When it comes to apps that offer tracking to parents and employers there is a fine line between monitoring and spying. Xnspy is an app that boasts to customers the benefits of using their software to monitor. However, an Xnspy review reveals that their service is specifically marketed for spying, a definition that is questionable in both legal and ethical terms.
Installation, the First Line of Defense
The installation of spy apps presents the first security risk and ethical question. During our Xnspy review we found that most spy apps offer installation methods that require jailbreaking the device. Jailbreaking gives the user unlimited access to the system files, allowing them to overwrite them or alter them in any way. While this gives greater control over the device, it also circumvents the many safeguards that the manufacturer has put in place to protect the user from malicious software. Although jailbreaking may not be illegal, in many cases it will void the warranty on the device and cause device issues such as frequent crashing or faster battery drainage.
For Android devices the process is often referred to as rooting and gives the spy apps access to internal monitoring of things like call logs, text messages, and GPS location. Xnspy offers installation options on iPhone with or without jailbreaking. However, to install without jailbreaking you will need access to the device’s iCloud username and password. In addition, installing without rooting on Android devices may limit the spying ability. For example, when spying on WhatsApp activity, a non-rooted device will only show images that have been shared and not date and time stamps or call logs.
What You Get When You Spy
For iPhone installations there is a jailbreak version on iOS 6 up to 9.0.2. According to the Xnspy review comments, the “no jailbreak” version works on iOS 6.x, 7.x, 8.x up to 13.3. Regardless of what subscription is purchased, the data is accessed on a web based control panel with free updates.
The spy app offers two subscription plans, Basic and Premium, both of which are 100% undetectable. However, the company is clear that many features of each plan are only available on a rooted Android or on a jailbroken iPhone.
The Basic Edition provides spying on:
- Call history
- Whatsapp photos
- Viber photos
- Instagram pictures
- Gmail app
- Sent and received emails
- Appointments and calendar activities
- List of installed apps
- App blocking
- All photos on device
- All videos on device
- Internet browsing history
- Location history
- SIM card changes
- Uploading data preferences
In addition to the above list, the Premium Edition also offers the following:
- Call recording
- Watchlist contacts
- Watchlist words for iMessages and text messages
- WhatsApp chat and calls
- Viber calls and messages
- Skype messages, calls, and contacts
- Facebook messages
- Kik messages
- Tinder Messages
- Remote recording of phone surroundings
- Watchlist email addresses
- Watchlist words for emails
- Watchlist contacts
- Watchlist places
- Keystroke monitoring
- Logs of all Wi-Fi connections
- Remote wipe phone data
- Remote lock phone
- Remote pause, start, or de-activate application
- Take a screenshot
The Basic Edition monthly subscription is $29.99/month, quarterly subscription is $13.99/month, and yearly subscription is $4.99/month. The Premium Edition is $35.99/month for a month subscription, $19.99/month for a quarterly subscription, and $7.49/month for a yearly subscription.
Despite the long list of items that the software allows a user to spy on, neither plan from our Xnspy review provides access to Snapchat activity. Snapchat is currently a leading social media app and if a customer is going to pay money and risk compromising the device, the software should address Snapchat and be prepared to monitor any future social media apps.
For both concerned parents and employers who need access to what their children or employees are doing throughout the day, the items that can be monitored with a spy app are certainly enticing. However, customers should consider the legal, ethical, and social ramifications of purchasing a subscription. The Xnspy review tells its customers that parents of children younger than 18 years of age and employers who provide notice of the monitoring to their employees are well within legal rights to monitor activity. While that may be true, privacy is a hot topic. An app specifically marketed to spy violates the privacy for the device user and may alienate the parties involved.
Is There a Safe Option for Monitoring?
The software pcTattletale was developed to meet monitoring needs without compromising safety. Below is a summary of key factors that make pcTattletale the best solution for monitoring and the number one choice for spy app alternatives.
pcTattletale is the only solution that provides video monitoring of everything on the device screen. This means that monitoring is not limited to specific apps or files on the device but rather shows everything that is accessed and communicated by tracking clicks and movement. This allows pcTattletale to continue monitoring activity regardless of what apps the user is installing and viewing. In addition, pcTattletale provides GPS tracking.
The software is able to be installed on Windows devices with Windows XP through 10. It can also easily be installed on Android with OS 5 through 9 without rooting the device. The software runs safely and securely in the background and activity can be monitored remotely with a computer or smartphone.
Data privacy and safety is a huge concern for pcTattletale. They have spent 15 years perfecting their software services for families and employers and use AES Encryption (Advanced Encryption Standard) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technologies when storing data in a secure cloud environment.
There are four packages that a customer can purchase. The first is Family Basic for $99/ year. It can be installed on 1 – 3 devices and keeps recorded data for up to 7 days. The next option is Family Plus and for $149/ year it can also be installed on 1 – 3 devices, with recorded data stored for 30 days. For businesses, the lower end package is Small Office for $199/ year. This package is for up to 7 devices and keeps recorded data for 30 days. The final package is Business Plan. For $399/ year it can be installed on up to 15 devices and the recorded data is kept for 365 days.
pcTattletale offers a free trial so that users can view the benefits of the software risk-free.
Unlike spy apps that operate on questionable practices, the solution offered by pcTattletale has been recognized by CNET, PC Mag, and Softpedia.
At the end of the day, pcTattletale is a software built on honesty. Rather than promoting spying, they approach monitoring from a healthy perspective. For parents, the company offers their software as a starting point for conversations with children about internet safety and cyberbullying. For employers, the software is a springboard for managing employees to increase productivity.
The choice is clear. Avoid the pitfalls of spying and opt for pcTattletale, a software that safely monitors devices.