Child Tracking Software | Avast

Child Tracking Software | Avast
Emma McGowan, 9 February 2021

How to protect children while still keeping parent-child trust intact

This year for Safer Internet Day, we’re taking a look at child tracking software. Technology has made it easier than ever for parents to know where their kids are, 24/7. And there are plenty of options, from covert software that the kid doesn’t know about to keyloggers that track everything they type to Find My iPhone. But is it really a good idea to use this software? And how is it different from stalkerware?
The answer, according to child psychologist Catherine Knibbs, is complicated. Knibbs, who specializes in cyber trauma, tells Avast that “there’s a huge difference between covert and overt tracking.” 
“It’s always about intent,” Knibbs says. “When it comes to stalking, there’s usually other intent and modus operandi.” 
She also believes that there are certain circumstances in certain families where some type of tracking software is absolutely necessary. For example, if there are medical issues — like a patient of hers who had a disorder that causes her to black out — or developmental ones — like a patient who would walk home without knowing the route if his boss was late. 
“In those circumstances, yes,” Knibbs says. “Because that’s actually about taking care of the child, rather than being an overbearing parent.”
However, if there are no extenuating circumstances, then “perhaps it might be a little intrusive for those children,” Knibbs says.
How to talk to your child about tracking software
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