Teen Safe

 

TEENSAFE is the first iPhone monitoring solution that works without modifying your child's phone, so there's no jailbreak required."

The right to privacy exists in law in Australia in 2015, but does it really exist in practice? What with the internet and social media, we're more scrutinised than ever.

Now we have TEENSAFE. More than a million American parents have signed up to spy on their kids it's opened up the service here. Subscribers pay $15 a month for full access to their children's' phones and tablets... Facebook, texts and social media.

Cyber safety expert Dr Barbara Spears says at the very least Teensafe can prompt the discussion with children about how they use social media and its dangers. "I'd say as a parent use your judgement, you know your children best and you know whether in fact this tool is going to serve a purpose in your family, in your relationships. But I wouldn't be putting all my eggs in that basket." The most controversial aspect of Teensafe is that it can be used to monitor devices, without children even knowing mum and dad are watching.

Teensafe co-founder Ameeta Jain says it can help especially if a child is depressed and at risk of self-harming or is being cyber bullied, as one Teensafe parent discovered when he checked his daughter's phone.

"Just as we control who we let into our homes, the founders and supporters of Teensafe say this is just a device for controlling who comes into our children's lives. But are any possible benefits outweighed by the potential harms?"

Civil liberties groups argue Teensafe represents an absence of trust and may even encourage teens to hide things.

Pacific Magazines Group Publisher Jackie Frank says parents should talk with their children, not spy on them and only resort to something like Teensafe in extreme cases. "If you see your child becoming withdrawn, depressed, anxious, not communicating then maybe something is going on and when you are talking to them and you can't get through to them. Then maybe in those extreme cases you need to go in and have a look. Parents can install Teensafe if they are the child's legal guardian and pay the phone bill.

TEENSAFE

www.teensafe.com

Cybersmart (Australian Government)

www.cybersmart.gov.au/teens/how%20do%20i%20deal%20with/cyberbullying.aspx