Monitor your child’s iMessages with TeenSafe

TeenSafe LogoI finally found it! An answer to the question I’ve received so many times: “Is there a way to monitor my child’s iMessages on her iPod touch/iPad/iPhone?”   Up until now I did not know of a way, other than checking the device.  And while some phone plans will let you monitor regular “SMS” text messages (sent through cellular service), iMessages are different; they are sent using a WiFi connection, not with a cellular connection.

Apple development guidelines restrict how apps can extract information, apparently, and this has made it a challenge for app developers to provide this type of solution.

But looks like TeenSafe has found a way.  And you don’t have to install anything on your child’s Apple device to make it work. Here’s a review of TeenSafe monitoring service.

TeenSafe Lets you monitor:

  • Multiple children with one subscription
  • Text messages
  • Phone location
  • Phone call logs
  • iPhone web history, search history & bookmarks
  • Contact address book
  • Facebook private messages
  • Facebook & Instagram Feeds
  • Facebook & Instagram social interactions

 

Free Trial

TeenSafe offers a free 6 day trial.  Sign up with your name and e-mail and set a password.  As always take a look at the Terms of Use – on TeenSafe they are very clear that this is NOT intended to be used as a stalking tool to track, say, a spouse!  You are agreeing that you will only use to monitor a child between ages 13 and 18 for whom you are the legal guardian.

I took advantage of the free trial and set this up for my daughter’s iPod touch.  This review doesn’t cover Android; there are difference between the two in terms of what is offered.  I used the service to take a look at iMessages and Instagram, as my daughter does not use Facebook.

You are required to enter your credit card information when starting the free trial.  You will automatically be billed the monthly charge for the service (currently $14.95/month) UNLESS you at least 24 hours before the end of the free trial period.  If you like the service you can add additional devices to monitor included in the monthly rate.  Fifteen dollars seems steep to me but if I had 3 kids, I might think it’s a bargain.

Bonus: When I clicked on the link to cancel after 6 days, they automatically gave me a few more days.

TIP: When I sign up for free trials like this for anything I set a reminder on my phone so I remember to call and cancel if I don’t wish to continue the service.

TeenSafe setup

Set up is fairly easy.  Enter your child’s name, date of birth and state where your child lives. Then start mobile monitoring or social monitoring.  As you can see, for iPhone users you’ll need the child’s iCloud information (apple ID and password).  And you’ll also need your child’s Facebook and/or Instagram username and password.

Setting up TeenSafe

If you don’t know your child’s Apple ID and social media account information, go ask them for it and write it down.  You may even want to use a media agreement and have rules in place.  For example, any account ID’s and passwords are shared with parents.  These could be critical to know if something happens to your child

Once setup is complete, you’ll arrive at a page kinda like this:

TeenSafe home screen

 

Instagram monitoring with TeenSafe

Instagram Monitoring showed me the feed of photos shared with my daughter.  I could also see the photos she has shared. This is the same information that I could see if I logged into her Instagram account at Instagram.com.  So if you are only looking for Instagram monitoring, you could do that for free.  But bundled with the Phone monitoring, it adds the convenience of accessing the information from a dashboard.  Also, with TeenSafe I could also view lists of her followers and “followees”, which is not readily available on Instagram.com.

 

iMessage monitoring with TeenSafe

Setting up mobile monitoring for the iPod took a few tries.  Before you can monitor the device, you’ll have to make sure iCloud backups are activated.  Without doing this you cannot monitor the iPhone/iPod/iPad.  They provide instructions on how to set this up.

I had to reconfigure my daughter’s iPod for iCloud backups.  I followed the instructions provided.  The backup didn’t work the first time, but did work the second time.  I was then able to access her texts, deleted texts, calls, contacts, web (Safari) history, and web search history, Safari bookmarks, and Current Location.

During the trial period, you’ll only see the last three texts (in this case, iMessages) within a conversation.  It was hard to follow Group iMessages.  Emoticons (“emojis”) didn’t display so there were a lot of weird looking icons.  You will also not be able to view any photos or videos sent in iMessages.  Instead you’ll see  “Possible MMS data/attachement”.

Deleted texts are a new feature.  Right at the top of the list of deleted texts, TeenSafe explained:

  • Recovered Texts might show duplicates
  • Some non-deleted Texts might be displayed
  • Occasionally certain Texts are not-recoverable

This looked to be the case, as many texts shown here were missing the date.  Many had really old dates like April, 2001.  I don’t think iPhones even existed back then! So it was hard to know if this was a recent text or one from a while back.  Many deleted texts were missing the name/number so there was no way to know who had sent it.  I think there is more work needed here to make deleted texts a reliable feature.

Current location has to be updated each time you want the location; when I did the update, the exact location of her iPod was shown (our house). But other times I tried, I was told no new information was available.  An app like “Find my iPhone” would provide the same information.

Web history did show me bookmarks that I know exist in my kiddo’s Safari browser, and I got some good insight into a few of the recent web sites she has visited.  So this feature seems to work as expected.

 

So to summarize, TeenSafe, while not perfect may be the only way to monitor iMessages on an Apple device without “jail breaking” the device.  You can always, of course, do spot checks of your child’s phone or device to view their messages.  Yes, they may delete them before you see them.  Deleted texts in TeenSafe are not reliable just yet, in my opinion, so if that is the main reason you want to use the service, then you may want to wait for them to work out the kinks.  If you have more than one device you need to monitor, or if you are want to view iMessages, web history and Instagram posts all in one place, then TeenSafe might be a good solution for you.

Learn more about TeenSafe: http://www.teensafe.com

 

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Comments

    • Jay says

      I’ve been wanting to try teen safe for my daughter for 5 months now. Thank you for your amazing input as always. I will wait until they work on better deleted text recovery.

      • Abby Hollingsworth says

        Teen safe has its pros and cons. I’m 16 years old and my mom basically tapped my phone. I think it’s complete invasion of privacy. Parents, your kids are going to try things that you ARENT going to approve of. It’s life. Your kids are their own person. A survey has proven that teenagers who live under strict parents tend to make awful decision in life after high school because they were so sheltered in their younger years. Leave this website alone if your only using it for spying on your child.

  1. Lisa McG says

    I wonder why it is restricted to kids OVER age 13? Tweens who take the schoolbus for 45 minutes each way and such – for safety reasons (district isn’t the best at tracking kids and say, not making them get off at the wrong stop, or simply not showing up for pickup), we have to give them a phone, begrudgingly. But concerns about proper usage, internet safety and such are primary.

  2. Maxine says

    I have two children in their early teens, and installed Teen Safe on both as a precaution (I trust them, but it’s a scary place out there). The only reason I haven’t discovered anything scandalous via Teen Safe is because my children aren’t partaking in anything of the sort. That being said, the application works as advertised, and I rest easy being able to know what my kids are up to.

    • Jean says

      Glad to hear it is working well for you, Maxine. I think that is the point of parental control tools like this one; to help parents rest easy!

      • Christian Burke says

        Really help parents rest easy no.
        You just want to be control freaks over your kids invasion of privacy hardcore and they will grow to resent you trust me on that one.

      • Jean says

        Thanks for your message, you are certainly entitle to your opinion on this but I think that monitoring for the safety of a child doesn’t make a parent a control freak. There is certainly a balance to be found between monitoring and privacy and each family has to figure that out depending on children’s ages, values, etc. Most kids don’t like their parent’s restrictions – I never did like my curfew but as I grew into an adult I learned not to resent those types of restrictions but realize the intent behind them.

    • Jason Levine says

      How about you stop wasting all your time watching what your kids are doing . I assure you your boys watch porn galore. Why don’t you let your kids live a little after all it’s gonna come back and bite you

      • Jean says

        So parents should allow their children to “live a little” and watch online porn?? Uh, I don’t think so!

  3. Elizabeth says

    This is not user-friendly. I’ve completed the set-up as directed and am unable to see any of my children’s texts.

  4. Brenda R. says

    HI Jean,

    Would you mind elaborating on the sign-up process? My husband and I are dealing with a very emotional and difficult emancipation process with our legally adopted daughter who is 17. We are unsure if the program runs any background checks or cross-references names. How did the sign-in process and the state selection screen affect your ability to use the program? I’d hate to sign up and get ready, only to realize that the program asks for quite a bit of personal information.

    • Jean says

      Hi Brenda, I don’t think there was much asked for other than e-mail address. You might want to contact the company to find answers to those specific questions.

  5. Lynne says

    Hi Jean,
    My daughter is pretty tech savy…can you explain the icloud backup? I see in setting where you can turn it on but what happens if my daughter turns it off? Thank you!!

    • Jean says

      Hi Lynne,
      My understanding is that the service relies on the iCloud backup to work. If that is shut off, I’m pretty sure it would stop working. That would be a good question for their tech support!

    • Techy Guru says

      I would think a service like this would use a certificate meaning these options would be locked down as if it was a enterprise device. Not entirely sure though, good idea to contact support.

  6. Anonymous says

    I don’t get why people would use something like this I mean yeah there are troubling things for your kids out there but you don’t have to be in their life it’s theirs to live they are kids they will do things and regret them many years after just like most of you did and hopefully since you parents care so much about your child that you have raised them well enough to know that your child will be smart about certain things and not do the wrong thing

    • Mike D says

      I don’t get why people who have never witnessed or experience troubled kids would have the gall to say something like this. Either you don’t have kids or have lived a utopian life with no bullying, drug use or even suicides. I have witnessed friends and family who have gone through all of the above and while my kids fall have grown into smart kids who make good choices, I still worry. I currently only do spot checks and have liked what I have seen so far but my sis-in-law is dealing with an out of control daughter that she is trying to keep out of jail and this is the sort of app that might help her. I have a friend whose daughter is in jail for drug and theft charges right now and had he seen the early warning signs from 8 years ago, he might have had the ability to turn her life around. Yes, every parent does their best to raise smart kids but lets face it. Some smart kids still make stupid choices for a variety of reasons and sometimes we have to step in as parents and DO OUR JOB. That is what this app helps us do.

    • Jill says

      It is very obvious you are a kid by your writing. You are defending your age group, but unfortunately do not have the maturity and experience of a parent of a teen, so your comment cannot be taken seriously.

      • Megan says

        And why does that matter? How does it make a difference? In fact, they are probably more experienced than you. Are you a teen? Likely not. You are the one who clearly doesn’t have enough maturity and experience to be able to accept the opinion here that matters most: the teens. As a parent, I understand concern for you child, and their welfare, but as a parent, you also must ask yourself how your kid will ever learn from mistakes, and how they would feel if they ever found out. I believe you are the one whose comment cannot be taken seriously, as you aren’t willing to see and understand both sides of the spectrum. Just because the writer may be a teen, does not make them any lesser than you, as you implied.

      • Teen Concerned says

        Wow, sorry I don’t know what to really say to this. I just want to say I would hate it if you were my mother. This is the problem, you don’t see your child as a person who is mature and sensible enough so you result to using this software to stalk them. This comment shows it all. You need to talk to your teen and treat them like a person. Explain to them your worries. And it’s very immature to something like that to a teen. An old man wouldn’t say that to you, oh sorry I have a better view, I know better because I have more experience. That’s not the point.

      • Renee Rivera says

        I am 14, and I’ll have you know that your comment was fairly rude and insulting. Are you implying that teens are dumb and don’t have a say in what goes on in their live? As an adolescence yes we do make mistakes but we have more knowledge with these kinds of things then you’ll ever have. We are also not as dumb as you think or as we may lead on. Im very mature for my age, I’ve been mistaken numerous times as a collage student but that is because of my deep understanding of life. I know that for me my mom checks my Instagram account about every month and I highly dislike it. It makes me more secretive since I know she’ll just spy and find out anyways. If you don’t want that relationship with your child then don’t spy on them. They will open up to you and simply tell you what’s going on if you let them be; Not by intruding on their privacy. I understand that as a parent you want to know if your child is safe, but honestly if you are doubting if she’ll be able to take care of herself online(via text or social media) then maybe she shouldn’t even have that privilege in the first place. Instead of spying, ask your child what is going on and if your lucky, if they don’t feel violated of privacy, they will open up and tell you everything. I know this is true because my friends and I talk about it all the time. And let’s face it, we teens are going to get away with things you adults don’t know about anyways whether it’s inline, or not. You just have to let your kid grow up or els they never will.

    • t-field says

      My parents raised me very well and I earned thier trust before Trust was givin … I am interested in using this app because my step son is 13 and lives with me full time and I got him a phone so I coukd call him when he was away visiting friends or over at his bio moms house for weekend but my son was very abused by this woman mentally as well as physically and is having a hard time dealing with him leaving to be here .. I want to find a service where I can monitor his incoming texts messages from her so if she decides to verbally abuse him I can encounter the problem ahead of more than one bad message … its our job as parents to step in and protect our children but also to allow them freedom and apps like this give us the peace of mind knowing they are safe even when on a device …

    • Anonymous says

      No, Not all kids act as they were raised and the point is to try and keep them from making those regrettable mistakes and having to live with the consequences.

      • Kaylin says

        Though I understand your concern. It’s those mistakes that shape you as an individual while growing up. Back before smart phones where a thing and parents could track you by using them how did they monitor you? They didn’t have a way to know what you were doing or saying while not in their presence. And im going to believe that you and many parents like you grew up great and used the mistakes you made as an adolescent to help you grow up. And if you don’t let you child make his/her own mistakes they’ll only make them later in life. This app is an invasion of privacy and that’s one thing I know for sure us teens HATE when parents do that and it makes us less likely to talk or come to you about things because that trust is not their anymore and what’s a parent child relationship without trust?

  7. Phattyjen says

    Does this allow access to any of the other gazillion messaging sites? Like KIK? Or Whatsapp? Or is it just texts/imessaging?

  8. ilen says

    Myconcern is that someone else can be seeing/ smonotoring my kids info Is that possible with teen safe

    • Jean says

      Hi ilen, I understand that concern, and I suppose it is possible. But you have to know the Apple user ID and password for this to work, so only someone with that information could do it.

  9. jena says

    Hi,I called Teensafe and the guy I spoke to said they don’t do iPods..but maybe he doesn’t know..does it work on your iPod?

    • Jean says

      Hi jena – I tested it on my daughter’s iPod touch, and it did work. There’s a free trial so you can see if you can get it to work!

  10. Mic says

    Hi, I would like to know if you can see “text messages SMS” also and not just “iMessages” with teensafe. I looked all over their website but couldn’t find any info. My son uses the same apple account with me so I can see all his iMessages, but not regular SMS text messages. Thank you for your help.

  11. Jean says

    Hi trina, I can’t say for sure, their home page mentions that it does work for Android phones and there is an app that you would need to download onto the Android device (but that your teen would not necessarily see – go to their home page and scroll down to FAQ’s)

  12. Laura says

    Is there a way I can get my 15 yr old son’s apple password? I really want to install teensafe, but I do not want him to know. I know, that might be horrible, but I have always told him that I trust him until proven otherwise. He’s a super great kid, but is starting to hang around a different gang and I need to know what they are up to just in case I need to intervene. Mistakenly, years ago I let him set-up his own apple account and he earns any money that is put into it. Seemed like a great idea at the time…now, I can’t get into his account. I already tried to trick him by saying he had to give me his password because there had been a security breach and I had to hurry up to change his password to a new one, but by the time I finished talking, he had already changed his password on his iphone. Anybody have any ideas?

    • Jean says

      Hi Laura, the only way you’d be able to get his Apple ID password is from your son…I don’t really know of any other way. I always suggest a media agreement/contract such as the ones here, as a way to establish rules in the household (such as parents need to know the passwords, etc). However it is easier to set this up before they have their own devices and accounts – but it is worth a try, good luck!

    • Jean says

      Hi Jenn, I’m not sure about that as I only tested it on an Apple device. You may want to check the FAQ’s or instructions on their web site.

  13. Kelly says

    It was easy to install on android & was not visible on the device. However, the trial is disappointing. It stopped working 20 minutes in & I couldn’t even log in to the site anymore. It also gives a limited view of 3 texts per contact. In my opinion, its a lure to purchase & not a true free trial that gives a good perspective of its value. I will not be purchasing based on these issues & will check the phone the old fashioned way – asking for it.

    • Jean says

      Thanks for the feedback – it is true the trial doesn’t give you the full experience because you only see 3 texts per contact. I didn’t test it on Android, but the good thing about Android vs. Apple, is that there are actually more options for Android devices for monitoring texts. You might want to take a look at uKnowKids, for example (I have a review here). And the old-fashioned method of checking the phone is good too!

  14. Emma says

    This is creepy and a complete violation of trust and privacy! I would never ever forgive either of my parents if they used this on me! All parents were young once and they turned out fine but you won’t let us have the same rights! What happened to we learn from our mistakes? I am not doing anything wrong but it is disgusting that you would breach your own child’s trust and privacy because you are snoop who have nothing better to do then spy on your child. Seriously if you have not told your teenager that you are using teensafe and they find out they will never forgive you! Trust me. Just ask what’s happening in their lives. The people who developed and use teensafe have obviously no faith in their children and I am disgusted that this is legal. We deserve our freedom and parent should not be able to take that away from us. You may think that you are protecting your child but to be honest we can look after ourselves and do not need your advice, we deserve to be independent. Parents I hope for your sake your child never finds out that you use this.

    • Hi. Its me says

      Ditto! It is totaly a violation of our privasy. like we r young and we can do whatever the hell we want to

      • Jean says

        Interesting outlook, I’m not sure that anyone, young or old, can do whatever the hell they want to…

      • Amy says

        Since I pay for the phone and am financially/legally responsible for my 12 yr old child, she doesn’t have the right to live how she chooses. She doesn’t have “freedom” since she legally doesn’t have any rights. Independence comes when she moves out and is responsible for herself. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but things are very different now and pervasiveness of inappropriate culture is everywhere. Parents are making a huge mistake if they choose to remain ignorant to their child’s activities & kids are ignorant if they think they have the rights that you’ve described.

    • Jean says

      Thanks for the comment Emma. There are some points here I agree with – children can learn from their mistakes, and yes all parents were also young once. I don’t think ALL parents turned out fine, but remember we are all doing our very best and many parents are not used to the technology that most teens take for granted. I always recommend that parents inform their kids that they are monitoring, rather than “spying” without the child’s knowledge. That’s the approach that I suggest on this site, however every family has their own way of doing things. I don’t agree that all children and teens can look after themselves with absolutely no guidance from parents. I hope that parents ARE involved with their children’s digital lives, in whatever way works best for them.

    • Teen says

      I agree with you completely Emma. We need our own privacy. Parents the problem is purely the unknown. You don’t know what’s out there. But talking from a teens point of view the Internet isn’t as scary as you think. We are old enough and mature enough to make decisions ourselves. If you are worried about your child’s safety have a talk to them about it, please don’t stalk them, it’s just wrong and creepy.

  15. mom23girls says

    Wonderful program. We have a teenage daughter who likes to delete before she will hand over her phone. She splits her time between two homes due to her parents being divorced. She likes to manipulate the birth parents on both sides and so thus giving headache of what she is doing. I am hoping snapchat and tumblr will be added to monitor. I asked if we could add an IPAD to the program and they said yes so hopefully I can get that from her and download that.

    Excited to fully use this. I will be putting it on my other three teenage daughters phones!!!!!!!!

    Well worth the price in my books considering all the drama teenagers go through…..

    • Teen says

      Okay. Right I think you need to seriously sort yourself out. Talk to your daughter, explain to her why your worried. I’m sure she will reassure you that the Internet world isn’t as scary as all you parents think. You have kind of failed as a parent if you can’t even talk to your own daughter. Stalking them isn’t the answer I’m sorry. They need to learn themselves, make mistakes themselves. And can I just tell you this, most teens are mature and sensible enough to make sure their safe on the Internet. No one over the age of 11 should have this installed. That’s my views. Uninstall it now and please please talk not stalk. Ooooh new catch phrase. Talk not Stalk.

      • says

        Dear Teen,
        I wouldn’t expect you or any other teen to jump for joy over this app however I would expect at least a plausible argument. You stated to a parent on here “you kind of failed as a parent” how does a person “kind of fail?” Either you fail or you don’t. How would you as a teen even know if this parent failed basing your inexperienced opinion on a question she asked about an app. You stated the internet is not scary, most teens are mature and sensible and all a parent needs to do is express their concern and talk not stalk?. So you are saying you do NOT know any pregnant teens, you are not aware of any teens who have used drugs or alcohol, you have never known of a teen who committed suicide, you have never had a friend or acquaintance that was raped, none of your friends have snuck out at night. So you are honestly claiming ALL teens who’s parents are good parents that communicate often with their teen, raised them in a good home with morals and respect are 100% of the time honest with their parents? Are you trying to say it is a figment of our imagination the pastors teen son who became a drug addict, the teachers daughter who became pregnant, the attorneys son who committed suicide etc. etc. We as a society are dillusional to these facts you speak of that in 2015 most teens are honest and the Internet is not scary. So if the internet is not scary what do you call the ISIS videos of innocent men being beheaded? What about the famous video of the football player boyfriend who beat and dragged his girlfriend out of an elevator? What about the missing teen who disappeared after meeting a man she met on FB through a friend of a friend? What about parents like me who have ACTIVELY been involved in her daughter’s lives, always talks to my girls, schedules one on one time once a month with each of my girls, is part of a huge a close family with over 20 cousins and lots of aunts and uncles. That isn’t even touching the fact I raised my girls in church and with morals. Should we have gone to church more, YES!! Am I a holy rolling Bible thumper who drove my child crazy, NO!!! Have I talked to her, communicated, sought outside help, and many many other things YES!! So according to your theory all should be well TALK NOT STALK you say??? Ironically my teen daughter felt EXACTLY the same way you do. She would argue till blue in the face that she deserves and needs to learn from her mistakes, make her own decisions, be trusted, do what she wants on her iPhone when she wants how she wants. I can’t tell you how many times I heard her say I don’t need you, my friends mom’s don’t make them do that, most moms don’t care if there 15 year old goes to a party as long as no alcohol is there! I’m almost 16 I’m old enough to date. GUESS WHAT CHANGED??? Well dear teen with all the answers who feels us parents are wrong my daughter is singing a different tune now. Do you know why? Well even after all the talking NO stalking, after my husband and I fellt like we were talking to a wall, after laying down the rules, after clearly stating no going out at night for dating boys, no parties and to follow the rules 2 days after my daughter’s 16th birthday she snuck out one night around 2:00 a.m. to see this 17 year old boy from our neighborhood that she’s had a crush on. After they watched a movie and joked around some one thing led to another and they had sex. One night, one lie, one boy = 1 baby!! Do you think he even stuck around for a 2nd date? NO!! Ironically his parents are strong Christians and have talked to him many many times as well. So your theory miss teen is NO GOOD!! Guess what? My daughter now sees she can’t do this on her own. My daughter now knows some mistakes are best left untouched. I can promise you when she has her baby in 3 months, her teen years are gone, her dreams are not the ones she had last year. When she’s home being a mommy on prom night and her friends are out having fun she WILL BE WISHING I HAD STALKED!! It ONLY took her making that one bad decision to change the rest of her life. It does NOT just affect her. I’m going to be a grandma less than 1 month after turning 40. I’m going to have a newborn grandbaby and a 5 year old daughter. There goes that money my husband and I saved up for that vacation that we can NOT take now as we will be financially supporting the baby, not my daughter not the now 18 year old father of the baby but my husband and I. Now I dare you to tell me I failed!! Honestly I don’t care what your opinion is as I know in my heart I am a good mother. I also wish for my daughter’s sake I had done more stalking!!

      • Jean says

        Thanks for you comment Momof3girls. Sorry to hear about this situation but thank you for sharing. Mature and sensible kids DO sometimes make mistakes.

  16. Person says

    Hey, I know a free way, go to settings on your iPhone, then iMessages, then send and reseve from, then add your kids email or phone number that they use on there devise and click verify. so you will reseave every text that they get sent to them, and it will be sent to your iMessages. And anyways what happens if they delete the app. this way they have no idea that your spying on them

    • Z says

      Do i do this on my phone or on my childs phone? Cus mine says ” i can be reached by i message at ” so if i add my childs number then im thinking she will receive my msg intead of me receiving hers!

      • Jean says

        They wouldn’t be able to see your iMessages. For this method to work, you each have to be using a different e-mail address for iMessage. Note that when you add theirs, it has to verify, which I believe sends an e-mail. So they might realize you have added theirs to your iMessage.

  17. RosesMama says

    Hi. I have a question. I have an android phone. My daughter has an iphone. I have signed up and have followed the directions (I think) correctly. However, when I click on anything it pulls up nothing. Do I need to install anything on her device or mine to see what’s going on?
    Thanks

    • Jean says

      Hi,
      I don’t think you need to install anything, but I can tell you that it might take one or two tries to successfully configure; at least that was the case when I tested this out. I had to change the iCloud backup settings as they note in the instructions. If that doesn’t work you might need to contact TeenSafe directly to see.

  18. Concerned Parent says

    Will this notify me if my child turns the back up icloud off? Also, how far back in the texts and pictures can i see? Thank you!

  19. Michelle says

    So sorry if this question has already been addressed but then are so many comments. I am very glad there are so many concerned parents out there.
    My quest in is this ….. I have an android (Samsung Galaxy) but my 3 girls have Ipod touch….will it (imessaging) work for me since they are apple and I am not? They don’t have any social media yet so this would the only thing for me to monitor.
    Thanks for your insight!
    Michelle

    • Jean says

      Hi Michelle,
      I believe you would still be able to monitor their iMessages, even if you don’t use iMessage yourself. You don’t need to install anything on your Android, as you would just be visiting a web site to view the messages.

  20. Concerned parent 2 says

    Will this notify me if my child changes their Apple ID password? If password is changed will I still be able to see history on old password?
    Thanks!

  21. Jency says

    If you just want to monitor iMessage, set up a separate account on a Mac and sync their iCloud account to the Mac Messages application. This won’t handle SMS, but easy enough. Set up a separate Mac account for each kid you want to monitor and voila.

    • Jean says

      Hi Jenny,
      If you share the same iCloud account, I’m not sure how this would work. I’m guessing you’d already be able to see any iMessages on your own device since you use the same account.

  22. jen says

    Every time I want to update everything like, get location it wants me to log into the apple account then it says it will send email to the monitored phone. I dont want the email going to my son. How can I get that alternative email so my son wont know im monitoring him? I have an Android.

  23. Jelly Suky says

    Thanks for sharing. Should I have to jailbreak my iOS devices? Honestly, I just want a free spy app, I searched a lot, like iKeymonitor, no free for iOS, just ikeymonitor has a free one for android phones, why?

    • Jean says

      Hi Jelly, I don’t recommend jailbreaking your device, and with TeenSafe you shouldn’t have to. In general Android devices have more options in the way of monitoring/spy apps, and I believe this has to do with Apple’s rules for app programmers as to what they are allowed to do.

  24. Angie says

    My child factory reset his phone so I lost contact with his phone I tried to reload the app but it keep telling me the number is already in us I cancel my account and used a different email and credit card it still say number is already in use how do I get back to monitoring his phone

  25. Ann says

    Are you still using TeenSafe on an iPod? I am setting it up for my daughter, it’s taken hoursssss so far, and two attempts at a new apple id. How is it working for you so far? We’re not ready, rather our daughter is not ready, to take the plunge and get her an iPhone just yet; that’s why we need TeenSafe. Curious to know how it went on an iPod. Thanks very much.

  26. Ann says

    I set it up, finally, but have a silly question I hope you can answer. When I reconfigured for icloud backup (on ipod), the directions said I should probably establish a new apple id so the emails wouldn’t go to my daughter’s email account every time. So I did that, but I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have kept hers the same, because there were no instructions to log out of the new id and back into her old one. So, she’s going to know with one look at her settings, that she has a new apple id. Right? And doesn’t that change everything, like her music downloads and itunes and all of that? Did you establish a new apple id, and if so, what did you do after that? I’m able to log in to Teen Safe with the new apple id, and see what I need to see, so that’s working. But I don’t see how this is truly transparent to my daughter if she’s gonna see that new id in her settings.

    • Jean says

      Hi Ann,
      Sorry for the delay in reply, had an e-mail problem so didn’t know about new comments! Yes if she already had an Apple ID, and now has a new one,she might not access to her music downloads, etc. We didn’t establish a new one while testing out TeenSafe, however my daughter’s Apple ID is associated with MY e-mail (a second e-mail address of mine) so that seemed to work out okay. I didn’t use TeenSafe beyond the trial period but I’m not sure that a new Apple ID is really needed – ? If I recall, the only e-mails came to the parental e-mail address given. You may want to check with TeenSafe. Of course your message was from over a week ago now, so maybe you have done that already!

    • No says

      I used teensafe for a couple of months. I wasn’t impressed. If your child deletes their messages chances are you will not ever see those.

      • Jean says

        Thanks for your input. I agree that there are still improvements needed with trying to view deleted messages, at least from my trial period.

  27. Susan says

    Jean
    Apple send out notification everytime someone logs into the apple id do you know if with this app prevents that notification ?

  28. Anonymous says

    I cannot believe what’s it’s come to. Where we can’t even trust our own children. I think it’s sad that we have to rely on hacking type websites to monitor our teens. I liked the old days better, before any of this ” iMessage” or “Facebook”. Hopefully in the years to come kids will realize that they can come to us in times of need, and not their phone and other electronics!

    • Mike says

      Please join the rest of us in 2014 / reality! Kids today have a whole new set of life dynamics….180 degrees from when I was a kid. Blind faith in kids in today’s society will likely yield parental regret. Parents are crazy if they don’t monitor their kids phones. The kids don’t pay for anything and have no right to privacy on their phones.

    • Teen says

      I am a teenager I will just say this. Phones and technology are the future. Whatever the future holds, all this technology will be a part of it. I am really close to my mum, I can go on my iPhone and talk to her. It doesn’t have to be one or another. If you’re worried your losing your child to their technology, talk to them. Make an effort, tell them how your feeling. In years to come it will be like not knowing how to read or write if you can’t understand technology. So don’t blame it on that.

  29. Bobby says

    While Teensafe does as advertised, but it does not show SMS pics or videos. It will recover some deleted photos but not videos. It does not show all deleted texts. It will not show Whatsapp texts unless is is backuped before deletion which is never. Same with WeeChat and WikWak. This was my greatest disappointment and fear and why i will switch to a service that does

  30. Teens Opinion says

    Oh my gosh. Parents are so insane these days. You all need to calm down. As a teen, I feel like this is a crazy thing, as a parent, to do. How would you feel if someone was monitoring you without your permission? This app literally should not be called “TeenSafe” it should be called “TeenStalker”. My best friend and I find it incredible that parents don’t trust their kids enough to let them have ANY privacy at all. You should know if you raised your kid well enough to be able to trust them, and even if you don’t, you need to let your child make mistakes, you probably did too, and even if you don’t want your child to repeat the same mistakes, how will they learn? Plus, I know that if I found out my parents were using this, I would hold it over them for EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT. It will automatically put you in the wrong for everything, every time. This is ridiculously unethical, and even if your child has given you a reason not to trust them, this would only make them want to do more of the activity, simply to spite you, it may even cause your child, however good they are, to act out, again, simply to spite you. You need to allow them freedom, if my parents did this, it would be something that held me back from having a bond with them anymore, I doubt I would be able to forgive them for that, because it is so extremely invasive. I don’t think any of you understand how much a teens phone means to them, because of what they keep on there, from extremely personal texts talking about their problems to every comment they post on social media, and how much they would resent you if you did this to them. It’s an extremely terrible thing to do, honestly no better than cyberstalking. I can see the good side, from reading some comments, but if you think you seriously need this app, instead try to ask your kids to open up to you about their problems, or whatever you want to know about. If your teen trusts you, and feels comfortable around you, then you should have no reason at all for this app, because your teen WILL spill, with a bit of coaxing… No matter what our stereotype is. If we can trust you, we will tell you. However, if your child is not at a point where they feel comfortable talking to you, that is not their fault, you should probably check your parenting before you get this app. Teens can be moody, but we have our reasons, if you make us comfortable with talking to you by being open and understanding, we won’t have a reason to keep things from you.

    • Jean says

      Thank you for your comment. I always recommend that parents inform their kids that they are monitoring, rather than “spying” without the child’s knowledge. That’s the approach that I suggest on this site, however every family has their own way of doing things.

      • other teen opinion says

        no…. me and my mom have always been very close. She has been the only parent I have had since I was born and I can honestly say that she WAS my best friend. But then she decided that she needed to monitor my conversations and social life. Now I don’t trust her or wanna talk to her. I feel betrayed. This is a really wonderful way to ruin the relationship with your children ;D getting an app like this is like going through my diary.. reading every thought in my mind and not only that but also my friends. she can now see all that they are going through, she can see this and it is NONE of her business. what happened to freedom?

    • Teen Aswell says

      I agree completely with all that you have said. Especially about the trust thing with parents. You need to talk to your kids about problems that’s bothering you. I think teen safe is a bad idea. Most teenagers are mature enough to think sensibly on the Internet, without an adult stalking their every move. Sort out your parenting if your thinking of doing this, seriously.

  31. Concerned mom says

    I have mixed views. My son and I are very close and he has always talked with me about things. He is 16 and recently moved in with his dad in another state. His dad and stepmom snooped in his phone and found some racy messages and pics between him and his girlfriend so now they have installed teen safe and let him know. While I am also not happy about what they found, I have a sense of reality that he is growing up and these things will happen. We can’t always be there to stop them from these types of things happening. My son has confided in me that he hates that he has no privacy now. They even read messages between me and him. He doesn’t even want to talk to his dad. Trust me when I say it definitely puts a damper on the child parent relationship. I just hope this micro managing doesn’t cause him to act out worse than he normally would when he does get a taste of freedom.

    • Jean says

      Hi Concerned mom,
      I totally hear you on this and I think many parents are struggling with the same dilemma. With the number of visits to this page and from the comments, it is clear that parents are finding a need to stay involved with what kids are doing online, on their phones and devices. And yet most parents also acknowledge the need for privacy. After all we were all teenagers at one time. We remember what it was like. I think what is different is the potential consequences. The ease and speed of sharing personal private data, photos and videos did not exist when most of us were teenagers. If I took a selfie, the fastest it could spread would be if I took it with a Polaroid camera and sent it to someone in the mail, and that someone took the time to take and distribute photocopies. It wasn’t stored on a server. There was no digital footprint. One thing I will note is that it doesn’t seem appropriate for the ex to be reading your communication with your son. I hope that you and your family (and all families) are able to find that “happy medium” between providing for our children’s safety while also acknowledging their need for privacy and autonomy, especially during the older teenage years.

  32. Marie says

    Hello,
    I just wanted to comment that as a parent whose son had an instagram account and was looking at sexually explicit photos for over a month until I grabbed his phone when he came out of the bathroom one day to see what he was doing. He was so ashamed and told me he was addicted to it. He is 14 years old. This stuff is openly available like never before and I don’t think most boys can refuse the temptation especially if it is pointed out to them by friends. It is nonsense to think this might not happen to your kid. Its like putting a pile of playboy magazines under his bed and thinking he will never look at them! Come on protect your kids! It is great for them to have smart phones but young kids are not mature enough to make these decisions and I think looking at this material is very damaging.

  33. June Pearson says

    I think this is very bad idea using this app. Children have to learn themselves how to live, there will be a time where they will be alone in the world. And they will have access to this information. If you’re worried about your kids safety have a talk to them about it, trust them. You need to give them privacy, personally I’d hate someone who was tracking my messages. Not because I say anything that personal just because it’s my private messages. They need to learn and develop, themselves.

  34. amber says

    Yes im trying to cancel the whole teensafe account mess an its not letting me an i DO NOT want my card billed again. I have tried all types of ways to cancel an it wont..i have an in estigation goimg on with it because i DO NOT want to be billed again…can you canacel it for me? I dont want to have to go to my attorny

    • Jean says

      Sorry you’re having trouble with cancelling your Teensafe account, but this message is on Be Web Smart’s page so I can’t really help you with that. I don’t have any association with TeenSafe other then reviewing the service.

    • Tracy says

      I finally got through to the billing depart at Teen Safe and they cancelled my account, gave me a confirmation # and said the pending charge will be removed. I was on hold for a long time……

  35. Mom says

    Is your child not alerted when their iCloud account is accessed? I thought the new iOS had built in alerts for security purposes?

    • Jean says

      Yes, I believe they will receive a notification when their iCloud account is used. I can’t remember if that happened when I tested TeenSafe however, in my case, my child’s iCloud account uses my secondary e-mail address (that’s how we had set it up when she younger).

  36. Lisa says

    I am trying the trial version of Teensafe. I added my daughter’s iphone to the account with her apple id & email address. When I opened outlook, all messages in her email account had disappeared. I subsequently removed her iphone from Teensafe and the emails reappeared in Outlook. Is there any way to add her iphone without her losing her emails?
    I did read about creating a new apple id/email for icloud but would prefer to keep her backups to her own icloud account – if I do this, apart from the initial message about findmyiphone disabled, will any other teensafe messages be delivered to her inbox.
    Also. is it not possible to have findmyiphone enable whilst using Teensafe?

  37. Anon says

    Before downloading this service I strongly suggest parents consider what this will do to thier relationship with thier child. This app allows you to see every single thing they are doing- a complete invasion of privacy, it’s like reading thier diary. IIn my opinion its unforgivable and it’s only going to make children feel like they can’t trust you because you don’t trust them. I can see how this app can be useful for pre teens but as far as 13-18 year olds I think it’s ridiculous. Unless your child has done something serious to cause you to not trust them you have no reason to invade thier privacy like this. I understand that you want to do everything you can to protect your children but this truly isn’t the answer. When will parents realize that as hard as it is you have to trust your kids. Yes I am a sixteen year old and yes I have seen teens throw away thier lives and make stupid mistakes and I know I’m not a parent so I don’t know what it’s like to have kids. However because I am a sixteen year old I can give a teens perspective. My parents could go through my phone right now and would find nothing however I would never trust them again. Just think about it before you decide because this isnt the answer. Talk to your kids. And if you are going to actually go through with this you should at least have the decency to tell them instead of doing it behind thier backs.

    • Jean says

      Thanks for your input. I would always recommend that parents talk with their kids about this and not install without their knowledge. I know that not all parents feel the same, everything has their own approach and reasons. A monitoring service like TeenSafe is just one possible tool in the “digital parenting” toolkit; and having frequent conversations with kids and teens about their use of technology and expectations is one of those tools as well!

  38. Chris says

    In my opinion a very disappointing weakness of this program is the failure to display images or to play audio. A great deal of the data that needs to be monitored is within those mediums rather than in the texts themselves.

    • Jean says

      Hi Chris,
      Yes, good point, I think it is mentioned on their web site but parents should take note that you won’t see the images that are shared.

  39. says

    hygiene, hi Jean, I am new to this tech stuff. I became concerned with some things that I thought my daughter doing so I looked on her phone. I saw iMessages tumblr Twitter Instagram Facebook snapchat vine and a few others. Would it be worth it for me to get this apps, when there is so much other social media that the kids are on. Thanks for whatever advice you can offer me. Thank you

    • Jean says

      Hi lo,
      That is a very good point. Even if you monitor texts and Facebook or Instagram, there are other apps that a teen might be using with new ones coming along every day. It would be hard to find a monitoring service that can keep up with every single app.

  40. Robert says

    Hello Jean,

    I need your help! I came across teensafe and was hesitant to download this program (because so many scams exist). I have a 16 year old daughter who I now need to monitor her talks. I say this only because upon her yearly physical I found out she contracted 2 STDS. I am now desperate to prevent her from making anymore mistakes. I don’t know of any programs that are 100% legit to use to monitor her stuff. My question is what can I do or if teensafe program will work if I only know her basic info.? I know her email addresses to her social media stuff but I don’t know any passwords. I have her number I can even give but will any of this allow me to use teensafe? I simply don’t kjow what to do anymore. And now she is looking for a job and I am afraid this will allow her more time to sneak around…please help

    Rob

    • Jean says

      Hi Robert,
      Sorry to hear about the situation with your daughter. If it is an iPhone, you’d have to know her Apple ID to be able to set up TeenSafe. Same with the social networking accounts. For android, I’m not sure but you might want to check on TeenSafe’s site. There are other options too, some I mention here, specifically you could look at the services offered by the phone carrier (such as AT&T, Verizon, etc). If you are the one paying the bills then I think it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for the passwords!

  41. jessica says

    can I read still log on and read my child messages if she chances her iCloud on me , instead of using her old one she now uses the new one .? do I need that iCloud n password to see her new text and ect .?

    • Jean says

      Hi Jessica,
      Yes I think if she changes her iCloud account, you’d need to the new information plus password to use with the TeenSafe service.

  42. jessica says

    how can I see my son snapchat message? do I need there password n username for snapchatt or do I just need there icloud & I can see all the apps they have on their phone ?

    • Jean says

      I don’t believe that you can view snapchat messages with Teensafe. It is not mentioned on their web site (although they do mention Kik, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram).

  43. Lisa STatum says

    I need help!!! I have setup my “child” on teensafe but the text message didn’t come through. Now when I try to add a phone number it just sends me to the same page over and over. I added a child and tried to use the same phone number but it said it was already in use. Any advice on how to resend the text or delete the first child and finish set up with the second?

  44. Ben says

    This is so obviously a fake email by the company.. seriously? it reads like marketing collateral from top to bottom.

    Hey – guess what – iOS messaging now supports “texting” images and audio.. which Teensafe will NOT show you for no good reason except they are protecting the parent from accidentally seeing a texted image? Say what? That gives the smart kids a trivial work-around to the monitoring – use audio and image – parents cannot see it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    • Jean says

      Hello Ben – I can assure you that this article was written by me after I tested the TeenSafe service for about a week. I was not asked by the company to write this review nor did I receive any compensation or marketing materials from TeenSafe.

  45. Amy says

    I see a lot of teens posting here. I get the fear of being stalked. I’m sure there are parents who get some satisfaction or entertainment out of snooping, but most parents really just love you. I’m in my twenties and my kids are still toddlers but I’m already thinking about their safety. I love them. I don’t want them to be bullied. I don’t want them to be embarrassed because of something they said or posted gone wrong. I don’t want their marriages stressed or ruined because of a porn addiction. I just love them. Your parents probably love you too! BTW, they totally should tell you they are monitoring you so you don’t get embarrassed.

    • Jean says

      Thanks for your input, Amy! It’s good to get the perspective from parents who are…well, let’s just say a bit younger than me! I think regardless of age we all want what’s best for our children, and sometimes it may not be exactly what kids want. In any case I do agree and recommend to tell your kids you are monitoring and the reasons why. Thanks for stopping by!

  46. Marie says

    I have been using teensafe now for 2 months and while it is letting me see deleted texts, they are always out of order, have obscure dates in 1969 or 2005, or are completely in the wrong place. I even found a text supposedly sent from me to my child that I did not send. It was filed under my number but written by someone else. So be careful if you use this service. Non deleted texts are intact but once deleted, teensafe has a hard time getting them complete.

    • Jean says

      Thanks for letting us know, Marie. I did find while testing TeenSafe that the deleted text feature could use some improvement.

  47. Wife says

    I am in an abusive marriage, my husband already uses my
    Cell phone to monitor my whereabouts…he checks the cell records and then calls all the numbers that i call or that call me to stalk me. I have been imessaging with my attorney as I plan to file For divorce, so thanks tee safe for having me once again fear for My Safety. What will stop him from downloading this app and using it to stalk me? Spying on people with this app is not
    Limited to our children and it is potentially Very dangerous

    • Jean says

      I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. You should know that it would be against the legal terms of service of TeenSafe for your husband to use it to spy on you. Please read and/or have your attorney read the terms. https://cp.teensafe.com/helps/terms?sid=&cid=&aff_sub=0 “You will not use the Site or Service to monitor the activities of any person that is 18 years of age or older or any other person for whom you are not the legal guardian”

  48. A Smart Teen says

    The number of ways to get around this is pretty funny. Installing a VPN would prevent teensafe from accessing pretty much everything, because now anything that was completed over Wi-Fi is on a private network, which is extremely difficult to track. The next step would to be to turn location services off, which can be done at the push of a button. The kid could also sign out of the Apple ID being tracked, or create an entirely new one which Teensafe wouldn’t be able to track. And if the kid is really desperate, he/she could jailbreak the device to prevent anything from bugging or tracking the device. Teensafe was a smart idea, but teens are smarter. They’ll find a way to bypass this, because it doesn’t take a genius to see the flaws in it. I wouldn’t waste my money on something that can be almost be completely counteracted with a single app.

    • Jean says

      Hello Smart Teen,
      It’s true that many smart people could probably find a way around just about any app or service; just think about hackers who are able to penetrate government systems. However I don’t think that is enough of a reason not to use a service. Any parent who uses TeenSafe or any other similar service on their child’s device would be aware that the service was no longer delivering results and have a talk with their child. If a child is being deceitful by uninstalling or circumventing the software, I would think at that point it is up to the parent to deal with that situation just the same way they would if the child lied to them in any other way.

  49. SA says

    I’ve seen a lot of teens posting about the invasion of privacy this program presents. In addition, they talk about the fact that parents have a responsibility to let them make mistakes and learn from them. One post mentioned that parents didn’t have smartphones, etc. and were allowed to learn from their mistakes. Their parents certainly didn’t know what they were doing all the time. They were just fine most of the time.

    And that’s the point… Access to things like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, text, Kik, etc. has made the potential for one mistake to become CATASTROPHIC. When there were no ways to broadcast a mistake to thousands of people, it was just a learning experience (most of the time). Now that one little mistake can turn into a media nightmare for some kids as someone “posts” a comment or picture that is shared, reposted, etc. Suddenly that kid is being bullied by hundreds or thousands of other people. In the “old days” that was less likely to happen. A few people would have known, but not the whole school let alone the entire city. Think about the ramifications. That’s what parents do. Protect their children and give them the tools they need to hopefully grow into strong, smart adults. If I’m checking your texts and posts, you still had the opportunity to use bad judgment. Pat yourself on the back. Hoorah, you’re independent. I’ll still read your less than well thought post. There’s your chance for a mistake.

    Even good kids make bad decisions. I’d like to think keeping an eye on some of these things could keep it at the “mistake” level versus something so much bigger and worse. There are kids that have been bullied on social media and committed suicide as an example.

    • Jean says

      Hi SA,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes that to me is one of the main differences – we live in different times. Back in my day if someone wanted to spread an embarrassing picture of me, first they had to wait until they finished shooting the roll of film, then drop it off to get it developed, then get the pictures back and then make photocopies and send to people in snail mail. The whole experience would have been a blip on the radar, but today it holds much larger ramifications. But kids haven’t experienced how things were before they were born and I think have a harder time absorbing what that would have been like. I know that I didn’t like some of the restrictions my parents placed on my back in the day (what? a curfew???) but now as a parent myself I realize why those types of limits are important…so I’m hoping today’s teens will come to this realization at some point in their lives.

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