Safety Experts: Parents Can Monitor Their Child's Cell Phone

Nelson Co., VA - The disappearance of the 17-year-old might have many parents wondering just who their kids are talking to on their cell phones.

Investigators last pinged Alexis Murphy's cell phone on Cannery Loop in Nelson County. When you ping a cell phone number, you locate the last tower that received a signal from that phone.

Safety experts say there are several ways parents can track their kids' phones. Something called a mirroring feature on a family cell phone plan can help. Investigators with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force say with this feature, when your child gets a text message or voicemail, you'll get it too on your phone.

"There's a lot of different applications you can get. Most of the time, the best ones to do are just to contact your carrier, whether it's Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and see what options they have for linking the phones that are on your plan," said Sgt. Kevin Davis, a computer forensic examiner.

These applications are typically limited to information that comes across a cell phone network, things like text messages and voicemails. But they do not allow you to see what your child is posting on social media sites.

Take our ABC 13 Web Poll that asks if you would consider using a program to keep track of your child's phone.

You can get some resources on how to keep your child safe from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.