Mike's NBC-TV stories

Online Activity Monitoring Apps

It will probably come as no surprise to many that a new report says about 75 percent of teens are using smartphones these days, especially during the school year – opening the door to all kinds of potential dangers.

But parents need not worry when they use apps designed to monitor the online activity of minor-aged children.

Mobicip lets parents to review browsing history and even remotely block certain activities. There is a so-called “middle school level” that disallows things like online shopping, gambling, and dating, while the “high school level” blocks sites about things such as weapons. The app is free for iOS and Android with premium services available for additional cost.

MSpy is one of the top monitoring apps. Parents monitor a wide range of smartphone activities their kids are taking part in. That means everything from physical location to their Internet browsing history, images, videos, emails, texts and more. The app is free for Android and iOS with a range of premium services available for purchase.

Norton Family is an app that makes it easy for parents to set up Web-content filters, keep track of the physical location of kids. It sends weekly reports and alerts to stay on top of all activities. A unique feature of Norton Family is the ability to place limits on how long children can use devices. The app is free for iOS and Android but there are additional costs for service.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.