Nowadays, it’s not a surprise that parents want to monitor their child’s text messages on the iPhone. Young children are quite vulnerable to things around them and can be a victim of inappropriate content. Such messages may be intended for sexting, drugs, cyberbullying. As a parent, you will not want your child to access such content So, it becomes quite reasonable to monitor your child’s iPhone. Hence, let’s read and find out the answer to the question, “how can I monitor my child’s text messages on iPhone.”
The Main Dangers of the Internet for Children
The Internet is a double-edged sword that can shape our kid’s future for better or worse. Unlike adults, youngsters are still in their formative years and more susceptible to the impact of contents they find on the web. Since you can’t wholly deny them access to the Internet, the best way to protect them is by closely monitoring their online activities.
Some of the most critical Internet dangers you need to protect your children from include:
Cyberbullying: Grim results of a 2018 survey show that about 60% of children who frequent social media platforms have experienced some form of bullying, and most keep such unfortunate incidences to themselves. A similarly worrisome report published in 2018 on enough.org shows that 47% (nearly half) of all young people have fallen prey to cyberbullying.
Cyber predators: The Internet is filled with online predators who take advantage of children’s naivety to exploit them in real life. These predators lurk around in places where children love hanging out, including social media and gaming platforms. They draw kids into their sinister plans using mind games and anonymity.
Mishandling private information: Your children may innocently disclose some highly sensitive private information that malevolent people can pounce on. For instance, they might post publicly on social media about their family vacations, home address, and some real-life events.
Phishing: Children are also more likely to fall for phishing attacks than adults. Cybercriminals and threat actors can use phishing attacks to obtain a host of sensitive information from your kid’s iPhone, including contact information, credit card credentials, etc. You need to monitor your kids to make sure they don’t give into phishing attacks.
Scams: The Internet is also filled with scammers targeting minors and youngsters. These scammers use click baits that appeal to children like free access to games, freebies, etc. The scammers lurk around places where children like to hang out, and then they track potential victims closely, luring them in with gifts and promises.
Malware: Your children are also more likely to download malware that exposes sensitive information stored on their devices to thefts. Cybercriminals can also use malware to convert your child’s device to a ‘botnet,’ using the computing resources of the device to power their malicious activities.
Should Parents Monitor Their Child’s iPhone Messages?
In most parts of the world, it’s illegal to spy on other people’s text messages. However, as a parent, if you’re wondering ‘how can I monitor my child’s text messages on iPhone,’ you’re doing so out of parental instincts to protect your kids during their formative years. As such, it’s completely legal and ethical to keep tabs on your children’s text messages.
Text message monitoring is even at the core of the FBI’s recommendations for protecting your children against online risks. However, your strategy needs to be well-rounded, incorporating tracking measures taken behind your children’s back as well as dialogs that engage them openly concerning their vulnerabilities.
You need to keep track of what your children do on social media since most of their posts are in public view and accessible to people with malicious intentions. While you can talk openly about their posts, it’s also imperative to monitor them behind their backs to ensure they’re not hiding anything sinister because they’re too embarrassed to talk about it.
You need to get your child’s messages on the iPhone to prevent them from falling prey to smishing and vishing (phishing plots executed through texting and voice messages). You need to teach your children to identify and ignore phishing messages and follow up with text monitoring to ensure they heed to your warning.
This two-pronged strategy can also help you protect your kids from scammers. If you can’t protect your kids on gaming platforms and social media sites where they interact with malevolent people, you can track their text messages to foil any malicious plan as it unfolds in real life.
How to Monitor Texts on iPhone Using Free and Paid Methods
1. Free Methods
Text Message Forwarding:
One of the simplest ways to keep track of your son’s iPhone text message is by using a built-in feature that allows incoming and outgoing text messages to be forwarded to your phone.
To set up text forwarding on iPhone:
- Open the settings menu and navigate to Messages
- Click on “Send & Receive.” On the next page, enter the Apple I.D of the phone you want to monitor your kid’s text messages with.
- Return to the main page of the Settings menu, select “Messages” again, and then turn on the “Text Message Forwarding” option.
- Select the device you want the messages to be forwarded to.
- The key in the verification code will be sent to you, and that’s it.
Note, however, that tech-savvy kids these days can quickly realize that their text messages are being forwarded. That implies that this method is one of the simplest but also one of the least effective. Besides, this method doesn’t cover secret conversations on encrypted messengers and other well-secured messaging platforms.
Another free, simple way to track your daughter’s iMessages is by syncing with their iCloud account. The iCloud syncing feature allows you to access all the data on an iPhone remotely from another device.
Note that this feature is only available on devices running with iOS 12 and above and requires your child’s Apple account credentials.
To track your children’s text messages using iCloud message sync:
1. Open the Settings app, click on the device name, and then enter the phone’s iCloud and Apple I.D.
2. Under iCloud, toggle the button next to “Messages,” and that’s it. You now just have to wait for a few minutes for the syncing process to be completed.
Again, tech-savvy kids can easily find out that you’re tracking their messages through iCloud syncing. So you need to have a plan b when using this method because there’s a good chance that you might be caught.
2. iPhone Parental Control Apps for Texting
Parental control software for monitoring text messages are highly sophisticated tools that are easy to install and use. These apps work incognito and give you remote access to all your children’s text messages, allowing you to check up on them anytime, anywhere, without getting caught.
The best parental monitoring software can be set up and used without prior technical experience, and they also don’t require physical access to the target phone. They also come with a host of highly advanced functionalities that facilitate seamless, effective monitoring.
A top-draw text monitoring app like mSpy discloses the full details of incoming and outgoing messages on the target phone, including the contact details of the senders/receivers, shared multimedia contents like images, audio messages, etc. as well as time and date stamps on the messages. The app also shows you if messages have been successfully sent or received, and also discloses deleted text messages.
Top-draw parental monitoring apps also come with features for tracking your children’s activities on other messaging platforms, including encrypted messaging platforms, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
Most of these apps also disclose the call records of a target phone, allowing to see the details of all incoming and outgoing calls, including the contact details of the caller/receiver and the time of the call. You can also use the app to block certain numbers on your child’s phone.
Excellent apps like mSpy also provide you with location trackers that reveal your kids’ previous and current locations. There’s also a geofencing feature that alerts you whenever your kid strays beyond a designated zone like school or home during a specific duration. This feature works with Wi-Fi, allowing you to track your kid’s location even without GPS coverage.
If you have a reason for texting monitoring, you’ll definitely have even more reasons to want to check up on your child’s online activities. The creators of top-notch parental monitoring apps know this, making their apps capable of revealing your kid’s online activities. Apps like mSpy allow you to review your child’s browsing history, bookmarked pages, etc.
How Do Parental Control Apps for iPhone Texting Work?
Requirements for Installing the Software
Operating system requirements: Some top-notch apps like mSpy have multiple versions for different mobile and desktop operating systems. mSpy supports Apple devices running on iOS 6-13 versions. But the target phone needs to enable internet connectivity, either through Wi-Fi or cellular data, to keep the app running and sending in real-time updates.
Physical access: Some parental control apps require you to get a hold of the target phone to install the app on it physically. However, others, like mSpy, work entirely remotely. All you need in order to get mSpy to send you information about your children’s iPhone activities is their iCloud credentials.
You don’t have to worry about any inconveniences that might arise from installing an app on your children’s phone (one that your child will most likely kick against).
So long as iCloud syncing is activated on the target phone, mSpy allows you to get a copy of all your data generated and stored on the iPhone by duplicating information backed up on the iCloud account.
Jailbreaking: You may also need to jailbreak the iPhone in some instances to make use of certain features of a parental monitoring app. Jailbreaking refers to removing some limitations of an operating system to allow for more content and apps to be downloaded on the phone. In iPhones, jailbreaking allows you to download and install apps that aren’t available on the App Store.
Jailbreaking also requires physical access to the phone, so this option might not be suitable for parents who need their monitoring campaign to remain secretive straight off the bat. Thankfully, highly advanced apps like mSpy can give you all you need to monitor your child’s text messages on a non-jailbroken phone.
What’s even more expedient about mSpy is that it works on both jailbroken and non-jailbroken phones, though each installation method allows for a slightly different set of functionalities.
How to Install an App to Read your Kid’s Texts on iPhone
Step 1: Activate iCloud
First of all, you need to ensure that iCloud syncing is active on the target phone. To do this, go to “Settings > iCloud > Backup” on the target device, and turn on all the features that can be backed up on iCloud. You also need to turn off two-factor authentication for your child’s Apple ID so you can easily use their Apple credentials when setting up the monitoring software on your phone. You also need to ensure that the target phone has an active internet connection.
Step 2: Choose an mSpy Subscription Package
Next, go to the mSpy’s official website, register for an account, and then choose a subscription package that suits your unique needs. Fill out the billing form with your details and then proceed to checkout.
Step 3: Follow the Instructions on your Confirmation email
After paying for your subscription package successfully, a confirmation mail will be sent to the email address you provided. The email will contain your mSpy ID and password, as well as further instructions on how to set up the app. Follow the instructions and set up your Control Panel. Furthermore, mSpy provides 24/7 technical assistance to help you with any challenge you might run into during the installation.
Step 4: Start getting child’s text messages
Once the app is successfully installed on your phone, enter your child’s Apple credentials when prompted, and that’s it! You can take out your phone and check up on your kid’s iPhone activities anytime, anywhere.
What You’ll Get From an Installed iPhone Message Spying Software
As earlier noted, the set of functions you’ll get from an iPhone message spying software depends on the subscription package you choose. The main differing factor between the subscription packages is the jailbreaking requirements. For instance, for an app like mSpy, here’s a rundown of features you’ll get from a jailbreak and unjailbreak packages:
For the Jailbreak method:
· Access to instant messages: Read your child’s incoming and outgoing text messages.
· Access to social media activities: Monitor posts, private messages, and direct messages sent and received through various social media platforms from Facebook to Whatsapp, Instagram, Skype, and a host of others.
· Access to call records: View records of all incoming and outgoing calls, including the contact information of the caller/receiver as well as the time of the call.
· Monitor browsing activities: Check up on your children’s browsing history, downloaded and uploaded files, bookmarked pages, etc.
For the Non-Jailbreak method:
· Access to all functionalities available on jailbreak packages.
· Access to emails: View all incoming and outgoing emails as well as the contact details of senders/receivers.
· GPS tracking: Keep track of your child’s previous and current locations. Also, the geofencing feature allows you to set up an alert system to know when your child wanders beyond a specified perimeter.
· SIM change notification: Receive alerts when the SIM card is changed on the target phone, so you can make the necessary adjustments to maintain your monitoring campaign.
· Automatic software updates: Get software updates that make the app even more resourceful and reliable.
· Keylogger function: With this function, you receive records of every single key pressed on the target phone.
How to Keep Your Children Safe Online With Built-In iPhone Features?
If you’re wondering ‘how can I monitor my child’s iPhone without spending money or implementing steeply technical methods,’ you can use some built-in parental control features on your child’s iPhone. These features allow you to prevent your kids from using certain features of the phone for their safety. Here’s a rundown of measures you can implement using the built-in parental control feature:
· App restrictions: Block or limit access to specific apps like gaming apps, social media apps, etc. You can also prevent apps from gaining access to hardware components and functionalities of the phone, including the microphone, contacts, calendars, location services, reminders, media and Apple music, etc.
· Download restrictions: Prevent your kids from downloading or purchasing explicit content and apps.
· Location services: Stop apps and websites from tracking the location of the phone.
· Prevent web content: Keep your child away from sites with adult or explicit content.
· Regulate access to apps and features: This allows you to prevent access to certain features and apps. The blocked apps or features are hidden, not deleted.
· Bluetooth sharing: Prevent your kids from sending or receiving data and files through Bluetooth.
· Siri web search: Prevent your kids from using Siri to execute web searches.
The best way to monitor your child’s iPhone is through parental monitoring software. With parental monitoring apps, you’ll get to worry much less about your child’s phone activities. You’ll be able to ensure that your child uses their phone for educational and edifying purposes only. You’ll be able to protect them from any activities that might mar the innocence of their children or give rise to life-long traumas.
These apps allow you to check up on your child’s phone activities remotely, from their text messages to their calls, browsing activities, and social media posts. They’re easy to set up and use, and some like mSpy offer 24/7 technical support to help you trump any issue that might hamper your monitoring campaign.