1. ChrisFricke's Avatar
    I'm looking into buying a Windows Phone for my 13 year old for Christmas. I was leaning towards IOS because it simply has a better set of tools for locking things down and keeping an honest kid honest. Better than android anyways, which is my personal mobile OS preference. So not knowing much about the Windows platform I thought I'd ask.

    What tools are available for locking down the phone, implementing filtered browsing, and/or monitoring device activity and location? How good are they? How easy are they to bypass?

    Thanks for the help,
    12-11-2012 10:11 AM
  2. kevin2577's Avatar
    Coming from iOS and loving my Windows Phone I would say for this type of user honestly either iOS or Android would work best, Windows Phone isn't really equipped for your needs, though ironically Windows Phone with Kid's Corner is better for young children than iOS or Android.

    There are not really robust parental controls for access to applications and features (unlike iOS which allows you to lock access to certain applications), or filtered browsing. All three systems have pretty robust phone location tracking capabilities, but on Windows Phone such features are trivially bypassed.

    Though frankly on any of these phones the features at the end of the day are quite easy to bypass, anyone can just restore the locked down phone to factory settings and start from scratch with a clean, unrestricted device. To this end I know some wireless carriers offer subscription based network side location tracking (I think AT&T calls theirs Family Map) which at least provides that service in a manner that is quite difficult to bypass
    12-11-2012 12:07 PM
  3. ChrisFricke's Avatar
    Every cool kid on the block seemingly has a smartphone of one kind or another. It's baffling to me just how absent these kinds of apps and features are. It's not like the wild west of the early internet days anymore, surely parents realize just how easy it is for kids to get themselves into trouble on these things. I know if I was 13 or 14 and given a device that was confidential to me and could go anywhere on the web I'd be looking at things I shouldn't be. Well I suppose I did but then we called it a "dirty magazine". We had our own little black market going on but that at least took some effort. You know how stressful it is when you have a Huslter hidden in your locker just waiting to get discovered? Now it's "open browser, start incognito tab, insert <bad word>.com" and blamo - images and videos that are far beyond anything I ever saw at that age.

    Maybe I should just bag the whole thing. Sometimes technology really sucks.
    12-12-2012 10:34 AM
  4. marty9999's Avatar
    If you want advanced parental control for the iPhone or iPad, check out FREE McGruff SafeGuard.

    You probably remember McGruff The Crime Dog - Take A Bite Out of Crime - from your youth.

    They also have have a Windows Parental Control system: (Parental control software helps parents monitor kids online activity).

    McGruff SafeGuard released a Child Safe Browser app which is identical to Safari, but provides a parent with complete control of the categories of websites that can be visited.

    It also sends a summary of activity to the parent via email.

    Look into Free Parental-Control Browser Internet Filter for iPhone and iPad
    12-12-2012 04:50 PM
  5. vedichymn's Avatar
    Microsoft has done a good job of offering parental controls for their other products (windows and xbox). Presumably this is one of those things that's on the "to-do" list, but they just haven't gotten around to implementing yet.
    12-12-2012 04:55 PM

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