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Big Brother or productivity boost? PhoneSheriff monitors iPad and Android tablets

by David Needle

April 2 2013

Companies and parents can track how their tablets are being used via PhoneSheriff which tracks activities on the mobile devices.

Tablets are touted as a liberating mobile advance because they are more portable than laptops and users have easy access to hundreds of thousands of apps.

All well and good but, as with any computer system, that doesn’t mean employers want staff using the devices to watch YouTube videos or to pursue other non job-related pursuits.

Fully enabled, PhoneSheriff offers a Big Brother-like, rigorous tracking of how tablets are used.

"This software provides the control that both parents and employers used to wish they had. Now it's here, and it's ready to be used,” Craig Thompson, media coordinator of Retina-X Studios, said in a statement.

But the program also offers less heavy-handed controls, such as alert notifications for such things as profanity, intrusion and geo fencing (use of the tablet beyond a specific area, e.g., outside the office or other geographic parameter).

Once installed and activated, PhoneSheriff logs information activities such as recording iMessages, Web history, photos taken, applications installed and opened, e-mail logs, phone call logs, and all mobile usage. 

Registered users, i.e. the person using PhoneSheriff to monitor activity on the tablet, can log in from another computer to check activity logs in real-time as well as track the location of the tablet.

The program also offers a range of additional restrictions on tablet use including the ability to create application blacklists and whitelists, time limits on tablet usage and Website filtering.

Security features include remote locking, backup, restoration of data, factory reset, multiple device management, and remote uninstall.

Retina-X Studios says PhoneSheriff runs in the background and employees or children won’t necessarily even know it’s there unless told.

PhoneSheriff costs $49.97 and is available for download.

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