"It's dangerous when kids offer devices to their kids and have no idea what happens on the device."
Here are the things you should check regularly:
Apps: be certain that you KNOW the purpose of each app on your child's device.
Text Messages: parents, don't be deceived. Kids now don't just use the "text" app or "iMessage" on their device. They are using SnapChat, Kik, TextNow, and a myriad of others. Due your homework in this area. (this goes back to knowing what each app is) Check out this post by Commonsensemedia.org on 3 kinds of apps that stir up drama.
Social Media: as parents, we often feel like we're doing our job when we know/understand how to check up on our kids Facebook. Sorry parents, this is the last place your kids are going to post things that they know you wouldn't like. They're using things like SnapChat now. SnapChat has gained in popularity exponentially in recent months. It's impossible to monitor from an "after the fact" standpoint. Here's what I suggest when it comes to SnapChat, we like to make sure our kids are only able to use this when they're around us. Instagram is another huge one for teens/kids.
**Make sure that you're checking often to see if your kids have more than one social media account. More than one of the kids in our ministry have multiple accounts....one that the parents know about and one their parents have no idea exists.
Web History: by visiting the web browser that your kid is using you will be able to visit the "history" of where he/she has been visiting.
YouTube History: many times parents think that just by checking web history they've done their due diligence. Not when it comes to YouTube. Visit the YouTube page on your child/teens device and visit the "history" section on the left hand side. This will show you which YouTube videos your child/teen has been watching. (While we're at it, make sure you've checked into Vine to see what your kid is watching on there. You might be surprised.)
I've recently begun using Teensafe.com. This allows me to check into my daughter's Apple device (they have plans for other types) as often as I want. When her device is set to "backup" each evening, I can obtain all of the new data....sites visited, social media posts/messages, text messages, and even deleted texts. Let me be really honest here, there have been a couple of times that I've been REALLY GLAD I'd done my homework and read these things. Not fun as a parent to see when your kid does something dumb that could potentially compromise his/her safety or well-being, but I believe its necessary.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! How often and what do you check regularly? Are you using a monitoring service such as TeenSafe?
I like the information found on these web sites for parents:
Where do you go to get up to date information on what your kids are using?