you could be "watching" them or if you are willing to risk it a little bit and give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes on their own :)

    I don't know how you think we teenagers think but many of us would like our parents to pay a little bit LESS attention to us -and by that I don't mean we want you to ignore us; I mean that sometimes we want to go through certain things on our own. Let us do our thing, make mistakes, learn from them and let US come to you when we need your help. I can assure you that we will. Many times. We don't want to hear your advice all the time but when we do we are going to ask for it.

    We also want to feel a bit more independent. We don't want to be independent just yet, we just want to feel like we are. We don't want you to know about everything we do, not because we are doing things we shouldn't but because we don't want our lives to be a 100% tied to yours. We want to live our own lives and be around the people we want and tell them things we might not be comfortable with you hearing (or in this case reading). And like I said before, sometimes we prefer to go through things on our own. We don't want you to guide us because we want to find a way by ourselves.

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  • trans Jun 3, 2013 Link

    hello briley,

    this is an old thread, but i am stuck in a situation, its my son... he is not himself in past few weeks, doesn't open up to me, his mobile is always making sound, he reads a message, looks disturbed, and deletes it... i don't know what to do.. i read your post thought it will be helpful, but can't find that sms tracking application..

    if you could help me in any way, I would owe you.

    please

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