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Has anyone been tempted to use mSpy app to spy on their kids?

I read about it on the internet today - an app for watching over your children. It tracks phone calls, location data and everything else. And it boasts of huge number of paid subscribers. Why would anyone (except in extreme cases) do that to their children? Where is the good ol' talking gone?

Seeking Opinion Safety & Privacy 3 years ago

3 experts have answered

expert answer
Andrew Weekes expert
Andrew Weekes Techy engineer, father of two. Sevenoaks, GB
Technology expert

I've not used this app, but I do have the ability to track both my boys (as they can do to me!), but under their control - they can disable it at any time, even temporarily.

Google+ allows location sharing and you can share both a pinpoint location and a city location to different groups. As a family we share all our pinpoint locations with each other, since we've demonstrated the value of it repeatedly.

We also have Android Device Manager enabled which allows free on-demand pin-point location of a phone, wiping or password change, in the event of it being lost or stolen. My eldest teen, who's likely to be most concerned about 'spying' again supports this as I've already located and recovered a dropped phone this year!

As he gets older I suspect he may be more concerned, but he doesn't view it as spying at present, just a social sharing. It's under his control and he can disable it if he wants to.

I guess it's only spying if you do it surreptitiously, so yes, talking is the answer!

Having just looked at the mSpy site, it's wound me up immensely. It just presents scare stories about what a dangerous world it is out there as justification for their application. The world is no more dangerous now, than it ever has been, in many ways it's much safer and this just looks like a company scaring parents into paying them money to infringe their children's liberties.

I had a discussion similar to this with a friend recently. They are vary wary about letting their teenage son out on his own, or even with friends (he's the same age as my son, 14). The reason given was because of how dangerous it was out there. When I pointed out that, as an example, child homicide rates have been pretty much static since the 70's (as compiled by the Home Office, who's methods haven't changed over the years) and that children are generally more at risk from parents, family or those known to the family, as opposed to strangers, they were surprised and at first, disbelieving.

It's the problem with the way news is presented to us that leads us into this fear as parents, apps like that aren't helping, in my view.

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Opinion 3 years ago
expert answer
Leonie Smith expert
Leonie Smith Cyber safety consultant AU
E-safety expert

Spying apps are gaining popularity. In my opinion it is best to start educating kids and parents when the children are just starting to use devices that connect to the internet, then you may never need to use a spying app. Leaving parent education until the time that something has gone wrong is quite negligent. I have helped some parents set up spying apps for their kids, but only in 2 cases where the young girls were self harming and both had attempted suicide. In these cases lives were seriously at risk, and both girls needed to use computers and internet for school. Otherwise, get in tune with your kids, join them on their digital journey early and be sure you keep up your education.

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Experience 3 years ago
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Fact 8 months ago

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