When it comes to the safety and well-being of children, the digital age is anything but simple. On the one hand, technology offers some amazing breakthroughs to give parents more peace of mind in day to day life. And yet on the other hand, technology also brings many concerns from mental health to data privacy. With so many issues to consider, it's never been more important to stay informed and aware.
That's why today we're breaking down one of the most popular questions parents ask when it comes to technology: are GPS trackers safe for kids?
GPS tracking devices for kids have gained significant popularity in recent years, offering a means to track a child's location in real-time and ensure their safety in various environments.
As parents become increasingly concerned about their children's safety, whether on their way to school, after school activities, or getting to their friend's house, smartwatches with built-in GPS tracking functions emerge as better alternatives than cell phones or Apple devices to keep kids safe.
GPS trackers have become a popular solution for monitoring a child's current whereabouts whenever the child leaves. It works like they had their own sim card, without the associated risks of giving them a cell phone, and with customizable parental controls.
A GPS tracking device utilizes advanced global positioning system (GPS) technology to pinpoint a child's location accurately. With the ability to track movements and provide real-time location tracking, GPS trackers offer a sense of reassurance to parents, enabling them to stay connected and be aware of their family's circumstances, whether the young child is out or the older kids. Kid trackers are here to stay.
Let's navigate this increasingly connected world and discover what the best GPS trackers have in common: essential tracking capabilities and what activity tracking is all about.
GPS Tracker Unveiled: The Inner Workings of Location Tracking
Maybe complex technological jargon is right up your alley (kudos!), but for the rest of us, we'll make it simple. GPS trackers for kids operate based on a relatively simple yet powerful technology that allows accurate and real-time tracking of their location. These devices rely on the Global Positioning System (GPS), a network of satellites orbiting the Earth that transmit signals to GPS receivers.
When a GPS tracker is activated, it starts searching for signals from multiple GPS satellites in its vicinity. Once the device connects with at least three satellites, it can calculate its position based on the time it takes for the signals to travel. The GPS tracker determines its location's latitude, longitude, and altitude by triangulating these signals.
One of the key benefits of using GPS trackers for kids is the ability to track their whereabouts whenever you want to accurately.
Parents can monitor their child's location through a companion mobile app or a web portal. This feature is precious in crowded public spaces or unfamiliar environments where children may wander off or get lost.
Additionally, GPS trackers often offer features such as geofencing. Geofencing allows parents to set virtual boundaries on a map and receive alerts when their child enters or exits those designated areas. This feature is handy for monitoring school attendance or ensuring a child stays within a safe neighborhood or a predefined radius.
Tracking Confidence: Your Child's Location at a Glance
GPS trackers for kids offer a range of advantages regarding ensuring child safety. By harnessing the power of technology, these devices provide parents with valuable tools to enhance their children's security and well-being.
One of the primary benefits of GPS trackers is the ability to locate their child if they become separated or lost quickly. It eliminates the anxiety and uncertainty accompanying such situations, allowing prompt action to ensure the child's safety.
It's hard to overstate the peace of mind that GPS trackers can provide for parents. For example, Cindy, a mom of 3 kids living in New York says:
"Having the visibility of where my kids are and when as been huge for me and our whole family. It's everything from just reducing overall mom-worry, to practical things like coordinating after school pickups."
In today's fast-paced world, where parents juggle various responsibilities, knowing their child's whereabouts are easily accessible can be incredibly reassuring. Ultimately, it comes down to the important (and oh-so-hard) balancing act of granting kids step-by-step independence and protecting them at the same time.
Moreover, GPS trackers can be especially beneficial for children with special needs or those prone to wandering. Children with conditions such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a higher tendency to wander off or get disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings. A GPS tracker for kids might offer an additional layer of safety by providing immediate location updates, allowing parents to find their children and prevent potential risks quickly.
Another advantage of GPS trackers is their usefulness in emergencies. Many devices have emergency buttons or SOS features that children can activate when distressed. In an emergency, a child can press the button, and the GPS tracker will send an alert to designated contacts, providing them with the child's exact location. This feature can be crucial when a child feels threatened, unsafe, or requires immediate assistance. For example, the Cosmo JrTrack™ 2 smartwatch comes with a 911 emergency calling feature. This distinct feature allows parents to toggle it on/off with the push of a button. With devices like this, parents can rest assured that their child's safety is just a simple tap away.
Furthermore, GPS trackers can foster open communication between parents and children about safety. By discussing the purpose of GPS trackers for kids and involving children in conversations about personal safety; parents can educate their children on the importance of staying within designated boundaries and understanding potential risks. This educational aspect promotes responsibility and empowers children to take an active role in their safety.
These devices are valuable tools in today's connected world, allowing parents to safeguard their children and proactively provide protection and reassurance.
Security Concerns: GPS Tracking Risks
While all that sounds great, you might be asking: is there a catch? While it's clear GPS watches for kids offer numerous benefits, it's essential for parents to be aware of any potential risks.
When it comes to these connected devices, the most important risk to be aware of is unprotected data connection. In many cases, GPS tracking devices rely on data transmission to send the child's location to a parent app. If not properly connected with end-to-end encryption, your child's whereabouts could become the knowledge of a unknown hacker.
This risk is first and foremost associated with low-cost, foreign-made, non-brand devices often found on online platforms like Amazon or Alibaba. While the devices may look affordable, your children can't afford the risk. Such off-brand or uncertified devices may lack the necessary security features, leaving them susceptible to hacking or unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Parents should opt for reputable brands with positive reviews and a proven track record in providing secure GPS tracking solutions to ensure maximum safety and security. Brands like Cosmo, Verizon, or TickTalk take security seriously by incorporating end-to-end data encryption, full COPPA regulation compliance, and top-level safety certifications. Choosing a trusted and reliable GPS tracker can provide parents with peace of mind and a safer experience for their kids.
One way to enhance security is choosing a GPS tracker with its own software or companion app specifically designed for secure parent-child communication. With proprietary software and end-to-end encryption, the data transmitted between the GPS tracker and the parent's device remains within a closed and secure system, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Using a dedicated software solution, communication is limited to trusted individuals. It offers an added layer of protection against external threats.
All the following are features you should consider when selecting a smartwatch for your kids:
Opt for reputable GPS tracker brands with a strong track record and positive reviews, ensuring they are safety-certified (COPPA compliant) to guarantee the security of your children's location data.
Look for a GPS tracker that offers reliable and precise location tracking. Read reviews or seek recommendations to ensure the device provides accurate positioning information.
Consider the battery life of the GPS tracker. Opt for a device with a long-lasting battery to ensure uninterrupted daily tracking. Look for low-power modes or efficient power management to extend battery life.
Size and Comfort:
Choose a GPS tracker that is lightweight, compact, and comfortable for your child to wear or carry. Bulky or uncomfortable devices may discourage consistent usage.
Children can be active and may engage in various activities. Select a GPS tracker that is durable and built to withstand rough handling, splashes, or minor impacts.
Check the connectivity options available with the GPS tracker. Most trackers rely on cellular networks, so ensure the device supports the necessary frequencies and has good coverage in your area. Some trackers also offer Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity for enhanced functionality.
SOS Buttons and Emergency Features:
Look for GPS trackers that include SOS buttons or emergency features. These allow your child to send immediate distress signals to designated contacts in an emergency or dangerous situation.
Geofencing is a helpful feature that allows you to set virtual boundaries on a map. Choose a GPS tracker that supports geofencing, enabling you to receive notifications when your child enters or exits the defined safe zones.
Companion App or Web Portal:
Consider the availability of a user-friendly companion app or web portal that allows you to track your child's location, configure settings, and receive notifications. Ensure the interface is intuitive and offers helpful features necessary for helicopter parenting.
Additional Safety Features:
Some GPS trackers offer additional safety features, such as two-way communication, where you can communicate with your child through the device, or an audio monitoring feature that allows you to listen to the surrounding environment. Assess the importance of these features based on your specific needs.
So are GPS trackers safe for kids?
By and large the answer is clear: with quality-made, secure devices, the benefits of GPS trackers far outweigh any potential risks. The features these devices offer extend beyond location monitoring, with helpful benefits like geofencing and emergency buttons adding an extra layer of protection.
With careful consideration of factors like accuracy, size, additional features, and cost, parents can choose the GPS tracker that meets their child's needs and provides security in today's dynamic world. GPS trackers are valuable tools for promoting child safety and empowering parents to protect their children.