Pros / This program shows you when an app downloads to a monitored mobile device.

Cons / Some cell phone monitoring tools require you to jailbreak the phone.

 Verdict / mSpy is an effective monitoring program that works on both computers and mobile devices, plus gives you detailed insights into your child’s online activity. However, it is expensive.

mSpy has several different web monitoring solutions available depending on the device you have and what you want to monitor. For mobile devices, mSpy has two versions, one that requires you to jailbreak your iPhone and one that doesn’t. Jailbreaking means you must bypass security settings and programs on your phone for some features to work, usually text capturing or GPS tracking. But doing so puts your device at risk of being infected by malware, and it invalidates any warranties. We strongly recommend the iPhone Without Jailbreak and the PC and Mac computer monitoring programs.

The mSpy computer monitoring program tracks your kids’ online activity and organizes it in a list that’s easy to access and read from the parent dashboard. It shows the exact time your child visited each website and how long they were there. mSpy lets you add site URLs to the block list to keep your kids from websites you don’t want them visiting. This could include sites with mature content, online gaming sites or social media networks. If your child attempts to visit one of these blocked sites mSpy will make a note of it on the activity report.

You can enter a list of words or phrases you don’t want your child searching. If they do, not only does the keylogger record it, but you see an alert in the parent portal. You can set up the program to send an alert to your phone so you don’t have to wait to log into the dashboard to see if your kid has been viewing anything dangerous.

For cell phone monitoring, the mSpy program that doesn’t require you to jailbreak your phone allows you to see all your child’s contacts, call logs and text interactions. You can check out the calendar for events your child has scheduled and any notes they’ve written to themselves using their phone. mSpy shows you the applications your child has downloaded to their phone with some additional information when they use the popular chat program WhatsApp, like who they are interacting with and transcripts of all messages.

mSpy allows you to dig deeper into your child’s activities by letting you see SMS details, track them using a GPS system, and monitor all messages, including in-app chats, as well as checking their incoming and outgoing email messages through their phones. However, these all require you to jailbreak the cell phone, which automatically voids the warranty since it requires you to bypass security features and reprogram portions of your phone. There are programs, like Qustodio, that include these tools without requiring you to jailbreak your cell phone.

Another drawback of mSpy is it’s very expensive compared to other monitoring programs. At the time of this review it costs nearly $200 for a single license and you need to purchase a separate license for each device you want to monitor. Several other programs we reviewed are just as effective at tracking online activity, but they cost 75 percent less and typically come with multiple licenses.

mSpy is a good program and tracks everything your child does online whether it’s with a cell phone, tablet or computer. You see which sites they are visiting and apps they have downloaded on their mobile devices. Unfortunately, you must jailbreak cell phones to track using GPS, check emails or see SMS details, which voids the warranty of the device.

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