Spying on kids: To do, or not to do?

EL PASO, Texas - For many parents, keeping their children safe is top priority, even if it means spying on them.

Almost 100 percent of kids are connected online, according to a survey by Pew Research, which means it's not surprising that parents feel the need to monitor their kids' phones.

"You see online bullying going on, and to keep the kid safe, especially if you see suspicious activity, like your kid hiding away, you know teenagers do that all the time," said El Paso resident Andrew Giron.

He is not the only one who sees snooping as a necessity in today's digital society.

"Nowadays you have to know where your kids are at all times, and I mean, you never know who your kids are hanging out with. So that means, if you're sneaking through a text message or a Facebook message, but it's keeping your kids safe, then I mean you have to do what you have to do," said El Paso resident Lauren Blake.

A poll by Harris, a communications company, found 43 percent of parents occasionally monitor their child's smartphone with their knowledge.

"I definitely think parents should be upfront about it. Of course there has to be that relationship already in place. If it's not there, work on it, and get to that place where you can talk about that stuff and have those passwords available. You never know when you're going to need them," said Giron.

However, in Blake's eyes, parents don't necessarily have to tell their kids anything when snooping.

"It kind of depends. If you have a reason or suspect something, then I probably wouldn't tell my kid. But, I mean, if you're going to be, like, 'I just want to see what you're doing, who you are with, can you show me,' then that's okay," said Blake.

Some parents seem to agree. The same poll revealed that 35 percent of parents check their kid's phone without their knowledge.

Concerned parents can download a free app called MAMABEAR that gives parents GPS location on their kid, lets a parent monitor their Facebook, and alerts a parent when their child is speeding while driving.

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