Monitoring your child’s mobile device and computer doesn’t make you a helicopter parent; it makes you a responsible parent.
eBLASTER Mobile ($99.95) is a monitoring software solution for Android and Blackberry smartphones. It monitors your child’s text messages, call logs, geo-location and web browsing history. And much like eBLASTER, parents only need to assign an email address to the software to receive daily activity reports that highlight all individual activity on the phone. By default, eBLASTER will also send a summary report every 20 events or two hours, so anytime the phone’s user has a combination of 20 texts, phone calls, or visited websites and/or two hours has gone by, the parent will receive a summary report.
Installation and Setup –
Installing eBLASTER Mobile was more complicated than downloading a standard app from the Google PlayStore, but the directions provided by SpectorSoft on their website were very easy to follow, making the entire process take no longer than five minutes. Once the software was on the phone, it was nearly impossible to tell it was there; it didn’t appear on the list of installed applications and it didn’t show up anywhere else.
During our testing, we set eBLASTER Mobile to report all activity back to the assigned email address. Doing that was a mistake as we became inundated with email reports within a few hours. Once we limited the email reports to summaries and multimedia messages, however, the flow of information became much more manageable.
Email Summary Reports -
The summaries show how many texts were sent, phone calls were made, websites and physical locations visited. They also show all text conversations and the names of the people the user was texting, which eBLASTER pulls from the phone’s contact list. This is a first among the mobile monitoring systems that we’ve tested in the past, and makes it a lot easier to quickly sort through text messages and phone calls since you can filter out ones from family members or known friends. The summary report also shows a phone log of all calls made during the time period and it pulls contacts from the phone itself as well so you can see who your child has been calling.
Individual Text Summaries -
Parents can also choose to receive individual email notifications every time their child sends a text message. One of the most impressive things about this feature was the fact that there was little to no delay from when the user sent a text message to when we received an email notification. Unfortunately, this speediness didn’t matter too much since the individual emails weren’t nearly as helpful as the summaries. It’s good to know that this option is here for parents who want instant alerts every time their child sends a text message, but if you want eBLASTER to be as unobtrusive as possible, we recommend disabling this feature and leaving the summaries enabled. That way you get the text message conversations all at once, making it simpler than having to piece them together as they occur.
Things to Keep In Mind -
The only aspects of this monitoring software that we found less than stellar was that it drains the battery faster than normal since it uses the 3G/4G connection to send notification emails from the phone. Also, in order for location tracking to work, the phone’s GPS unit must be turned on, which will drain the battery even faster and might alert the phone’s user to the presence of the software.
All-in-all, though, eBLASTER is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and practical mobile monitoring software we’ve tested at Yoursphere for Parents. If you’re in the market for a mobile monitoring solution, we highly recommend eBLASTER. Your money will be well spent.
Note: eBLASTER Mobile qualifies as spyware since its installation is hidden from the user and it comprehensively reports on all phone activity. It is illegal to install this software on a phone that you do not own as it is a violation of federal law.