Frequent readers of this blog know that we think it is an uphill battle, and maybe impossible, to keep track of your teen’s every move on her cell phone. For parents of pre-teens, however, it may make more sense to act as a gatekeeper in addition to monitoring activity. How you go about controlling which apps kids are using is a challenge.
If you are a parent who is not that familiar with the app landscape, and don’t pay close attention to the activity in your iTunes account, a new app may either make your life easier or be overwhelming. It’s probably worth a look.
AppCertain, which debuted in May, is available for iOS devices only, including iPhones, iPods and iPads. It delivers on two key promises – it tells you which apps your kid has downloaded, and gives a pretty good idea of what the app does. I assume that AppCertain will lag a little in terms of compiling info on new apps, but it looks as though the main ones are covered.
The app is free for users to monitor one device, but adding additional devices will cost a parent $4.99 per device. Once set up, AppCertain sends the parent an email each time an app is downloaded. The email specifies the name of the app and whether it has educational value, permits content sharing or allows/requires in-app purchases. In addition, the app description includes an opinion about whether the app is safe for kids.
Going back to the age thing, if your seven year old has an iPhone and knows your iTunes password, AppCertain might keep you up to speed. With a 15 – 18 year old, which apps she is using may be the least of your problems. What she is doing is more important than which app she is using.
This app on its own will not keep your kids out of trouble, but may help with the younger ones. Let us know in the comments section below if you’ve tried it.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.