Tracking apps help parents keep eye on children - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tracking apps help parents keep eye on children

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

As students head back to school, it's natural for parents to worry about their child's safety. Now there are apps for parents to keep an eye on their children as well as their driving.

Eyewitness News has learned about two new apps for parents to consider. The first is Life 360, which will allow parents to know where their children are at all times.

"With the mapping program with GPS, not only can you locate where your children are, but it provides information on where the local police department is, where hospitals are, and it also has little links, where all the sex offenders are in your community," said internet safety expert Scott Driscoll.

The app also features a panic or emergency button.

"If you hit it, it sends an emergency alert to your parents," Driscoll said.

It also provides the location of the child, Driscoll said.

"The company will call your phone and say your son/daughter is in trouble, their coordinates, their location is this," Driscoll said.

Mom or dad can also easily communicate with the entire family.

"Life 360 also provides a family call, so if something happens, as the parent I can hit one button and everyone in the family gets a phone call or text immediately from me," Driscoll said.

Driscoll said another app, which is called MamaBear, could be helpful for high school-aged kids. The app allows the parents to set up how fast they want their teenager to drive.

"Any time they go over that, as a parent you'll get an alert, where the location was, and how fast they were going," Driscoll said. "You can also set up alerts on Facebook and Instagram for inappropriate messages or words being used."

The MamaBear can also track locations of people.

"They can check in when they arrive, when you get to the mall, check in, so they hit a button," Driscoll said. "Not only can they tell you where they are, I can with GPS confirm they're at the mall."

Parents can also set up alerts for restricted areas.

"If you find some place, liquor stores, or places you know kids are partying, parents say that's an area you're not allowed to go to," Driscoll said. "They can look at the coordinates in the MamaBear, if a child enters that area, the parents will get an alert stating your kid is there."

There is one thing Driscoll said both these apps are missing though.

"What I would like as a parent, if I put it on the child's phone I would want control over," Driscoll said. "If the app is deleted or if the app is not, if the child turns off their GPS we lose those services."

To get the Life 360 app, click the following link, http://www.life360.com/tour/.

To get the MamaBear app, click the following link, http://vimeo.com/47397571#.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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