Smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous. Now-a-days we see people from all walks of life staring down at their various devices throughout the days. It’s not uncommon for a child to get their first smartphone about the time they start high school and we’ve even heard stories about children as young as 3-4 years old mastering iPads. We often give these devices away as presents or job perks to eager teens or valuable employees in a world where we are ever more connected. But we should also keep in mind that these things we’ve all come to take for granted are also incredibly powerful tools akin to having a computer in your pocket.
Giving or lending such a device comes with all the pitfalls of letting someone have free rein on your personal computer. The consequences can be extremely serious. For a parent there are too many, all too familiar, nightmare scenarios we can conjure up easily. Predators, bullying, sexting, hacking, endless freemium purchases, identity theft… And those are literally just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. The consequences for a boss aren’t any less severe as the company can often be held accountable for the actions of an employee using company property. As such, proper steps should be used to ensure that whoever you’re giving this device to is using it properly. With this in mind we’re ready to recommend some iOS monitoring software you can use to keep tabs on your devices.
First thing’s first; what are the legal implications of monitoring software? Isn’t this the same as hacking or spying? It must surely break some privacy laws. Simply put, it is not the same and it is 100% legal provided you follow three basic rules. The first rule is you can only monitor devices you own. That means the phone belongs to you, or a company, or person for whom you’re authorized to act. The second rule is that any person over the age of 18 must be made aware that they are being monitored. The last one is really more of a condition or practical limitation than a rule; you have to physically have the device in your possession. The software cannot be installed remotely though it can often be monitored online. If you ever come across a product that claims to offer remote installation (ie: you can do it over the internet) it is a scam! The one exception to this rule is iOS “Jailbreak Free” monitoring software which allows you to monitor a device via its iCloud backups; all this requires is the associated Apple ID and password. Assuming you’ve satisfied these three conditions you have nothing to fear legally.
What Can This Software Do?
These applications can be extremely powerful. They can help you keep tabs on your children, make sure your employees aren’t spreading company secrets, and can even help you get your device back if it’s stolen. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; some of these products have features worthy of a James Bond movie! For instance, a feature common to many of the more advanced products is geolocation. Imagine being able to instantly see the exact location of a stolen phone, a slacker employee, or God forbid… a missing child. What price would a parent not pay for that opportunity? Other extremely cool features include being able to turn on the microphone and camera to record the device’s surroundings; extremely useful in the aforementioned stolen phone scenario. Not all the features are that dramatic but many are just as useful. Some of the more mundane features includes call, text, and facebook monitoring; logs of websites visited and the possibility to restrict sites; and just about any other info on the device’s use you’d care to know. One feature we’re particularly happy with is the keyword targeting. Some services allow you to set up forwarding rules which only activate when certain trigger words are detecting. We see this as particularly useful for parents who can set up triggers like “Drugs, Sex, Weed, Alcohol” etc. allowing you to keep tabs on your children while still affording them a certain level of privacy.
While there are some applications available that can provide monitoring without needing jailbreak you’ll come to find that the vast majority will require a jailbroken device to work. Those that don’t will be severely limited in their functionality. Jailbreaking isn’t a difficult process, it’s something you can do at home with any computer but it will take a bit of research. Jailbreaking is what can unlock the advanced features of these applications such as geolocation, social media monitoring, or remote recording.
Pop Up Notification
Many companies are being forced to comply with a fairly recent US law requiring these types of apps to display a notification. The notification is intended to remind the user that they are being monitored, as per the new law, the pop up is required to display at least once every 24 hours and cannot be disabled. While we’d never condone monitoring someone without their knowledge there’s something about being bludgeoned with that fact every day that seems to render the software ineffective. For this reason we often advise to avoid US based companies as International companies are exempt from this requirement. With that said, you should still tell whoever you’re monitoring that they’re being monitored. Seriously, it’s the right thing to do… Also, it’s illegal not to.
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about monitoring your iPhone or iPad. If you’re interested in pursuing this avenue there are a multitude of options to choose from and you’re sure to find something to suit your purposes. Some of the top brands to look for include mSpy, FlexiSpy, and Mobistealth. As with any purchase, it’s really important that you do ample research and find the service that’s best suited to your needs. A simple Google Search is a good place to start!