Why would one do this? There are several reasons for this. One of the most popular ones that I hear is from parents that are trying to keep tabs on their kids, generally in response to something rather negative that happened recently involving the kids. We love our kids, and we just want to keep them safe, right?
You’ve heard the phrase “trust but verify”. For those of you that just have to know they are on the right path, this section is for you.
Transparency enhances trust in others. The more transparent you are with a person, the more the person will trust you. That’s just a fact.
However, that’s not good enough for you at the moment. It’s why you’re reading this message. So, here it is…
A mobile phone has become a universal and personal device. It holds personal information in the form of call logs – who you talk to over voice calls, text messages – who and what you talk about over SMS and various other applications which reveal information such as your location, interests and preferences.
Most people keep their phones locked to prevent unauthorized access to their mobile phone. It proves that mobile phones contain personal information which you don’t wish to share with any other person.
Smartphone manufacturers and the experts working for the core technology giants such as Google and Apple are dedicated to providing an operating system that is secure. Android by Google and iOS by Apple hold more than 99% of the global market share in the mobile operating system.
It is very likely that the smartphone you have right now and the people around you are using the same operating systems mentioned above.
Can you relate your kid’s mobile phone with the trust between both of you in your parent/child relationship? Of course, they are connected. Why would your kid hide their phone screen from you while chatting their friend? Or why would they get mad at you when you ask them the password of their phone?
Such unusual behavior regarding their phone sprouts the dormant seed of distrust. Moreover, when you do not know what information has been shared, parent’s brains start to think about every possible negative thought imaginable.
On the one hand, you think that questioning your kids will cause harm to your relationship whereas not asking about it will hurt you not knowing your kids are out of harm’s way. It makes the whole scenario a little complicated.
What can be done – WITHOUT injuring the relationship? Hack their phone or spy on it.
The most common reason for spying is to ensure their activities are on the up and up. Are they doing drugs? Are they participating in illegal activities? Are they drinking? A parent’s head can explode with all of this information.
You too can spy or hack your kid’s phone calls and messages with the help of a few tips and tricks. This article discusses ways to get information regarding the calls and messages they make or receive through their mobile phone. Let’s get started.
1. Help from a Third Person
This is the most convenient way to spy on your kid’s phone calls and messages. You can’t find a more natural way than this.
Find out a person who is very close to your kid (usually a best friend or someone that calls them BFF/Bro) and who has access to their mobile phone.
Such a person can be a member of the family too… like a brother, sister or other parents.
Talk to them about your doubts and the unusual behavior of your child lately.
Ask them either to share the details of the call logs and messages or, you can ask for the password of their mobile phone. Or you can just ask them to spy on your behalf.
Make sure you keep it a secret between you and the third person and the same applies to the third person too.
This is convenient because:
a. This method does not involve hacking and spy skills.
b. It is absolutely free.
c. It is easy, and the third person can act as another witness of sorts that something is going on – whatever it is.
Why would this NOT work?
That’s because certain things can quickly become very risky, and the stakes are high…
a. You need to trust a third person who may be a weak link. Things can get worse if that third person doesn’t believe you and spill your plan to your kid.
b. The third person is closer to your kid than they are you. It will not be easy to convince them to spy on their trusted pal.
c. Worst case, if your kid finds out about the deal between you and the third person, there’s going to be a major dent in your relationship. And on top of that, you’ve ruined the relationship between the third person and your kid. Ladies and gentlemen – that’s what we call a MESS.
2. Postpaid Bill – My Family Plan
The base technology behind the voice calls and text messages are provided by the mobile carrier. Mobile service providers have all the details regarding calls and text messages. They may even have location information.
Have you ever seen a mobile postpaid bill? Nowadays most mobile service providers prefer e-bill over paper bills. Some mobile carriers provide an account of all the calls made and text messages sent during the billing cycle with the utility bill.
Now if you want to utilize this service of your mobile service provider to spy on the calls and messages of your kid, then:
a. You’ll have to migrate their phone connection to your carrier. Yes, it called mobile number portability (MNP). After porting their number, you’ll have to add that number to your phone number using a family plan.
b. Buy them a new sim card registered as a child number to your mobile.
Either way, you’ll be adding your kid’s number as a child under your mobile number (the parent). Every month you’ll receive the bill with the call information which includes outgoing calls and their durations. Along with the calling data, the bill also contains information regarding the text messages sent during the period.
Though you won’t be able to get the content of the text messages and details of incoming calls, you’ll get to know the contacts which are frequently communicated through outgoing calls. Moreover, if you don’t get this information with the bill of the connection, then you can ask the service provider to share the details.
The service provider will provide you with all the details because you are the owner of the parent number of the whole plan. These details are also used by police and other agencies for law enforcement purposes.
Advantages of this method:
a. There is no dependency on the third person. In fact, there is no third person.
b. This method doesn’t require hacking.
d. Your partner will not be vulnerable to privacy violation or being hacked by any other person or application.
Problems with this method…
a. You’ll have to migrate to a postpaid service if you have a prepaid service right now.
b. A postpaid service is generally more expensive compared to the prepaid.
c. It may be tough for you to convince your kid to port their number to another carrier or to a postpaid connection (if they have not already done so).
d. You get partial information as only billed entities are included in the utility bill; incoming calls are not listed.
3. Spy Applications or Applications as a spy
Well, Google and Apple are committed to making your life easy but there is a tradeoff between convenience and security. For example, ‘password’ as a password is very insecure, but it is easy. Whereas a password with a capital letter, one number, one special symbol and with a minimum length of 8 characters is complicated but highly secure.
There are a plethora of Android and Apple phone applications that provide remote access to information regarding calls and messages, for example, the SMS and call backup applications and call recording applications. Such applications allow you to save and send data to your cloud account added in your mobile phone.
Mobile phone applications such as the TruthSpy, MobileSpy, SpyZie, etc. Most of these applications need to be installed on your kid’s device (at least in the very beginning)…. once.
These applications get to hide from the main menus that appear on the phone and work in the background. They periodically synchronize data and save the data regarding calls and messages on their servers.
There are multiple ways to get access to your kid’s calls and texts with the help of specific applications. Let’s discuss them one by one:
a. Addition of your account to your kid’s phone:
You can add your (or a fake/temporary) Gmail account onto your kid’s phone.
Your kid might feel glad that you trust them with your personal account. (Assuming that you don’t have anything to hide from them.)
Install a call recording app or SMS backup app, call backup app (search in the Google Playstore, and you’ll find so many applications) add your account as the backup destination and you’ll receive the data periodically in your cloud account.
As you can see in the provided screenshots how I added my Google drive account with a call recording application.
iCloud acts as a default backup manager for iPhone users. Hence, you just have to get access to your kid’s iPhone account to monitor their calls and messages if they are using an iPhone.
You will have to rely on social engineering tactics somewhat. Ask them to log in to their AppleID on any of your Apple devices and use a keylogger to get their password.
Once you have the password, you’re almost there. Now tell your they should make regular backups of their data often. Yes, more social engineering tips.
Then log into their Apple account and monitor their calls and messages.
Note: You’ll get in trouble if your kid has enabled two-factor authorization. So, yeah turn on your two-factor approval to prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud account. However, if your kid has enabled this, pat them on the back. That is a great security practice.
c. Spy Applications:
Just as backup applications can obtain information regarding calls and SMS, there are some applications such as the TruthSpy which send the data to their server.
Get access to your kid’s phone for a short while.
Install a spy application, then create or log into the account and give them the device back.
You can log in from a remote device to the account through their website and monitor the complete information regarding call and SMS using the account.
a. Your kid won’t ever know that you’re spying on them unless they are tech-savvy and very aware of the applications running on their phone.
b. Spy applications often are fee-based, but backup and call recording applications are freely available.
c. You can backpedal if your kid finds this “suspicious application” on their phone by using words like ‘Virus’, ‘Malware’.
What are the cons?
a. You need to work on your social engineering skills to get their phone once, without raising suspicions.
b. A tech-savvy kid won’t be such easy prey to such a trick.
c. The spy applications often charge a fee.
d. Yes, you are compromising the privacy of a loved one with third party applications or cloud storage.
e. Google has recently started taking steps against applications which access call logs on Android.
Another way of hacking and spying on your kid’s calls and text messages is to develop a smartphone application yourself. There are plenty of application development tools available online such as BuildFire for Android which requires minimal coding. Make it a game, that shows one thing on the screen but does spy activities in the background.
You can also learn iOS and Android application development using the free courses made available by the makers themselves – Google (for Android), Udacity, Udemy etc.
We just assumed that you’re not into coding… otherwise, why would you be reading this article?
Privacy over the Internet is a Myth.”
You just have to explore the gateways to get the desired information.
Note: This article does not encourage spying activities. We do, however, encourage you to be close allies with your kids, and building such a trust that neither of you would do anything to sabotage.