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It’s Not Spying on Your Children, It’s Called Parenting

If children are going to great pains to hide their online activity from their parents then it stand to reason that parents are well within their rights to monitor what their children are doing. Some will argue it’s spying, I believe it’s being responsible and looking out for the child’s welfare.

We would like to thing that our children make responsible decisions and are honest about their activities – but that is often not the case:

Parents can now use an array of tools to keep up with the digital lives of their children, raising new quandaries. Is surveillance the best way to protect children? Or should parents trust them to share if they are scared or bewildered by something online?

The answers are as varied as parents themselves. Still, the anxieties of parenting in the digital age have spawned a mini-industry, as start-ups and established companies market new tools to track where children go online, who they meet there and what they do. Because children are glued to smartphones, the technology can allow parents to track their physical whereabouts and even monitor their driving speed.

If, a few years ago, the emphasis was on blocking children from going to inappropriate sites on the family computer, today’s technologies promise to embed Mom and Dad — and occasionally Grandma — inside every device that children are using, and gather intelligence on them wherever they go.

A smartphone application alerts Dad if his son is texting while driving. An online service helps parents keep tabs on every chat, post and photo that floats across their children’s Facebook pages. And another scans the Web in case a child decides to try a new social network that the grown-ups have not even heard of yet.

Click here to read about a new free parental monitoring app.

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