OffenderWatch App Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the new Free OffenderWatch App?

As Part of our Free subscription, you can:

  • View the interactive map showing you and your family’s locations
  • Find registered sex offenders in your area
  • Search the registry by name, address, or view proximity to family members on the map
  • See detailed profiles on any registered sex offender in your area
  • List locations for monitoring
  • Receive alerts when child leaves or arrives at listed locations
  • Contact local law enforcement in the event of an emergency
  • Browse content for tips and advice on how to talk to your child about sex offenders
  • Be notified in the event a new sex offender moves into your neighborhood.
What is included with a Family Watch Subscription?

While access to the app and sex offender registry is free, a Family Watch subscription provides access to our premium safety monitoring features at just $4.99 per month for the entire family. Those features include:

  • Device monitoring
  • Watch list of people who should not be contacting your child
  • Receive alerts if your child:
    • arrives or departs locations (home, school, work, etc.)
    • is contacted by someone on your watch list
    • lingers near a registered sex offender’s residence
    • is contacted by someone on the sex offender registry.
How do set up monitor of my child?

Tracking can be set up in a few steps.  You will need to add your child to your family profile, then install the OffenderWatch Child App on your child’s phone.  You need access to your child’s phone.

Add your child to the Family.

  • On your parent phone, click Family to Mange your Family
  • Click Add New Member and enter your child’s name, device type and phone number
  • Add email addresses to be tracked, or if using an Apple device, click Add iCloud Account so we can set up a time to walk you through the Apple setup.
  • Click Add New Family Member
  • A text message with two links will be sent to your child’s phone.
  • Go login to your child’s phone.

Install on your child’s phone.

  • When you created your child’s profile, a link was sent in a message to your child’s phone. Follow the instructions in the message to download the OffenderWatch App on your child’s device.
  • After the App is installed, you may open it.
  • Go back to the text message and click the second link to initialize monitoring.
  • The app will run in the background without using much battery. If your child accidentally deletes the app, we will notify you.

Success! 

Now you can get back onto your parent phone and track your child on the map and find any sex offenders that reside nearby. If you have setup monitoring, you will get location alerts, alerts of unwanted contact, and a monthly email with statistics.

How do I get arrival / departure notifications for my child?

You must have the OffenderWatch Child App installed on your child’s phone.

Open the app on the parent phone and click on the profile button in the bottom right-hand corner. Then click on locations and on the next page, tap New Location. Now you can either enter in the address or drag the map to the area where you would like to setup the geofence. You can adjust the location radius with the slider. Click on next to choose which children you would like to protect on the app and then click on save location.

How do I set up a Watch List?

You must have the OffenderWatch Child App installed and monitoring configured.  

Use the Watch List to get an alert should your child get contacted by someone you are concerned about.  Consider listing an ex with a protective order, a known bully, of creepy uncle.  Click on Profile then Watch List.  Add the person’s Name and Phone Number.

How do I set up iCloud monitoring of my child's iPhone?

Monitoring you child’s iPhone is a great idea. Parents will get a notification should your child get contacted by someone on the registry.

To start monitoring your child’s iPhone, you will need to know your child’s Apple ID and password. We will monitor your child’s iCloud account in the background, so it won’t affect performance of your child’s phone.  Forgot my Apple ID? Here is what to do.   

Setting it up can be a little tricky, but our courteous staff is standing by to walk you through it.  Contact support@offenderwatch.com to arrange a time to set it up together. It only takes a few minutes.

How does the OffenderWatch App work?
The OffenderWatch App is an application that resides on your child’s device, iPhone or Android smartphone. With a Family Watch  subscription, the app compares the information from people calling, emailing or sending messages to your child’s device against law enforcement databases of sex offender information. We will alert you if a registered sex offender contacts your child using their registered phone, text, or email. The OffenderWatch App also monitors your child’s location and will notify you if the device is within close proximity of a sex offender’s home address.
What is Child Check In?
Child Check In will send a message to your child asking them to acknowledge their status. This can be useful if their location has not updated in some time. Locations update only when the phone moves in a substantial way. So if your child is stationary for a long period of time, it will show the same location as its last movement indicates.  Once the child acknowledges the Child Check In, the location is updated and other information is forwarded to our servers for checking activity.  To request a check in, find your child on the map and tap the Check In button. If the location does not update within a few minutes, please contact us at support@offenderwatch.com for assistance.
How do I upgrade to the newest version of the app?
The Offenderwatch App has a parent app and a kids app.

For iOS, either app will auto update if you have your device set to accept auto updates. If you update manually, then the app will incorporate new features after you update the app from the Apple store. 

For Android, the parent app may be downloaded from the Google Play store. The parent app will update automatically if you have your device set to do automatic updates. However, the kids app is obtained directly from our servers. When we have an update, we will send a link that can be sent to the child device for updating.

The version number is on the lower right of the login screen. 

How is the OffenderWatch App different from other parental control applications?
Information on registered sex offenders’ internet and phone accounts is not generally available. The OffenderWatch App is the ONLY app that partners with law enforcement and has access to data about offender emails and phone numbers.
Will my child be safer after I start using the OffenderWatch App?
No application can guarantee that your child will never receive any unwanted communications. However, your child will certainly be safer using the OffenderWatch App since the app monitors communications from people who are known to prey on children.

There is more you can do.  Follow these Online Safety Tips.

What do I do if I forgot my family password?
The easiest way is to recover your password is to open the app and click forgot password on the login screen. Now enter your email address and click reset. You will be sent an email with further instructions.
How do I change my password?
If you are logged in, click on Profile located at the bottom right of the screen. Click on reset password. Enter your current password. Then enter your new password twice.
How do I update my home address?
Click on the profile at the bottom right of the screen. In the profile, click on the email under your name, then enter your new address.
How do I update the phone number for the parent account?
Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen. In the profile, click your email under your name, then enter your new phone number.
How do I refer a friend?
Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   On the profile page, click Refer a friend. Enter the email address of your friend and press send.
How do I change my parent email?
Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen. Click on manage notifications. Then choose the name of the recipient you would like to change and update their email.
How do I change my child’s email?
After logging into the app, click on the child’s name. You will see the Child profile page where you can add and remove emails. Remove the old one and add the new one.

We monitor Microsoft, Yahoo and Gmail addresses. Many school addresses are actually supported by one of these services. Ask your school which one they use.

How do I add another parent?
Click on Profile located at the bottom right of the screen.  Click on manage notifications. Now you can add others to be notified. It is not necessary for everyone to have the parent app installed on their phone to be notified.
What offender data is used by the app?
The OffenderWatch App uses data provided by law enforcement agencies who have elected to participate in the OffenderWatch App program, as well as data from other public sex offender registry sources. The offender data includes offender address, as well as phone numbers, email, and other internet identifiers that are not available generally to the public but are made available by law enforcement to aid with community safety.

Because OffenderWatch is a business partner with thousands of agencies in the United States, we have been able to gain access to this information on your behalf.

How do I get a refund?
Did we disappoint you?  Please contact us at support@offenderwatch.com for assistance.
How do I block a phone number from future calls or text messages?
To block a phone number from calling your child in the future, you will need to access the child’s phone, find the phone number in the recent call history, and then access the information on that number. One of the options when you tap the info button will be a choice to “block this caller.”
How do I block emails from a specific address?
Log on to your child’s email account and scroll down to the unwanted email. Most email applications will have an option to “block sender.”
How do I set location services on?
It’s very important to leave location services “on” for your child’s phone so the OffenderWatch App can monitor and send you notifications if your child’s device is near a sex offender’s residence. If location services are turned off, you will receive a notification advising you that this feature won’t work.

To turn these services on, follow the steps below:

For iPhone Devices:
1. Open the Settings App.
2. Scroll down to OffenderWatch App.
3. Set Location to be on “Always.”

For Android Devices:
1. Open your device’s Settings app.
2. Select Apps.
3. Select the OffenderWatch App.
4. In App Info, Click on Permission.
5. Turn on Call Logs, Contacts, Location, Phone, SMS, and Storage.  

Why would I ignore an offender contact?
Sometimes sex offenders are known to you or your children. They may even be relatives. If you feel that contact with these offenders is not a danger to your child, you can mark a phone number, email, or location as OK so that it is ignored for future alerts. To do this, tap or click the “Ignore This Offender” button next to the alert about that offender. You may want to choose this option so that you’re not constantly alerted about offenders you feel present no risk.
What happens when I contact local law enforcement?
If your child receives a threatening or soliciting message from a registered sex offender, or you suspect criminal behavior, save the texts and images, then contact your local law enforcement office listed in the app or dial 911.

Please note that the sex offender may not be in your local sheriff or police department’s jurisdiction—but they will know how to contact other agencies to get information about the offender. The process may take some time. Be patient. Carefully monitor your child’s communications and talk to him or her about safety with strangers and to avoid this person.

If you have other questions or need help, you can always contact us at support@offenderwatch.com.

What if my child keeps turning off location services or otherwise disables the application?
If your child turns off location monitoring or disables/deletes the OffenderWatch App, you will receive a warning alert. You should take action when you receive this warning. Sometimes children will try to hide information about who they are communicating with online. Explain to your child that the OffenderWatch App is a tool to help protect them from bad people online. If you receive a notification that the app’s location has been turned off or if it has been deleted, ask your child if they have been tampering with the app.

Apple devices also have a setting that prevents deletion of apps. From the home screen, Tap Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Make sure Content and Privacy Restrictions is On. Now tap iTunes and App Store Purchases, then set Deleting Apps to Don’t Allow.  

If you think it’s a technical problem with the app and need further help, contact us at support@offenderwatch.com

 

Does Law Enforcement see my child’s data?
No, Law Enforcement does not have access to any of your child’s data unless you authorize it. The OffenderWatch App does log certain data related to sex offender contacts and alerts in order to support any subsequent investigation. However, the data is held private and is not shared unless you authorize it.
Can I still use other parental control programs along with the OffenderWatch App?
Yes, the OffenderWatch App should not interfere with any other parental monitoring products. The OffenderWatch App does not monitor all activity on your child’s devices, and some unwanted activity may come from predators who are not registered sex offenders.

However, one of the best safeguards against online predators is talking to your children about what is right and wrong when chatting online.

What do I do if an offender contacts my child?
If you suspect something is wrong, or you receive an alert that an offender has contacted your child, first talk to your child. Ask if he/she knows the person. If not, or if the communication is concerning, save any texts or images. Then contact your local law enforcement listed in the app or dial 911.
Where can I read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use?
Your privacy and safety is important to us. You can read the privacy policy here.

Privacy Policy

You can get all the legal details here in the Terms of Use.

Terms of Use

How do I find my child's Apple ID and password?
It happens. You or your child didn’t write down your child’s Apple ID or password. That’s OK.  You can get that from Apple, but you will need to jump through some security hoops. Here are some useful links from Apple:

Forgot Apple ID Recovery
Apple ID Frequently Asked Questions
Apple ID Support
Manage your Apple ID primary, rescue, alternate, and notification email addresses – Apple Support

 

Contact Law Enforcement

If a sex offender has contacted your child and you are concerned about the communication, contact your local police or sheriff department listed in the app. Explain that a registered sex offender has contacted your child and request to be connected to the agency in charge of managing the local sex offender registry.

If you suspect abuse, immediately contact local law enforcement office listed in the app or dial 911 or contact the CyberTipline 1-800-THE LOST.

Contact OffenderWatch

To contact us, please email support@offenderwatch.com