0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised.
0:00:30 – Speaker 3
Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:34 – Speaker 1
Today we’re talking about phone monitoring apps. I will tell you because I think I have the younger kids on the team. I get asked this all the time.
0:00:43 – Speaker 2
I get asked at events all the time like Q&A, like what’s the best one that you recommend? Just tell me where to sign up.
0:00:49 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I need an app. It’s a good question.
0:00:51 – Speaker 2
We’re all I mean, because we’re all grasping at straws Like how do we keep our kids safe?
0:00:55 – Speaker 1
Well, I think, we all want every tool possible, and this is a big one.
0:00:59 – Speaker 2
Yes, Well, and I think we kind of need to go back to, before we even dive into the phone monitoring apps, because we’re really going to talk about the loopholes in them, like things you just need to know Because they are great tools but they’re not going to catch everything, and so I think that’s kind of what we want to cover on this show, like what could you be missing from the phone monitoring apps? But before we dive into that, i kind of want to go back to when I gave my child a phone, and that was like five years ago now. I mean, that’s crazy to think, but she’s in high school now and she’s had it for five years. So I wanted to. You guys know my story. I first wanted to think I’m just not giving her a phone until she’s 18. Right, and then we’re done And that’s going to solve all the issues.
Well, that didn’t solve anything, because she was told about porn, yeah, and she was told about all these things that I wasn’t prepared to answer. So I realized that really wasn’t the solution. But when I gave her a phone, then I wanted to be all up in it. I want everything to come through on my phone, you know. And in reality. Let me tell you this They send 500 emojis a day. Really, i mean 800 million sometimes.
0:02:05 – Speaker 1
And that’s with the poop emoji and the fruit and the vegetables.
0:02:08 – Speaker 2
Well, and sometimes you don’t know what the emojis mean, code, code for something. So if you’re Googling every 500 of those, you know you’re going to be sitting at your computer all day long. What is eggplant? What is this? What is that?
0:02:20 – Speaker 1
It’s. you know we do have things to do. You cannot spend hours a day monitoring your kids.
0:02:26 – Speaker 2
when that’s not practical, i mean we can’t Even though you want to, we can’t, it’s not practical, and so there’s that aspect of it. But then I couldn’t find a product on the market that would do everything I needed it to do, and we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. And so, you know, i set out on this journey like what is the solution then? Like I need a solution here, and we all know that it was open communication found in Deuteronomy 6, 6 and 7.
And I love how God says it in those verses. It says talk to your kids on the go, when you’re getting up, when you’re going to bed and when you’re at home. And when I read on the go, like I knew I had found the solution I was looking for, because I had been on the journey long enough to know that my daughter liked to talk in the car, because she didn’t have to make eye contact with me. And, quite frankly, i like to talk in the car because I could, like hide my emotions a little bit more about what I was freaking out about.
0:03:22 – Speaker 1
I can say, Mom, you’re giving the look.
0:03:25 – Speaker 2
Yes, and so you know we want to preface this show with. The first line of defense is the open communication. It is the Always. It is going to catch everything, like if you can train your child to tell you what they’re seeing online when they hear a new word at school, you know, when they hear something at the school lunch table, when they go to a friend’s house and they’re shown something online, if you can train your child to tell you all those things, then you get to speak into it, and so that is the first line of defense. Yes, because they, if it’s a normal operating procedure, hopefully it won’t slip through the cracks because they’ll come tell you. They will come tell you everything. So I just want to preface this show, before we get into the phone monitoring apps, with that statement. I think that’s just really important for you guys to hear.
0:04:08 – Speaker 1
Yeah, And we know that it’s not easy, but it is so important to spend most of your time working on this culture in your home. More than anything else, more than sitting on that phone and looking at everything that they’ve done. Creating a culture of open communication in your home really is where you need to spend the bulk of your time.
0:04:26 – Speaker 2
You know, god woke me up this morning at 4.30 am, like literally this morning, and I got this image in my head, which was so weird because I really feel like I need to start dieting and exercising, exercising a lot more. And you know what God said to me at 4.30 am I’m laying in my bed thinking about all the diet changes I need to make in my life. I am fat. I literally was laying there like feeling my gut, thinking what do I need to do right now?
0:04:53 – Speaker 1
I press sometimes on my belly. I’m like, hmmm, yep, we’re there, i need to cut out the cheese fries. I love cheese fries. Darn you, sonic, i love cheese fries at ranch.
0:05:06 – Speaker 2
Okay. So anyway, 4.30 am and God literally said to me Mandy, just like with diet and exercise, it’s gonna be the hard work, like there are lots of supplements, like you can do vitamins, you can do protein shakes, you can do weight, you know there’s programs you can do and they’re all helpful, but at the end of the day, with your health, it’s about the hard work of diet and exercise. And he said that is just what nextTalk is about with open communication. I mean, there’s all these tools on the market to help you and use all of them. Use all of them, you know, use the tools, but at the end of the day, it’s about doing the hard work and building the new culture in your home.
0:05:49 – Speaker 1
And you are not alone, i promise, when you’re thinking to yourself but I don’t wanna do it. It’s hard, yes, it is hard, but just like anything else, if you really wanna protect your kids which is more important than your body, more important than anything else protecting your kids if you wanna do that, then the hard work is worth it.
0:06:07 – Speaker 2
Well, and it takes the fear out of it, Like if you The stress and anxiety all of it. If you get them coming home and telling you, i mean, no matter what they see, no matter what they hear, they come home and ask you Yes, now you’re gonna freak out, you’re gonna be like I hate answering this question because I mean that Or you’re gonna freak out on the inside Yeah, on the inside, not on the outside, not on the outside parent filter, but the fear is gone because they’re gonna ask you, yes, right, and so I just wanna set that up as like the premise of the show.
Let’s talk about the built-in restrictions, yeah the free ones.
0:06:40 – Speaker 1
The free ones. I always tell people, start with the free.
0:06:42 – Speaker 2
Yeah, all devices come with built-in restrictions. So whatever device you have, google it Parental controls for whatever. If it’s an Amazon tablet, if it’s, you know, an Android, whatever. I’m an Apple user so I’m in that all day long. They just upgraded last year. They have new screen time restrictions and they’re great. They’re really good. They monitor your kids’ phone use, like you can see how much average a day they’re on it. They give you a report for yours.
0:07:14 – Speaker 1
You can also see what they’re on as well.
0:07:16 – Speaker 2
Mine is off the top Crazy because. I’m on it for work all the time.
0:07:20 – Speaker 1
It’s bad, it’s bad. I find that I’m trying to like compete with mine. Like every week it’s like you are on 30 minutes less And I’m like, ooh, next year I’m gonna be 45 minutes less.
0:07:31 – Speaker 3
You’re competitive like that I am, so competitive.
0:07:33 – Speaker 2
0:07:34 – Speaker 1
Pretty soon. I’m just not even gonna use my phone. I gotta win.
0:07:38 – Speaker 2
No, you gotta text me back when I have an emergency. Gab, you can’t do that, i need you, okay. So in Apple, if you go to settings, then go to screen time, then you’re gonna go to content and privacy restrictions. You’re gonna set a four digit passcode. Do not give that code to your kid, Right, do not? Okay. And then you can actually set like movies to watch and download will be at PG, you can turn off explicit content, like there’s actually a thing that says explicit or clean, yes. So it’s like okay, i’m gonna go to content And it’s really great. Now here’s the loophole with this Cause there’s always a loophole, always a loophole. If your kid goes to Safari and starts searching, it is more than likely to catch it. If it’s pornography or something bad, right, and they’re gonna come ask you for that four digit passcode. In fact, sometimes you’ll have to enter the passcode, even when it’s not really pornographic, you know. So sometimes it gets kind of burdensome. I guess.
But if they’re within an app, they’re within Instagram. It’s not gonna catch it Right, it won’t catch it because it’s within Instagram, it’s within an app, so it’s not within the phone per se.
0:08:47 – Speaker 1
Yeah, the restrictions do not work in an app, so you just need to not think that you’re safe because you have the restriction set up Absolutely.
0:08:54 – Speaker 2
So I just wanna put that out there. So use those. I mean, i have those set on my phone and my kid’s phone and our tablets at home. We have all those set. But again, i’m aware that they can see other things Absolutely, and they have seen pornography on different apps, so things slip through, and it is important to do this.
0:09:13 – Speaker 1
I meet a lot of parents all the time with young kids who say well, i just didn’t think that they would do anything. You know, we only use our tablet at the kitchen island or we only do it all together. Well, i will tell you. just recently we saw a naked woman on the computer, together looking up hippopotamus for a science project.
And we have the filters set. It just slipped through. And then I had a mom just come up to me recently who said I just never imagined my kid would come in the middle of the night and grab the iPad off the kitchen counter.
0:09:44 – Speaker 2
We only do it on the kitchen counter And Google something And Google something.
0:09:47 – Speaker 3
But they’re curious.
0:09:48 – Speaker 1
Well, and he was actually googling something that was good And the ads on the side just sparked his curiosity And he get following And it just goes down the trail Right And, before you know it, they’re exposed to something. So even if you feel like you have a safe space for your electronics and that you only do it together or it’s only in a public area, set these restrictions on everything, even your TV, our TV has these restrictions.
0:10:13 – Speaker 2
Yes, that’s a good point. That’s a good point. Most cable companies have parental controls. Because when we got a new cable package, we got all these free channels that we had never got.
Like pornography channels, absolutely, and I didn’t even know they were on there. And I’m going through And I’m seeing these titles And I’m like whoa, and they could just click on them, yes. So I went into the parental controls And then I set up a four-digit passcode. I mean, think about that when you redo your cable package or whatever, because you’re going to get all those free channels.
0:10:40 – Speaker 1
And not only that, you can filter out what channels even show, Because we had the parental control set up. And then one night I was looking for something in House Hunters because that’s my thing And I’m looking And there was just the titles on there. You couldn’t watch it. But the titles were enough to spark imagination. Yes, so we were able to block out certain channels where you can’t even see the titles.
0:11:00 – Speaker 2
Yeah, OK, so we’re talking about general. Let’s move on to actual phone monitoring apps that you can pay a subscription for. Ok, so I want to just be real transparent here. This is a sticky place for us.
0:11:14 – Speaker 1
Yeah, it is.
0:11:15 – Speaker 2
People have access to partner with them and endorse their products, and I struggle with it. I struggle with it Because I’m so afraid that I’m going to endorse a product and say, use this one, and then two months later that kid sees porn because parents thought it was going to catch it and it slipped through. So I just have a real hard time recommending and endorsing something when I know that they will all fail.
0:11:40 – Speaker 1
Well, and let’s be honest, that the reason we do that and the reason we have taken that stance is because of human nature. Yes, human nature is that, and I am the same way. You set the restrictions and you take your foot off the pedal.
0:11:53 – Speaker 2
Hands off the wheel.
0:11:54 – Speaker 1
We’re good, this will catch it, this will do the job. Yes, we’ll have to do all this work, and so we step away from the hard work.
0:12:00 – Speaker 2
It’s like drive through parenting. We want the easy answer. We do. It’s like the miracle diet pill, and I wish it was like that. It just doesn’t exist.
0:12:07 – Speaker 1
It doesn’t exist So we step back and we’re no longer investing in this, creating this culture of open communication, because we’ve got the filter and then things slip through And here we’re back in the same spot again.
0:12:17 – Speaker 2
I can tell you this. I recently set through a presentation of a new phone monitoring app that was being released just a couple of weeks ago, and I loved the presenter because he said we’re providing a tool. Really, really, what is going to catch everything is the relationship with your kid, and they had this whole segment of their presentation And he was like our product is coming alongside. And I was like in the back Yes, it is, you’re doing the nextTalk message, yes, and so I would say, when you’re looking out for phone monitoring apps, look for those types of marketing.
You should not subscribe to something that is like we are going to solve all your digital parenting problems, because it is not. There is nothing out there. But if they are saying we can help your kids be safer, we can help you. We want to be one of the tools to help you, we want to come alongside you. I saw a review recently and it was a mom And she said I’m using this app. I’m not going to say which one, but she said I’m using this app And that, along with open communication, has kept our kids safe.
0:13:23 – Speaker 1
And I loved that.
0:13:25 – Speaker 2
And so we just want to keep an open mind with that.
0:13:28 – Speaker 1
If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2 PM on AM 6 30,. The word nextTalk Radio is sponsored in part by the PAX Financial Group and listeners just like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nexttalkorg and click on Give And we’ll see you next time. Bye, bye, bye, Bye, bye.
0:13:52 – Speaker 3
Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.
0:14:28 – Speaker 2
Okay, so today we’re talking about phone monitoring apps and we just said you know, stay away from the ones that claim to like do everything for you, because they should use language like we’re helping you, we’re coming alongside you, we’re trying to fill in a few gaps for you, but there’s not one product on the market that does everything, and that’s kind of our number one point. We’re going to walk through like five things of loopholes that you need to really watch out for, and that is our number one. There’s no app on the market that does everything you need it to do, and what I mean by that is the different products do different things, so you need to identify what you’re trying to monitor. There may be.
You may want if you have a kid who’s driving, you may want the GPS one, so that’s going to help you figure out where they are, how long they’re at certain places, and I mean this is a good tool because you don’t want to text your kid while they’re driving. You don’t want them to try and respond to you, so it kind of helps both of you out. You can even say that to your kid. I don’t want you to have to text me with this app. I just know and I don’t have to bother you all the time, absolutely, maybe you want one to scan for nudity.
Yes, but and there are some out there but they may not do the other things, like catching buzzwords, or they may not do the GPS tracking Right, you know. And so there’s that There’s a couple on the market that will scan for keywords that they’ve identified, like cutting and suicide. Those are all great But again, sometimes that’s not going to catch everything and it’s definitely not going to be. So you just need to look at what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to monitor? Are you trying to track? Are you trying to identify what you’re trying to do?
0:16:03 – Speaker 1
Yes, okay. The second thing you need to realize that you don’t have access to everything because of privacy issues. You have, like apps like Instagram and Snapchat. They do not allow third party access to their direct messaging, and now, this is something we’ve talked about a lot This gets a little complicated. It does.
0:16:20 – Speaker 2
There’s a lot of technical stuff in here that I’m still learning even, but I’ve talked to a lot of app monitoring device companies that you know have kind of helped explain this to me. So they don’t allow access to third party messaging, which is the DMs, the direct messaging. It’s like private messaging and Facebook, but they’re doing it in Instagram and Snapchat And you can’t access those, so unless you’re logged into their account. So my whole thing for parents are just log into their account on your phone. It’s super easy to do that through Instagram.
0:16:52 – Speaker 1
And you can toggle back and forth between your account and their account very easily, so you can constantly be checking it.
0:16:57 – Speaker 2
It’s so easy. You can click the picture in the lower right bottom corner like your profile picture And then at the top middle it’s going to be your accounting. You click that and you scroll down and it’ll say add account When you log into their account and then, like you said, you can go back and forth. Then you have access to all the DMs and everything And you don’t you’re not charged anything. Now you could do that plus also subscribe to one of these at monitoring tools. If you’re worried about your kid commenting or liking on sexual content, on suicide or cutting, and you want to be alerted to that. You could do both the ends And I think that would be a great tool to do.
0:17:33 – Speaker 1
I hate to play the devil’s advocate here, but I want to again say why open communication is so important, because your kid can have more than one account. They may give you the login information for their main account on Instagram, but they may have other accounts that they’re not sharing with you, so it’s really important again that you know that this is just a set of tools.
0:17:51 – Speaker 2
Yes, that is exactly right. I mean you have to trust them to give you their login accounts. Talk to the technical aspect about the privacy. So Apple has much stricter privacy restrictions than Android, Samsung. So there are ways around it on Samsung to get those DMs. And what I mean by that is, say, there’s an app monitoring app and you log in through their app Yes, okay, and it scans for nudity. If nudity pops up in the DMs, you will get notified through Samsung, apple’s kind of a different, like Apple’s kind of different. And so there are. There are all these different type of loopholes, and that’s why I’m saying you know you may not get everything, yeah, and then you just need to be aware Yeah, a report is good, but you may not be getting everything.
0:18:46 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. I think it’s important to number three here on our list. Most app monitoring devices require that your kids give you their login and passwords, and this kind of goes back to the point that I was making before. Yes, they may be hiding things from you. They may have different accounts, they may have hidden accounts, spam accounts. I mean all kinds of things. You may think that you are doing a good job and that you’ve done all that you can to monitor them. You may be monitoring only a portion of who they are in the online world.
0:19:14 – Speaker 2
And if your kids have spam accounts, that doesn’t make them bad.
No Like, let me just say that Kids have a whole system. So, like on Instagram, they have their main account where they only they only like post like life changing events, like very important event, big things, mountain top moments, you know But then a spam account. They may joke every day, they may post a meme about which is funny every day, and that’s acceptable. But if they were posting that on their main account, oh my gosh, like that’s breaking all sorts of worlds And so they characterize little. So it doesn’t mean they’re bad kids, but, yes, some of these app monitoring devices, you have to give your login and password And so again, like you just said, kim, if they have four spam accounts and they’re only giving you one, you’re just not getting it.
0:20:04 – Speaker 3
Yeah, You’re not getting the monitoring that you think So again.
0:20:09 – Speaker 2
use the tools, but just recognize again there’s a loophole.
0:20:12 – Speaker 1
Well, and there are also a lot of monitoring apps or programs where it only monitors when your child does something through that program. Do you know what I’m saying? Through the app? So do you know?
0:20:24 – Speaker 2
what I’m saying? Yeah, i’m glad you brought that up. Yes, and that’s. that’s the other thing, and a lot of that. that’s how they work their way around all the privacy stuff. What you’re talking about, that technical aspect, is that you log in through their app. The problem is, kids won’t do it. So what I’m saying is you have to go to the app monitoring device and then your kid has to go through Instagram through that one. They can’t just click Instagram or they can’t just click Instagram.
They have to go search things online through that They’re just not going to do it. And so again, um, you know that sets up the, i mean when they’re little maybe you could definitely like you only use this to search for things, And so that may be good.
But teens they know, and if they’re really trying to hide something from you, they’re just going to go to school and borrow their friend’s phone, or church or you know, youth group, whatever, borrow their friend’s phone and log into their accounts that way, And then you have no monitoring control.
0:21:19 – Speaker 1
Yeah, so there’s that aspect too, which kind of brings us to our next point. That brings us to number four. Even if you have all the products on your child’s phone, your kid can be shown something from someone else’s phone or told something from someone at the lunch table or on the playground. Yeah, they’re still going to be in their social circles and their social circles have access to other things that you aren’t going to know about.
0:21:41 – Speaker 2
If they want to hide things from you. They can. They sure can, they can. That’s a hard truth. I mean it, that is. And so again that goes back to the first line of defense is the healthy balance of the relationship. Um, five, kids are digital natives. They are always going to be one step ahead of us with technology. I mean I don’t know about you, but like I’m on my phone a lot for work for and I’m learning it, but there are still things I don’t know what to do. And I’ll hand it to my kid and in two seconds they do it. And I’m like how did you know to do that? And they’re like we just everybody knows how to do that.
0:22:11 – Speaker 1
Like that’s so simple, you know um, my kids don’t have their own devices yet. They’re young stuff.
0:22:18 – Speaker 2
And you’re a family tablet.
0:22:20 – Speaker 1
Yes, yes, we have family tablets, um, but even now I could hand my phone to my kid and they just intuitively know how to do it, and it reminds me of my mother-in-law and my mom, um, because we were raised on computers, you know, in school. Like I remember in kindergarten we were doing the um floppy disk Yeah, the floppy disk.
0:22:40 – Speaker 2
I remember when the big floppy disk came out and I remember my fourth grade teacher saying this is going to change history And I was like whatever.
0:22:47 – Speaker 1
Yes, and I could not wait for computer time because we got to do the organ trail. Did you all do that? Oh, it was this game. I don’t remember This tiny little icon of an organ on an organ trail. You know, it was like digital, very simple, simplistic, but we thought it was amazing, amazing, and I remember my mom and my mother-in-law trying to navigate through things like word and whatnot, and because they didn’t they weren’t raised on it- Yes.
It was so awkward for them to learn and difficult And whereas we were raised on the computer.
0:23:16 – Speaker 2
I remember telling my mom save it to the desktop And she’s like what are?
0:23:19 – Speaker 1
you talking about.
0:23:20 – Speaker 2
Like that is for just control all delete.
0:23:21 – Speaker 1
My mom was like say what? What is this language?
0:23:24 – Speaker 2
Same thing. It’s so true. Our kids are like what is control? Exactly Because everything’s in the handheld device. Everything is handheld.
0:23:31 – Speaker 1
but this is all they know. You know they are raised on this, so they are digital natives. Again, you can listen to our radio show um, about understanding their culture. You’ve got to understand it to be able to parent it well.
0:23:41 – Speaker 2
Well, and let’s leave with a couple of tips on how do you monitor, then, cause I’ve left you with all these loopholes and I feel like you’re feeling a little hopeless here. So one is talk, talk, talk.
0:23:51 – Speaker 1
I mean you know that it’s our message.
0:23:53 – Speaker 2
Follow us. We’re we’re trying to help you in any way create conversation in your home. Two do random phone checks. Yes, do random phone checks. When they first get their phone. This may be an every night thing. As they get older, though, it’ll be less, we promise Now. Now my kid is in high school and it’s just ever so often. Yeah, i trust her. I’ve never found anything on her phone when I do a random phone checks that she hasn’t already told me about. There’s been bad stuff, but she’s told me about it. So do random phone checks with Instagram. Be logged into your kids account on your phone. It’s super easy. You have access to all the DMs And it’s free. One thing I want to caution you on this parents, if you are logged into them, be careful about looking at their DMs before they do, because it sends a notification to the group that you’re seeing it.
0:24:36 – Speaker 3
And if you do it.
0:24:37 – Speaker 2
If you do it, the people in the group are going to be like to your kid. Why aren’t you commenting? Why aren’t you responding? I need your help And so be careful with that. So that’s one of the things that I tell my daughter. I’m like I’m going to respect your privacy, i’m not going to look at him until you do. I’m going to give you that. But they pop up on my phone. I see him coming through And then you know I let her respond first before.
0:24:59 – Speaker 1
I check them out. I like that tip.
0:25:01 – Speaker 2
And then start early. I mean start early. And, Kim, you’re a perfect example here. You got little kids and you’re already talking to them about it so that they know what to do when they get a phone.
0:25:11 – Speaker 1
They know what’s normal and it’s just second nature. Very important to do that. Our three tips Phone monitoring apps are a tool. Use them, but it is not the first line of defense And it’s not about restrictions, it’s about the relationship. That’s our whole nextTalk message And all monitoring apps will fail. The key is that your child will feel safe.
0:25:31 – Speaker 3
Telling you Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, The Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at NextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page