Once you have decided that you wish to monitor someone’s text messages, the first question you will probably ask yourself is how. Regardless of how tech savvy you might be, monitoring texts will probably fall outside your area of expertise.
Software or not?
Whether you use monitoring software or not is a decision you should make early. To start with, the only decent services out there are paid ones. Furthermore, they require some setup and are often visible on the tracked device so as to help with privacy concerns.
For the purposes of this post, we will focus on monitoring text messages without the use of any extra software. As one might expect, you will not have access to the same range of features but you will still be able to conduct some level of monitoring.
Monitoring without installing software
The most obvious thing you could do is get your hands on the target device. Of course, this comes with a set of limitations. If your child knows you will ask for their phone, for instance, they might simply delete unwanted text messages.
Whether that poses an issue or not depends entirely on what you are looking to achieve. If you have an agreement with your child and you trust that they will keep their end of the bargain, then this method is the simplest one.
If you want to monitor without accessing your child’s physical phone, your options will depend entirely on what kind of phone your child is using. With Google’s Android, you will only be able to read messages remotely if your child communicate through Hangouts.
A similar thing happens in iOS, only this time the app in question is iMessage. As long as you know the iCloud credentials of your child, you can manage messages from other devices. In both cases, you will need to have access to a username and password.
Is there any other way?
Without installing any extra software, there is no other way to view and monitor text messages. Even having access to messages remotely requires some setup as well as an additional app or two.