Giving your child a phone is a decision that requires plenty of thinking. On one hand, they need something to communicate with you while apart. But then there’s the part where your child might stumble across content on the internet that’s not suitable for them. Parents also have the right to limit usage because, as we all know, our phones disconnect us from the real world.
Verizon thinks it has the perfect solution. Smart Family, launching today on iOS and Android, is a central hub for parents to monitor family members and track them if needed.
The core features might sound familiar, and that’s because Verizon is merging FamilyBase into Smart Family. FamilyBase and its set of parental controls will just be blended in with the new name and app. Smart Family then builds on top of what’s already been offered by the nation’s largest carrier.
Parents will love it, and children will learn to live with it.
Smart Family is referred to as “your new partner in parenting.” Depending on how involved you are with your children, maybe that’s very true. Verizon’s service does it all from a single app on a parent’s phone.
You’re able to block access to specific apps and websites, limit their time doing various activities like calling or texting, block unwanted contacts, and view call/text history. Smart Family is essentially the window into a child’s behavior on a connected device. If the child did anything at all, the parent knows immediately.
It’s worth sharing that Verizon is also a member of the Family Online Safety Insitute, an organization working to make the connected world safer for children.
The biggest feature that parents will love about Smart Family is location tracking. Just by selecting the name of the child (or adult, who knows), Verizon will ping a signal from their phone to show the location on its app. Parents then know exactly where their little ones are at all times, but it also extends to notifications. When a child is supposed to be somewhere at a set time, a parent can receive an alert if they have or have not reached the destination.
With the internet resembling a modern Wild West these days, a service like Smart Family is incredibly useful.
If you’re interested in this comprehensive set of controls over your family’s mobile devices, you’ll need to pay $5 per month. That’s only if you want the standard management features, though. The benefits of location tracking are part of Smart Family Premium, which is $10 per month. Most families interested in Smart Family probably won’t mind the added cost.
Verizon is already offering Smart Family to its customers, so families can visit their local store or go online to add the service.