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I want to monitor my son android phone but I won't be able to access it physically, any other way?

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
My son has an Asus ROG phone 2. I'm suspecting some of his activities. I was able to take the phone from him one time and install a parenting program but he was able to uninstall it. The problem was that it wasn't stealthy. Now, he is more cautious and will never allow me to get his phone which is always locked by his fingerprint. I want to install mspy on it but that requires physical access to the device. What are my other options? Anyway to plant something in his device without him knowing? By sending him something for example!?

Thanks.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,960
6,899
126
My son has an Asus ROG phone 2. I'm suspecting some of his activities. I was able to take the phone from him one time and install a parenting program but he was able to uninstall it. The problem was that it wasn't stealthy. Now, he is more cautious and will never allow me to get his phone which is always locked by his fingerprint. I want to install mspy on it but that requires physical access to the device. What are my other options? Anyway to plant something in his device without him knowing? By sending him something for example!?

Thanks.
I hope someone reports your activities to the Feds..
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
Why? Parental control became a crime suddenly ? My post was very innocent, and I just wants to solve a problem. If I have done something wrong, inform me politely and I'll confess and stop. I'm just a helpless father.
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
He is reading something that is corrupting his mind/brain I think, and I wanted to know it. It is not like I want to block p0rn for example.
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
He is reading something that is corrupting his mind/brain I think, and I wanted to know it. It is not like I want to block p0rn for example.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,960
6,899
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Thought control over your children? How Orwellian.

How old is the child in question, if they have an Asus Rog 2 phone? Did they pay for it themselves?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,364
785
126
If you are not paying for his phone service then you are SOL. If you are paying for it then you have a reasonable goal to talk to him about your concerns and if they aren't alleviated, to stop paying for his phone service, or make not uninstalling your tracking app a part of the conditions for your paying for service.

If you are paying for the service then you may also be able to get a log of the calls/texts made.

It seems strange to me that if you don't even trust your child, why (presumably) you would have gotten him a $1000+ phone? Maybe take it back and give him something smaller and antiquated so painful to use on the internet if internet usage is the problem? Cheap old phones worth practically nothing today, can still do voice and texts fine, as long as it's 4G LTE so not soon to be unsupported.

If you are overbearing it may just prompt him to get a 2nd phone and if he doesn't want to pay for service, then will just use it over wifi... or some other device instead. Even with today's larger screen phones I still hate to use the internet on one compared to a computer or tablet when I have those options.
 
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iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
Well, It is complicated. I will go off topic to answer your questions. He is 19. My eldest son. The phone was a gift for him for scoring excellent grades in his high school. This son was the most obedient, however, it all changed recently. He stopped going outside, always in his room using the phone, doesn't want to apply for a driving license, dropped the university without me knowing (although it is online due to Covid19|), doesn't listen to me at all. No amount of talk will make him responsive and he is ignoring everybody. If he stays like this, he basically destroyed his future and his life. There is no service in his phone. He is using WIFI. He also has his school ipad, and a laptop I bought for him for the university but he is not using them. He is mostly using his phone. I bought him the phone when he was fine. I can easily block all his devices, but I'm thinking it might backfire. He is being abusive. I'm afraid he developed some type of a mental illness. And I can't take him anywhere because he just doesn't listen. He has been at home for 6+ months, never went outside ! He needs to see a therapist.

Yes I know, it is part of a bigger problem.

See how complicated it is?

God help me.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,960
6,899
126
Why? Parental control became a crime suddenly ? My post was very innocent, and I just wants to solve a problem. If I have done something wrong, inform me politely and I'll confess and stop. I'm just a helpless father.
Well, It is complicated. I will go off topic to answer your questions. He is 19. My eldest son. The phone was a gift for him for scoring excellent grades in his high school. This son was the most obedient, however, it all changed recently. He stopped going outside, always in his room using the phone, doesn't want to apply for a driving license, dropped the university without me knowing, doesn't listen to me at all. No amount of talk will make him responsive and he is ignoring everybody. If he stays like this, he basically destroyed his future and his life. There is no service in his phone. He is using WIFI. He also has his school ipad, and a laptop I bought for him for the university but he is not using them. He is mostly using his phone. I bought him the phone when he was fine. I can easily block all his devices, but I'm thinking it might backfire. He is being abusive. I'm afraid he developed some type of a mental illness. And I can't take him anywhere because he just doesn't listen. He has been at home for 6+ months, never went outside ! He needs to see a therapist.

See how complicated it is?
If your son is 19, you don't have any legal right to plant spyware on his phone.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,364
785
126
^ Agreed, once the phone became "a gift" it was no longer his property so relinquished control over it.

HOWEVER, if as stated he is always home and using wifi, there is another option, set up tracking per device for the phone. This requires no phone app, just logging the wifi traffic, and he has every right to log his own wifi.

I don't think it's going to help though. If he never goes outside, can't be a drug problem unless he's receiving deliveries from the darknet or something, so probably at least depression combined with the effects of being a cooped up 19 year old.

I wouldn't go so far as to think he is destroying his life rather than just delaying it, as long as he doesn't get into illegal or risky activities that pose harm.

Any idea what might entice him to go outside and interact with the world more? Maybe an eBike if he won't get a driver's license, something fast enough that it's not boring...

... maybe take him on a road trip to visit Cheez as a warning of how his life could turn out. ;)
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
24,232
1,861
126
If you are not paying for his phone service then you are SOL. If you are paying for it then you have a reasonable goal to talk to him about your concerns and if they aren't alleviated, to stop paying for his phone service, or make not uninstalling your tracking app a part of the conditions for your paying for service.

If you are paying for the service then you may also be able to get a log of the calls/texts made.

It seems strange to me that if you don't even trust your child, why (presumably) you would have gotten him a $1000+ phone? Maybe take it back and give him something smaller and antiquated so painful to use on the internet if internet usage is the problem? Cheap old phones worth practically nothing today, can still do voice and texts fine, as long as it's 4G LTE so not soon to be unsupported.

If you are overbearing it may just prompt him to get a 2nd phone and if he doesn't want to pay for service, then will just use it over wifi... or some other device instead. Even with today's larger screen phones I still hate to use the internet on one compared to a computer or tablet when I have those options.
If he IS paying for his son's phone service or the household Wi-Fi, it sounds like he's got the power to shut it off if his kid doesn't fall in line.
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
^ Agreed, once the phone became "a gift" it was no longer his property so relinquished control over it.

HOWEVER, if as stated he is always home and using wifi, there is another option, set up tracking per device for the phone. This requires no phone app, just logging the wifi traffic, and he has every right to log his own wifi.

I don't think it's going to help though. If he never goes outside, can't be a drug problem unless he's receiving deliveries from the darknet or something, so probably at least depression combined with the effects of being a cooped up 19 year old.

I wouldn't go so far as to think he is destroying his life rather than just delaying it, as long as he doesn't get into illegal or risky activities that pose harm.

Any idea what might entice him to go outside and interact with the world more? Maybe an eBike if he won't get a driver's license, something fast enough that it's not boring...

... maybe take him on a road trip to visit Cheez as a warning of how his life could turn out. ;)
I'm using circle:


It works well with my router. I can see his traffic, but there is too much noise to see the normal browsing he does. It logs any app accessing the internet. It only reports the domain name, not the specific link he accessed. At least it is something, but I don't like it very much. The internet is censored where I'm, and I spotted him accessing vpn services websites, so that raises a flag.

Thanks for your ideas. I'm open for more. I need to devise a plan to get him out of home.
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
If he IS paying for his son's phone service or the household Wi-Fi, it sounds like he's got the power to shut it off if his kid doesn't fall in line.
I can't just turn WIFI off. His sisters and brothers are doing their online learning due to COVID19. I can block his access however, but I know he will try to fix it himself and may end up messing up the whole home network which is something I don't want to deal with at the moment.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,364
785
126
^ Password protect your router, then you can block his device access, and remove the factory reset button if he'd think to, be able to go that far to try to get around this. However if there is other open wifi in the area, he'd just jump on that instead, but based on signal strength might be slowed down quite a bit.

The plan to get him out of the house is the road trip to Cheez shed. While Cheez has him mesmerized with his pearls of wisdom, jump in the car and take off! lol

Edit: Now realizing you aren't in the US, you're going to have to travel a long way to get to Cheez shed, but all the further he would have to travel to get back home!

Kidding aside, your house your rules. If he won't go to counseling with you, find a counselor that'll do house calls.
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
24,232
1,861
126
^ Password protect your router, then you can block his device access, and remove the factory reset button if he'd think to, be able to go that far to try to get around this. However if there is other open wifi in the area, he'd just jump on that instead, but based on signal strength might be slowed down quite a bit.

The plan to get him out of the house is the road trip to Cheez shed. While Cheez has him mesmerized with his pearls of wisdom, jump in the car and take off! lol

Edit: Now realizing you aren't in the US, you're going to have to travel a long way to get to Cheez shed, but all the further he would have to travel to get back home!

Kidding aside, your house your rules. If he won't go to counseling with you, find a counselor that'll do house calls.
I have to admit, this would make Cheez's YouTube videos a lot more interesting!
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
24,232
1,861
126
I'm using circle:


It works well with my router. I can see his traffic, but there is too much noise to see the normal browsing he does. It logs any app accessing the internet. It only reports the domain name, not the specific link he accessed. At least it is something, but I don't like it very much. The internet is censored where I'm, and I spotted him accessing vpn services websites, so that raises a flag.

Thanks for your ideas. I'm open for more. I need to devise a plan to get him out of home.
He's 19. You don't need to "devise a plan"... just kick him out! I'll bet that he'll get a job once he gets hungry enough.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,960
6,899
126
Just remember: Bill Gates dropped out of college, and was "into computers".

Maybe your son has depression, maybe he needs counselling, maybe not.

Maybe he's just 19, not sure what to do with his life, and that doesn't "mesh" with your parental expectations. Then again, "arranged marriages" used to be a thing too. Not my style, however.

If he actually gets violent, or threatens to hurt himself or others, then yes, get someone, possibly the law, possibly mental health counsellors, involved. Until then, just let him brood, and tell him that he has to pay rent to stay there, now that he's past 18, and to help pay for the wifi service.

Maybe he's making money playing poker online through his phone. Maybe he's a prodigy.
 
Feb 4, 2009
31,385
11,787
136
As a former wireless guy.
I have zero problems with a parent inspecting usage or restricting usage on a childs device. Zero ethical concerns provided:
You state you are monitoring activity
The Child is really a Child and not a 20 year old. In this event it is perfectly fine to tell them to get their own device and pay for it themselves.
Back to blocking stuff, it is really difficult because as above you could setup some sort of filtering dns router at home however that won’t help outside the house and even if you do some kind of setup where it does work google will simple tell them to change the dns setting.

While I do not have kids I am more a fan of at any moment saying “give me your phone & unlock it” then inspect.
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,364
785
126
If he actually gets violent, or threatens to hurt himself or others, then yes, get someone, possibly the law, possibly mental health counsellors, involved.
That's the line I see too, violence or excessive destruction and/or threats of it, have to be nipped in the bud not ignored.

At that point, in my mind it is past the point of counseling while he stays at (your) home, he has to vacate the premises and then try to work with him to do counseling if he's interested in trying to find a middle ground.

However this is all contingent on the limited amount of info we have. This is a one sided story. I'm sure his son would have a different story, probably indicative of his age, but still, it's a subjective account and that's where counseling comes in.

Point being, even if his son needs to do 99% of the adjustment into being an adult, there is probably at least that last 1% that iamgenius needs to do to adjust to his son being an evolving adult trying to find his own way in life.
 
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iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
634
40
91
That's the line I see too, violence or excessive destruction and/or threats of it, have to be nipped in the bud not ignored.

At that point, in my mind it is past the point of counseling while he stays at (your) home, he has to vacate the premises and then try to work with him to do counseling if he's interested in trying to find a middle ground.

However this is all contingent on the limited amount of info we have. This is a one sided story. I'm sure his son would have a different story, probably indicative of his age, but still, it's a subjective account and that's where counseling comes in.

Point being, even if his son needs to do 99% of the adjustment into being an adult, there is probably at least that last 1% that iamgenius needs to do to adjust to his son being an evolving adult trying to find his own way in life.
Well, it is not like he will a different story. He is just careless now. He doesn't care. He doesn't consider it a problem. He doesn't see anything wrong with what he is doing. It is like he lost his mind all of a sudden. If there is something that I may have done wrong, it maybe spoiling him. Maybe I made things easily available for him. As of now, he is eating, sleeping, playing, and enjoying his time without really doing anything in return. He is probably telling himself: Why should I do any type of work if I already have everything I want. He lost his senses. Yes this is my son who graduated from high school with excellent grades one year ago, and was excited to explore a new life back then. Maybe I need to implement some limits on what he gets.

There is another big problem at my house, and it may have contributed to his problem. If that's the case, I can't really blame him. It is a heavily complex/complicated problem to deal with.

Long story short: I was ganna say it but I changed my mind. I'm not ganna say it as they might spot this thread. I need to discuss it privately with somebody though but this is not the place for that. Never mind.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,364
785
126
You can talk to a family counselor without your son's participation, though the counselor may eventually feel it is more effective to talk to him too... if initial advice doesn't work, eventually tell your son something like "I'm going to a counselor and you can either come along or else we'll just start scheming against you". ;)

Considering the time frame, maybe this will blow over once covid is yesterday's news.
 

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