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Track Your Kids' Online Activities with Android Monitoring Apps

Monitoring apps let you track a user's activity on their Android device, from text messages and phone logs to app installations and phone locations.

Apps in this Guide

Monitoring apps let you track a user's activity on their Android device, from text messages and phone logs to app installations and phone locations. While phone monitors can be used for legitimatemore

Monitoring apps let you track a user's activity on their Android device, from text messages and phone logs to app installations and phone locations. While phone monitors can be used for legitimate activities -- such as for parental controls -- it can also have more underhanded uses, such as spying on another person's mobile activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about free monitoring tools?
A few monitoring apps, such as Norton's free parental controls app, provide a subset of their monitoring tools without charge. When you are giving an app unlimited access to all user activity on the phone, you need to consider how a company is making money if it's not charging for the service.
Can I spy on another person's phone activities?
Monitoring apps can let you see messages and recipients, call history, real-time GPS tracking, installed apps, Web browsing history, and selected word usage. You need access to the device to install the monitoring software, and some monitoring apps require you to root the device to monitor some activities. After installation, you can monitor phone activities remotely via email or the Web. Before you install monitoring software, make sure you are authorized to monitor the device or otherwise not violating privacy laws.
Can I use monitoring apps as parental controls?
Many monitoring apps position themselves as parental controls, letting you filter your child's Web activities, set time limits, monitor device location, and even immediately lock a device. While monitoring apps can help enforce family rules around online activity, parents need to find a balance between device control and the kid's privacy.

Best Android Monitoring Apps

ESET Parental Control

ESET Parental Control

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ESET parental tools include Website and app controls and a phone locator for $29.95 a year. You can filter website access based on age, control which apps your kids can use and set time limits, and even send messages your children must acknowledge to continue using their phones.

mLite - Family Phone Tracker for Android

mLite - Family Phone Tracker for Android

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mLite is a slimmed-down version of the company's mSpy monitoring software. The $14.99 app lets you see installed apps, call logs, messages, contacts, and phone location.

Norton Family parental control

Norton Family parental control

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Norton's Family set of parental controls starts at $ 49.99 a year and includes the ability to set time limits. The respected security company offers a subset of its controls for free.