Life360 App Guide for Parents (Track Your Kids)

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July 17, 2019

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What is the Life360 Family Locator app?

  • Life360 Family Locator is a real time location-sharing app
  • The app uses GPS location data to report the location of users
  • To use the app, everyone installs the app on their device and registers. Then, they will appear as an icon on the map
  • Users create geofences around their home, and other frequently visited destinations, to get notified when friends and family come and go from the location
  • To gain more features, users can sign up for a premium account
  • The app has a built in “panic button” which sends out an emergency message to predetermined emails and phones with the user’s location and is available for free
  • Users can message their family through the app
  • With Driver Protect users can see if their friends or family are speeding, if they are texting while driving, or if they have been in a car accident
  • In the event of a car accident, the app calls the user involved to see if they’re okay and dispatch emergency services if needed

Why should parents care?

  • If your family uses the Life360 Family Locator app, be aware that your children can start sharing their location with their friends
  • Location tracking apps can drain batteries quickly
  • Some users report that the location tracking data is not always updated in real time
  • Unlike iPhones, Android devices do not have a built in location tracking app. So, Life360 Family Locator can be helpful for families with different devices
  • Location tracking apps show your student’s location, which can potentially put them in dangerous situations with strangers

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Life360 Family Locator is a real time location-sharing app. The app uses GPS location data to report the location of users.

What is the Life360 Family Locator app?

  • Life360 Family Locator is a real time location-sharing app
  • The app uses GPS location data to report the location of users
  • To use the app, everyone installs the app on their device and registers. Then, they will appear as an icon on the map
  • Users create geofences around their home, and other frequently visited destinations, to get notified when friends and family come and go from the location
  • To gain more features, users can sign up for a premium account
  • The app has a built in “panic button” which sends out an emergency message to predetermined emails and phones with the user’s location and is available for free
  • Users can message their family through the app
  • With Driver Protect users can see if their friends or family are speeding, if they are texting while driving, or if they have been in a car accident
  • In the event of a car accident, the app calls the user involved to see if they’re okay and dispatch emergency services if needed

Why should parents care?

  • If your family uses the Life360 Family Locator app, be aware that your children can start sharing their location with their friends
  • Location tracking apps can drain batteries quickly
  • Some users report that the location tracking data is not always updated in real time
  • Unlike iPhones, Android devices do not have a built in location tracking app. So, Life360 Family Locator can be helpful for families with different devices
  • Location tracking apps show your student’s location, which can potentially put them in dangerous situations with strangers

Parent & educator training video

Life360 Family Locator App in the News

Stop worrying about where your kids are and what they're doing. Life360 Family Locator shows your family members on a map so you can always keep track of them. –Popular Science

Grab the Life360 Family Locator for keeping tabs on your kids even when you’re not around. With live updates that sync with their smartphones, you’ll always know where they are, even if they ‘forget’ to text you when they arrive. –USA Today

What can parents do?

  • When setting up location sharing apps, restrict who your student can share their location with so that their data isn’t public and strangers can’t access their location. Discuss why sharing their location with others can be dangerous
  • Before giving them access to a device, create a plan with your children for how often (and when) they should check in with you when they’re out of the house
  • Android devices do not have a built-in option for tracking phones. However, families with iPhones can use a built-in location tracking app called “Find My iPhone” with family sharing to see where their children are in real time
  • Consider joining Parent University to get access to the leading "at home" digital safety curriculum for parents and students

What parents tell us about Life360

Josh: We use Life 360 as a family. We have 13 and 17-year-old boys and find that not only is it useful for us to know where they are, but equally valuable for them to know where we are. My wife works downtown and I work from home. We tend to check on the kids via the app instead of calling them - and location typically explains why they are not yet home (at school or still at an athletic event, for example). They also use the app to understand if mom is on her way home or perhaps at a client location. We even use the app to estimate times for meeting a bus when one of the boys has been on a school or scout outing.  It is, for us, extremely useful. And, we trusted the app when we began using it several years ago primarily because of you! Thank you!

Hi Josh, We currently use Life 360 at my house. Me, my wife and the in-laws are on the 360 app together. Very convenient app and I could see where it would be a real life saver in certain situations. I am all about privacy and not having "big brother" look over my shoulder however having an app like this makes a whole lot of sense to me!

Our family has been using Life 360 for two years.  Our son is currently 18.  I don’t check it very often, just when I need to know if he’s on his way home and when to get supper started.  Or if he’s away working on a job, I like to see if he arrived safely.  I am not a helicopter mom, and I rarely text my son, and I’m not checking the app every few minutes.  Neither his father nor I ever text while driving, and we tried to teach our son to do the same.  We have both enjoyed this app.  

Too protective? Absolutely not! This is about keeping our kids safe and building trust. When our teens are telling us the truth, then we’ll know and question them less often. When I was a teen, my parents knew where I was all the time. But, I lived in a small town and didn’t have social media to meet new people, whom I’d call “friends.”
Our youth is more at risk for danger, than ever before. Teen depression and anxiety are at all time highs, with kids looking for an identity, which don’t match their existing lifestyle or background. Our teens our “lost” and it’s our job to try our best to keep them from getting  lost! With social media comes other changes, like tracking apps, so we can never be too careful! This is about being a responsible parent, not just turning a blind eye. Sincerely, A concerned parent of a teenager, who needs much guidance.


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Life360 App Guide for Parents (Track Your Kids)

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