The TxtWatcher Story and Overview

Texting is by far is the single Most Dominant Means of Communication for adolescents and teens today.  In a typical day millions of text messages are sent.  Dates are made, gatherings are arranged, romances are courted or terminated, and homework assignments are confirmed.  Unfortunately, many negative behaviors and activities are also arranged and documented via texting.  These include illicit drug use, “sexting,” cyber bullying, texting while driving, and sexual harassment. Since most kids have a basic understanding that social media like Facebook and Twitter are somewhat public, they reserve their most provocative communication for text messaging.  If your kids are “up to something” it is most likely documented in their text messages.

 Therefore, a key to preventing negative and often life threatening behavior in today’s mobile world is monitor your children’s text messaging.   This is a very challenging problem, since by definition, text messages are short and most importantly are often written in “code” which needs to be translated in order for a parent to understand what the messages actually mean.  For example, “8” actually translates to “oral sex,” PAL” translates to “Parents Are Listening” and “KGB” can mean “Marijuana.”   Also many kids delete inappropriate messages, along with attached pictures, so their parents will not be able to see them if they physically check their phones (spot check).

 My wife and I learned this first hand.  We were lucky enough to intercept one of our kid’s text conversations about an illicit activity that could have been life altering.  We happened to spot check his phone and the messages had not been deleted. I had to look up some of the text codes to fully understand them.  Based on this experience, I researched text monitoring tools on the market; they all fell short.  Therefore, I had the idea to build a service that would copy all my kid’s text messages and attached pictures securely to a web server where the messages could be translated, viewed, and based on the translated message content, send alerts to parents.  Even if the messages were deleted from the phone they would still be captured. Today, this technology is available in the form of a service called TxtWatcher.

TxtWatcher’s stealthy mobile app runs on my kids’ cell phones copying all text messages as well as pictures, to a secure web portal.  TxtWatcher’s translation engine called SmartAlec translates all text messages, so that parents can be automatically alerted to certain types of behavior such as, illicit alcohol or drug use, texting during school hours, sex, and communicating with undesirables.  These alerts can be sent to parents via email or even as a text message. TxtWatcher’s online portal provides parents the ability to view a history of their children’s texts, pictures, set alerts, and highlight any possible trends. 

The ability to alert parents based on automatically translated text code, as well as slang terms for alcohol and drugs is a capability that is unique to TxtWatcher.  We recently received an email from a mother who tragically lost her teenage daughter to a drug overdose.  She mentioned, “If I had a product like this my daughter may still be alive today.”  Kids do not go from 0 to doing hard drugs overnight.  It happens in steps and stages. Gaining insight into what your kids are doing via text monitoring can enable you as a parent to steer them in the right direction before they make a wrong decision.  Know What Your Kids Are Texting. Visit: http://www.txtwatcher.com

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