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Is there any good parental-supervision software for Android smartphones?


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I am currently trying to get phones for my kids.

My gut reaction is to just try to install a (legitimate!) parental-supervision keylogger on their phones.

However, after a couple of hours of looking for one, I am not sure if such a thing exists.  Everything I see looks sketchy as can be.

Malwarebytes has never wronged me, so I come to this forum to see what this community might recommend. 

 

Are there any such applications for Androids that would work? I don't care if they are hidden or not. I'm not even worried about either of them trying to uninstall it; I'm going to be clear with them that I *can* see everything, I just want to be able to check on what they've done.  I looked at EyeZe and mSpy and their 'control panels' look amazing, but I can't find any place where normal people whose native language is English are capable of explaining if either one is legitimate or not.

Please help me, tech experts of the Malwarebytes forum!

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44 minutes ago, mbam_mtbr said:

Hi @JustStopAndThink,

What you are describing is stalkerware, and mSpy is the more dangerous category of spyware. We take a hard stance on detecting such apps.  Therefore, we can not recommend installing such apps.

Yes, Malwarebytes sure does !

Reference:    How to protect against stalkerware, a murky but dangerous mobile threat

 

PS:  IMHO, children should not have Smart Phones.

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What's weird to me in this thread:

1) The "hard stance" articles do acknowledge that there are legitimate uses of such software, such as keeping track of kids.  (I would normally not want my kids to have them either, except that sometimes for sporting events they have to go out of state for stuff.)  I am talking about finding and using such legitimate use software.

2) Nobody is actually recommending stuff, they're just saying "don't."  I am acknowledging my ignorance in this matter; I don't know legit from sketchy in this.  But it would seem that some of these (like screentimelabs.com or bark or something) would be legitimate.  But nobody is even trying to help.

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53 minutes ago, JustStopAndThink said:

 But nobody is even trying to help.

Not true. 

All the software in the world won't help protect the children addressed by Parental Control software.  Smart Phones are an Adult tool and is best left in the hands of Adults.  Even some adults can't handle the misinformation, catfishing, scams and cons, etc.  Even with Parental Control software, it will not protect girls against body shaming or boys and girls from Internet bullying.  They have a greater propensity to fall victim to issues where their adolescent minds are unable to process.  Sure, Parental Control software might block pornography and the like but even in the sphere of adolescent targeted software, there is peer pressure that Parental Control software will not block.  The best Parental Control is in the hands of the parent by being a parent and denying the use until the reach their majority.  Then they can purchase such devices and enter into contracts.

Just one example:  Are smartphones causing more teen suicides?

 

Edited by David H. Lipman
Edited for content, clarity, spelling and/or grammar
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Hi @JustStopAndThink,

The apps you listed were keyloggers and mSpy.  Both are things we classify as stalkerware.

If you are looking for simple family tracking with consent of our children, you could use Google's location sharing

Keep in mind that apps like mSpy that advertise to be used specifically for spying are not exactly ethical companies.  Therefore, there is chance that data is being used to spy on installed clients by these companies.  Thus another reason we cannot recommend.

Edited by mbam_mtbr
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So, in an attempt to help my kids transition into adults, my plan is to let them use their smartphones as an adult would, but then see all the crap that happens to them, and then explain what's happening when they run into trouble. (Like catfishing, &c.)  The plan is not to shelter, but rather, to help them grow stronger. 

I just need to be able to see the conversations, &c.  Surely there are employers who would want the same sort of thing, so they can see if their employees are doing anything dumb / bad with their company phones. (Like embezzling, &c.)  What are they using?

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16 hours ago, JustStopAndThink said:

I just need to be able to see the conversations, &c.  Surely there are employers who would want the same sort of thing, so they can see if their employees are doing anything dumb / bad with their company phones. (Like embezzling, &c.)  What are they using?

If an employee is using corporate email, then yes the employer is legally able to see those conservations.  Intercepting conversations through text, WhatsApp, social media private messages (Facebook, Instagram, etc) would be considered illegal.  There is no legitimate app on Google Play that have such features as they would violate Play's policies.  Are there employers using spyware to illegally spy on their employees?  Well if there are, that's why we detect such apps to notify the user of it's existence.

 

Edited by mbam_mtbr
grammar
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