Monitor Text Messages From Your Own Device, Can It Be Done?

Molly Nelson can be miles from her daughter but still know when she has sent or received a text message. She knows exactly what that text message says and she knows who sent it. With a tap of her cell phone screen, an inexpensive app allows her to see virtually everything that happens on her daughters phone. This app enables her to monitor text messages of virtually any cell phone from her own device.

The app Auto Forward  is developed and marketed by ILF Mobile Apps Corp., a U.S. based company that specializes in security and information gathering apps for parents and employers who are looking to monitor cell phones and text messages.

Auto Forward is unique because it allows a person to monitor texts, call log, GPS location, and other activities of a cell phone. The app will remotely collect data from another cell phone and display it on your own cell phone, tablet, or computer that is internet-enabled. 

Auto Forward and at least 14 other apps allow a person to monitor just about everything that happens on a smartphone. A parent can see how often their child uses their cell phone to text and they can see who they have called or contacted through Facebook Messenger. Auto Forward will report the person’s GPS location, and issue an alert when a certain phone number calls the phone or when the person searches or texts keywords such as “suicide”, “pregnancy” and “sex”. An employer can track an employee’s email transmissions, websites visited, and other business-related content (with their permission of course).

Worldwide, the apps have been downloaded an estimated 600,000 times and given the proliferation of cell phones and mobile devices this number will continue to grow.

It is no secret that our cell phones store our most sensitive information, so it stands to reason that anyone looking for information about a person’s whereabouts and activities only needs to access their cell phone to get this information.

Programs like Auto Forward are delivered via digital download and can be activated on the target device within minutes. They offer a wide range of features that would satisfy even the most investigative minds. These apps constantly monitor text messages, phone calls, GPS location, websites visited, photos, videos, Facebook, and just about every activity that takes place on a cell phone. The best text message monitoring apps are those that have a live telephone number you can call for support and those that do not have any monthly fees. Not every monitoring app offers these features, so if you are in need of this type of software it is important to find one that does.


Smartphones such as Google’s Android software and Apple’s iPhone enable people to carry on conversations in such privacy that to discover what’s going on is nearly impossible unless you have software that can monitor text messages and phone calls. Such software needs to do this easily and effectively and people often ask, “Can you monitor text messages from your own device?” The answer is, “Yes, you can”.

If you look around the internet, you will undoubtedly find a lot of websites claiming to have software that can do such a thing but I urge you to be cautious. Many of these programs simply do not work and many are complete scams. I have found only a few that actually work.

Text Message Monitoring – View Data From Your Own Device

Auto Forward is text message monitoring software that works by accessing text messages (iMessages from an iPhone) and extracting them from the phone you are monitoring. The messages are typically viewed on your cell phone or tablet, but can also be viewed on any device with an internet connection (laptop or desktop computer). Text messages are delivered to you with the date and time the text message was transmitted on the target device and the complete contents of the message. You can also see the telephone number from which the message came and to which it was sent.

Information like this can be very useful to anyone who has a good reason to spy on texts when concerned for the safety or well being of another. As a parent, you can see if your child is exchanging messages with a child who may be a bad influence on them. Employers can use this software to maintain employee honesty and productivity.

Old & Deleted Text Messages

But what about when someone deletes text messages immediately after they are sent or received? Auto Forward is one of only two programs (the other being Highster Mobile) that can actually recover deleted text messages from a mobile device. These programs can extract text messages that were deleted over a year ago or as recent as the day before. Think of it this way… If a person sends or receives a text message, then immediately deletes that message, the app will capture the message and make it available to you. Pretty scary and cool and the same time that a text monitoring app can do so much and cost so little.

As it was explained to me by the people at ILF Mobile Apps Corp., there is no way of knowing how many deleted text messages can be found using their SMS monitoring software because it depends entirely on the phone being monitored and some key factors about that phone. For example; the amount of available memory has a lot to do with how many text messages can be retrieved and how far back you can go. Cell phones with more memory can store more text messages. The more text messages stored, the more that can be retrieved. It’s that simple.

When you delete text messages from a cell phone, they aren’t deleted completely until they are overwritten by another piece of data. Until they are overwritten, they can be retrieved and there is no way of knowing until you start retrieving them just how far back you can go. In most cases however, a good amount of deleted text messages can be retrieved using this phone spy software.

Invasion of Privacy?

How this technology is affecting todays society has become nearly an obsession. You will find advocates and opponents of the need and moral obligation to monitor text messages.

Antwan Jergins, who spent years in the online gaming industry claims that having control over his son’s cell phone has been a positive experience for both him and his son, and has increased communication in the family. “He knows that his communications are being monitored so it has encouraged him to be more open and ask before he acts”, says Jergins.

auto forward

Other teens however, see it as an invasion of their privacy. “My phone is my private life. It is none of parent’s business. I need and deserve my privacy”, says Lisa Swells. “If I thought my mom was monitoring my phone I would just use my friends phone” she says.

Anybody who finds themselves in a position to use a text monitoring app should know that this type of software can easily be misused and exploited to invade a person’s privacy. This type of software can retrieve old and deleted text messages from just about any cell phone. In addition to text messages, the software can also extract calls history, GPS, photos, videos, website history and just about all activity from any cell phone that is being monitored. 

Cell phone and SMS monitoring apps enable a person to monitor a phone and extract information in much the same way any government or law enforcement agency could. For Auto Forward to gather data from a phone or any mobile device, the app must be installed to the monitored phone. Installation can be done in only a few minutes. After the remote connection is established, data from the target phone can be accessed from any cell phone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection.

Monitoring Your Child or Employees

A program such as Auto Forward is truly powerful and should only be used by responsible people who find themselves with the need of monitoring their children or employees. Auto Forward is intended for the use of parents to monitor their children and for employers to monitor the company-owned devices used by employees. Employers must gain consent before monitoring the company owned devices used by employees. Using this type of software can truly make a difference when it comes to the parent/child and employer/employee relationship.

To Monitor or Not To Monitor

Learning how to monitor text messages can be a great thing but, as with many things, it is human nature to abuse such power.

Keeping your children safe and out of harm’s way can hardly be a crime in my opinion. And employers who want to maintain good productivity are only acting in the best interest of their company, so I’m on board with that. Many people want to monitor loved ones for other reasons. Text message monitoring software can certainly get the job done for these interests, but I caution you to act responsibly as this software is powerful enough to get any of these jobs done.

This technology is primarily used for parents who want to monitor their children and employers who want to monitor company-owned devices. However, the employer must first gain the consent of the employee before they can monitor the company-owned devices employees are using. Interestingly, even after gaining the employees consent the employer is not allowed to look at any personal correspondence made by an employee on a company-owned device. Anybody using this software, or considering using this software, should always abide by applicable laws.

Author: Liam King

I am a tech writer looking to share with the world all of the latest gadgets, apps, and news.