Problem Solvers


Unlocking the hidden dangers on your teen’s cellphone

Posted at 1:06 AM, Feb 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-25 01:12:40-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The World Wide Web -- for some parents is a web of confusion. The days of just Facebook are over. Now there are snaps that remove chats and swipes that are considered likes. You never know for sure what your kids are sending or receiving.

So it begs the question: would you spy on your kids?

If the answer is yes, CBS 6 wants to show you just how easy that is -- in fact, there are house calls. (Click on the above video to see what happens when CBS 6’s Joe St. George’s smart phone is “spied on.”)


Patrick Siewert is a former Louisa County Sheriff’s Deputy who now runs Professional Digital Forensic Consulting.

His spykit can show what’s hidden on your child's phone and even things they've deleted.

While iPhones tend to be harder to crack, he says they’re doable. Having the password makes things easier.

“As a parent I would recommend that parents know all their kids passwords and passcodes," Siewart said.

And if that wasn't enough, Siewart can also see what your child's been watching. In addition, Siewert can also track online conversations down to the second.

"If you have child who is supposed to be driving to work and that drive is 20 minutes away and in that window there is a bunch of texts -- well maybe they were texting while driving," Siewart explained.


If you don't want to hire a private eye, child tracking apps like are also available. Major cell phone companies like Verizon also offer free monitoring software.

"Some of his friends are doing a lot of things they shouldn't be doing on phones," said Paul Martin.

Martin is a dad who uses this and says, while he doesn't get advanced features like GPS, he knows what’s going on.

"They are minors they are under your supervision so you are responsible," Martin said. "Nothing replaces commonsense."

John Jones

John Jones

John Jones with the Virginia Sheriff’s Association encourages parents to “spy.”

In fact, some law enforcement agencies are developing their own software to give to parents. One reason: the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that 65 percent of online sex offenders use social networking sites to gain home information.

"Bottom line is parents have to be involved they have to be involved daily nothing should become routine," Jones explained.