As a parent of two teens, it can be pretty scary having to always think of my kids’ whereabouts all the time. Thanks to modern technology, I can do so much more than call them up almost every three hours.
Tracking apps on phones are the ultimate lifesaver for the parent who wants to have some peace of mind. These tracking apps tell me a location in real-time, so I no longer have to worry about whether my kids’ snuck into someone else’s house or got picked up by the police past curfew.
With tracking apps, I am at ease knowing where my loved ones are. I’ll be sharing some experiences in using tracking apps on phones so you can see for yourself and decide if tracking apps are right for you.
- How Tracking Apps Work – Never Lose Anyone Ever Again
- The Many Uses Of Phone Tracking Apps
- The Pros Of Using Tracking Apps
- The Cons Of Using Tracking Apps
- Privacy Issues On Using Tracking Apps
- Best Tracking Apps That I Use
How Tracking Apps Work – Never Lose Anyone Ever Again
I’ve had my fair share of mini heart attacks because I had no idea where my kids or family are. It gets even worse because they have an annoying habit of not picking up calls – and it can drive me crazy.
When my kid went to college last fall, it was hard not to think about where he could be and whether he was safe.
Thankfully, another mom from my yoga class told me all about tracking apps. I grew curious and researched how these tracking apps could give me real-time updates on locations.
I learned that tracking apps work by activating a Global Positioning System or GPS, which is a precise navigation system.
GPS satellites in space work by sending signals which are received by our phones. Our phones then calculate the distance between the satellite and itself, which allows the GPS to calculate the exact location.
These locations are visualized on a map, making it easier for people to navigate and imagine their positions on a map.
The Many Uses Of Phone Tracking Apps
When I started using phone tracking apps on my kids’ phones, I had encountered many other apps which had many other features aside from tracking one’s location. Phone tracking apps can also track other data found on the phone, such as media, text messages, call logs, browsing history, emails, and a lot more.
As a parent who respected my kid’s privacy, I knew better than to mess with tracking apps that had features aside from location tracking. Snooping on my kid’s phones felt entirely wrong, and those tracking apps were starting to become borderline spy apps.
It was disturbing to know that tracking apps could do much more than track location because the main question that came to mind was, “Who else could access those data?” With that, I was careful not to install apps that were almost designed to be spyware on phones.
Tracking apps that can track more than just location are also complicated apps, so I steered clear from those kinds of apps.
The Manager’s Bestfriend
My friend, who was a fleet manager for a cab company, said that tracking devices greatly help their business operations. This was because phone tracking apps can also monitor speed, acceleration, conditions inside a vehicle, and travel history, which are all valuable data for fleet managers.
They also use tracking apps to secure their vehicles and make sure that they can be traced should they go missing or lost.
Tracking apps with advanced features can also serve as a way to monitor the “clocking in and out” of drivers on the road.
The Pros Of Using Tracking Apps
Some of the pros of using tracking apps that I found to be true based on my experience are that I no longer have panic episodes worrying about where my loved ones are, and I am also secure that I can track my gadgets should they ever get lost or stolen.
Moreover, contrary to what people say, kids tend to be more rebellious and difficult because trackers diminish their sense of independence. My kids and I have a more healthy relationship now that I am assured of their location.
I mostly allow my kids to explore and wander around as long as we set some ground rules and set the time when they should return home. My kids also share that they feel a lot better knowing that I know where they are.
Enforcing Productivity In The Workplace
For my fleet manager friend, tracking apps help them enforce productivity on their workers. They lose less time hanging around and slacking off because they know that management tracks every movement and location they go to.
The Cons Of Using Tracking Apps
Aside from privacy issues, one thing that I’ve experienced in using tracking apps is that it diminishes my battery.
Because the GPS or location tracking service has to be switched on all the time, my kids complain that their battery life is shorter in between recharges; that is why they would prefer to switch it off sometimes.
In terms of behavior and attitude, my kids were not sold on the idea of me tracing their location at first. They said they did not understand why I did not trust them well enough on their own, but I guess that’s just a price I have to pay to get my peace of mind and sanity.
Moreover, I noticed that my kids tend to be less independent with their security and safety, knowing that I am always aware of their tracks and whereabouts. I have thought of uninstalling the trackers so many times, but I could not seem to do it.
When Can I Let The Tracker Go?
Honestly, I could not bear to lose the tracker on my kids’ phones. The peace of mind it gives me weighs out all the other disadvantages I’ve mentioned about using phone tracking apps, so I personally cannot answer this question.
If there are dire consequences that might come with the use of sketchy tracking apps, such as data theft and misuse, that would be the best time to uninstall the app.
Privacy Issues On Using Tracking Apps
These features are handy and great, but then I go back to the question I posed earlier – is my information safe? Moreover, is it legal to track someone’s cell phone without their permission?
While most parents may say that installing trackers behind their kid’s backs is a way to protect them, I’m afraid I have to disagree. I believe kids should be informed and aware, so I made it a point to gently talk to my kids about installing a tracking app on their phones, even if it ended up in a heated argument.
I feel that there is something unsettling and wrong with installing tracker apps on people’s phones without their consent, so I did not go down that lane and instead chose to get the consent of my kids, as well as my parents (I use tracker apps on them, too!).
Moreover, certain laws in some places deem phone tracking without the owner’s consent as illegal, so make sure to check your state or county’s laws on tracking apps to avoid getting on the bad side of the law.
Target For Data Phishing And Theft
However, my real problem with tracking apps is that because I can get the location of one phone, some hackers and stalkers might also be able to get hold of this data and use it for illegal/harmful purposes.
I am not much of an expert when it comes to tech privacy and security; however, I am aware of the privacy issues on phones with tracking apps, especially when data is transferred via an unencrypted or unsafe channel or medium.
Because of this, I have rounded up some of the best tracking apps that are safe, secure, and won’t likely steal data from the phone it is installed in. We’ll go over them in the next sections.
Best Tracking Apps That I Use
I’ve been experimenting with the trackers found on the Internet for a long time now. Over the years that I’ve been able to use tracking apps, here are some of the best tracking apps which I can recommend.
First is Parental Control App and Location Tracker – FamiSafe, which I love the most for its geofencing feature. Once I set it up, I get instant notifications once the phone arrives/leaves the area I set.
The second is Life360, which I’ve been using until now on my kids’ phones. It’s a great tracker because my kids can also track me as well.
Lastly is Glympse, which has cross-platform sharing features, as well as in-app navigation and messaging features.
Runner Ups: Find My Phone And Google Maps
Lately, the iPhone’s Find My feature has been working great, but the downside is that it can only work across iOS devices.
Google Map’s newest feature of tracking Google contacts is also great because it provides a timeline of past locations in addition to real-time tracking.
There are certainly some great advantages as well as downsides in using tracking apps. It can be up to the user to decide whether tracking apps are important and useful to them. For parents and guardians alike, we all know how great it is to always be able to be in the know with our loved one’s location.