How To Trace A Cell Phone Location Online Like The Pros

Wondering where the children are?  Thanks to new technology you can easily keep an eye on them from a distance.  The GPS on a cell phone tells you the exact location of the phone and, by extension, your child.

You can also remotely monitor the children’s call log, text messages, or email. (TIP: It’s a good idea to tell little Johnny what you plan to do beforehand; otherwise he’ll be very angry when he finds out!)

Unless You’re The Sheriff, Be Very Careful Who You Track

Of course, it’s one thing to monitor your children’s cell phone but something else if you want to trace a cell phone location online for a spouse or an adult. It is perfectly legal for a parent or guardian to monitor their minor children’s cell phone.

But for the devices of adults it is illegal without that person’s permission.  Only law enforcement can trace cell phone location online (and in some jurisdictions they can do it without a warrant).  Here are a few things that will help you stay on the right side of the Sheriff:


If you intend to use monitoring software on a company cell phone, be sure to tell the staff about it – especially anyone who’s going to be using the device.  Otherwise if you trace cell phone location online it will be an illegal invasion of privacy.  Being charged for that won’t look good on your resume!  The upside is that Suzie from accounting will probably spend less time making personal calls if she knows she’s being monitored.


Got a burning desire to trace cell phone location online and know where your partner disappears to at lunchtime?  Too shy to ask?  Think twice about bugging their cell.  Tracking someone is not strictly illegal—but it could be construed as harassment by the wrong person.

And let’s face it: when you trace cell phone location online doesn’t tend toward building mutual trust in a relationship.  Go slow and count the cost.  Maybe you just need to build up your courage a little bit.

The bottom line is ASK first!

Unless you’re a private investigator skirting the boundaries of what’s legal, the safest route if you plan to trace cell phone location online is always to ask permission first.  If a person gives you permission then there will be no privacy issues because they’ve granted access.  You’ve got the go ahead to proceed.

Three Basics: How The System Works

  • Once a monitoring software to trace cell phone location online has been installed on a target phone (more about that below) all selected activities on that device will be logged. Most software will let you customize and choose which activities to log. This includes browsing history, email, text messages and GPS.  You can also remotely view many types of files stored on the phone.
  • This information is sent to the servers of your chosen software company via the internet.
  • You can then log in to that site at any time and view or download the trace cell phone location online reports from any location in the world.

Types Of Software Available


There are many different trace cell phone location online monitoring programs to choose from.  Each has its own unique collection of bells and whistles, each offers different pricing options.  Most major software companies will include the basic features that follow.

Again, be aware that no software is currently available to install these apps remotely (despite some fantastical internet claims).  You have to have physical access to the target phone to do it; and that’s probably a good thing!

  • GPS monitoring. Real time tracking.  Depending on the software it will usually be displayed on a map.  You can also view a log showing recent movements of the targeted device.
  • All contents and details of emails are logged.  You will see what has been sent, received and written by the parties.
  • Call logs. Who (apparently) called whom, the time and date when communication took place, and how long the parties spoke.
  • Text messages. Contents, dates and times of SMS messages; which stands for the Short Message Service or ‘texting’ available with modern cell phones.
  • Browsing history. Information as to which websites have been visited using the device.  If you don’t recognize the web address you can then visit the URL yourself to see what the site is about (Tip: ‘URL’ stands for Uniform Resource Locater; a fancy name for the address of a website or web page). 
  • Most types of personal files can be accessed on the target phone.  These include—but are not limited to—photos, videos, and audio files.  Johnny’s musical playlist can be monitored by mom and dad more closely than ever before.
READ  Why You Should Consider A Cell Phone Tracking Software


If you’ve got deeper pockets you may want to check out some of the advanced options available with more expensive software programs, such as mSpy, the leader in software that trace cell phone location online.  It’s a competitive market and new features are appearing on a regular basis.

  • Social monitoring. Stay aware of the amount and the nature of a device user’s Facebook or Twitter interactions.
  • Message services. You can do the same for activities on WhatsApp, iMessage and other message services.
  • View installed apps. Find out what software is on the target device.  With a password you can also block access to software.
  • Microphone recording. Little Suzie will not like this one because it remotely and secretly turns on the phone’s microphone to record whatever is happening at the moment.  Use with extreme caution and at your own risk!
  • Phone call recording. Less dangerous than microphone recording, this feature captures the audio from phone calls that are made or received on the device.  Private investigators probably like this one.
  • Flags and triggers. You will be alerted when specified phone numbers, words, or names are accessed by the user.  Flags can be colour-coded yellow, green, pink, or red alert depending on the nature of the situation (I’m kidding.  But it maybe it’s not a bad idea.  Any software developers reading this?)
  • Remote control. One of the most James Bond-type features delivers the capability to do things remotely such as wipe data from the device, trace cell phone location online and lock or unlock a phone.  Some parents may wish this feature was available for the behaviour of the children themselves.

Techie Stuff You Need To Know



Cell phone monitoring software that trace cell phone location online will only work on devices with an internet connection (i.e. a Smartphone or iPhone) because all of the data is transmitted online.  But you knew that, right?  The software will work anywhere in the world with an internet connection.


Make sure the software program you choose is supported by the phone.  Programs vary and so do phones, so be sure to check out all the specifications of your device and compare it to the program.

Be aware that whatever software provider you choose, they will also have different versions of the same program for various phones!  Once you’ve selected the right one to trace cell phone location online, it must be installed directly onto the target device.  This cannot be done remotely (despite the claims of some online entities).

Operating Systems

Software providers also have different versions for various Operating Systems (called an OS version).  The same model of phone can have a different OS.  This requires a bit of research for everything to work together seamlessly.  However, knowing the correct model of OS is critical.

You need to get your hands on the target phone to find out what kind of OS it uses.  If the device is password protected, you’ll need to know what it is to be able to find out (Another reason why it’s better to inform little Johnny before monitoring his cell).

Be aware of the RISKS

Finally, remember that by asking to monitor someone’s phone or device you’re making a statement to them that may have serious repercussions for your life and theirs, depending on the nature of the relationship.

For Children

If it’s your minor child or someone for whom you’re a legal guardian then obviously your concern for their safety and well being is paramount.  They should—and usually will—understand why you’re asking to install a monitoring software that trace cell phone location online on a device.

Even if a child kicks up an unholy fuss at first because it cramps their style they’ll come around eventually.

For An Adult

If it’s an adult that you want to monitor, again, it’s a different scenario.  To a spouse, a friend, or an employee, in effect you’re saying to them (and they will hear it as): “I don’t trust you” or at best, “I’m not sure I can trust you.”

That kind of statement will affect any relationship.  It will cause the recipient of the question to re-evaluate their situation with you.  Depending on the circumstances, that could be either helpful or damaging.  The results could be long term or short term.  Are you willing to face the consequences if you trace cell phone location online?  It’s up to you to assess the likelihood of what may happen to that relationship and decide whether it’s worth the risk.

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