SPECIAL REPORT: Online and On Guard - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

SPECIAL REPORT: Online and On Guard

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

As a parent, have you ever wanted to see exactly what your children are texting back and forth and monitor the folks they're contacting? Well, it's possible, and many parents are taking what some may consider extreme measures to protect their tech savvy kids from harm.

Brenda Green and her 16 year-old daughter Kaylan have a pretty typical relationship, but there is one part that makes Kaylan a bit uncomfortable.

"I'm kind of alone in my own world," said Kaylan. "I feel like the only child on the face of the earth."

That's because mom uses My Mobile Watch Dog to constantly watch out for her daughter.

"It tells me she was on this website July 28th at 5:03," said Brenda.

With the service, Brenda can track Kaylan and control her cell phone. Her goal is to protect Kaylan and make sure she comes home safely every night.

"It worried me because of all the things you see on the news like sexting and all the things that you see," added Brenda.

One of the most concerning, abductions, like the one that played out on video of a 22 year-old woman being kidnapped by Delvin Barnes in Philadelphia. Barnes, now behind bars is also accused in the October abduction of a teen girl from Virginia.

To shield children from predators like Barnes, we looked up several other monitoring apps and services to help shield children.

Lots of them let parents turn off cell phone cameras, control when the phone can be used, monitor text messages, approve new contacts and block apps and websites.

Angie Carter uses Teen Safe to keep an eye on her children's cell phone habits and can even look at deleted text messages.

"It's so easy for a child to have all the access a cell phone allows and to easily slip into trouble that they don't even have intentions of getting into," said Angie.

That's one reason Robyn Spoto created an app called MamaBear, to allow more than one adult to keep tabs on tech savvy kids.

"When the parent installs MamaBear they register their family," said Spoto. "It could be any number of children and guardians that want to stay connected."

Mom Kim Price doesn't monitor her teen with technology, but she is curious.

"I'm interested in doing that not so much to watch what she's doing, but watch what goes on, what other people are putting out there for her to see," said Kim.

All Clinton Public School students have individual labtops or I-pads which makes safety online even more important. One feature you won't see is Facebook during school hours.

"I noticed last year that we had a few people that tried to see can I still access this and immediately the tech department would respond and come pull them out of class and take their computers away," said teacher Erin Barrios.

Moms Brenda and Angie check up on their children regularly through their phones and PCs, but dad Jay Houston, who investigates cyber crimes daily for the Attorney General's Cyber Crime Unit, uses an old-fashioned technique.

"I would much rather sit down with my child and talk to them about it and say you know what are you doing online, lets play this game, lets go over your Instagram, said Jay."

Green says she pays the bills, so she'll use the tools at her fingertips to keep Kaylan safe, whether Kaylan likes it.

"It's just something we're going to disagree on," said Kaylan.

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