HOUSTON – Parents who want to keep a closer eye on their teens have technology on their side. There are several apps now available that allow mom and dad to monitor what their kids are texting.
We met at Houston’s Northwest Mall recently with the cheerleaders from St. Ambrose Catholic School and their moms to find out what they think about the newest app called PicsChecker.
It allows parents to see every single text their teen sends out and every picture they take, whether they send it out or not. Parents get a daily emailed report.
"I don’t think I would get the app," said mom Nancy Metcalf.
"There’s not really anything that I’m hiding so I’m like, it’s my privacy and I don’t want them reading like all of my texts, but it’s not anything bad that I text about," said teen Natalie Argentina.
PicsChecker and other apps work like this: You sign up on their website; they walk you through installing the app on your child’s phone; you pay a monthly fee; PicsChecker costs $4 a month.
"I’m gonna say thumbs up because it makes the parents aware," said KHOU Social Media Producer Doug Delony. "PicsChecker does a good job of monitoring all the text messages that are going outbound. It doesn’t monitor the inbound messages so you can’t see those."
PicsChecker is only available for Android devices, not for iPhone.
Experts and parents agree, no device can be a substitute for open, honest communication between parents and kids in this digital age.