Before I start talking about this new app, Highster Mobile, let me start by saying on record that I do believe parents have the right and, may I add, the responsibility to monitor their kids’ cell phone activity, but up to a point, of course. Speaking for myself, I basically just want to know which websites my kids are regularly visiting, who they are chatting or talking with, and what they are talking about.
Does that sound like I’m being a helicopter parent? I don’t think so. I know what a “helicopter parent” is like, and believe me, I sometimes bend over backwards not to be like that.
However, in today’s world, if I still need to explain to other parents why it’s a big no-no to have children visiting websites they are not supposed to, or why kids communicating with total strangers is fraught with danger, then we’re all in trouble.
The Main Features
Okay, now that everything is settled, let’s talk about Highster Mobile. This is a mobile app specifically designed to help parents protect their kids by allowing them to monitor and check their cell phone activity.
- Monitor text messages and even iMessages
- Every outgoing and incoming call is logged (phone number, time, duration)
- Every photo and video taken and received by the monitored phone are logged and viewable by you
- Get access to their browser history to know which websites are being visited
- Monitor their social media activity (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, WhatsApp, etc.)
Another important feature that I must mention here is the ability to track my kids’ whereabouts via their phones’ GPS.
While the ability to monitor what my kids are doing online with their phones is always a great feature, I especially appreciate being able to know where they are at any specific time. Using Highster Mobile, my kids’ GPS positions are regularly uploaded in intervals and viewable via Google Maps.
To me, knowing where my kids are at any given moment is definitely most reassuring and gives me great peace of mind. It lets me know if they are in a location where they shouldn’t be, and at the very least, it helps me catch them if they’re lying about working on a project with a classmate but that project is playing in the arcade at the mall instead. (Happened a couple of times already!)
Another feature which I personally find awesome is that your kid’s phone doesn’t even have to be connected to the internet for Highster Mobile to work. This is quite handy, especially since not all places have wi-fi, and even if it has, your kid might forget to connect to one.
As for the information it collects, I have it set up so that everything gets sent to my email. Others might find it more convenient to have it sent to their phone directly, but I’m almost always checking my email anyway, so this method is perfect for me.
I’ve already recommended Highster Mobile to a friend of mine who’s also a parent. She’s still trying it out, so I might talk to her later on and hear what her thoughts are about this app. However, what I can tell you right now is that installing the app is a bit easier if you and your kids have iPhones. All you need is your kid’s Apple ID and password, and voila! You can install the app without them even knowing about it. (I know that may sound devious to some people, but hey, if you’re a parent, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.)
For those with Android phones, don’t worry. I helped my friend install the app and she just needed a minute (could be less) with her kid’s Android phone to install and activate it. So yeah, you do have to have the target phone with you, but it’s just under a minute, so that’s not really going to be a problem.
What I think
All in all, I can say that Highster Mobile works perfectly for my purposes. It does what it was designed to do and I find it easy to install and use. BTW I also liked the “one-time payment” thing; it lets me use the phone with all the features without having to pay more money every month, and if they upgrade the app, I get that for free as well!