Customizing Parental Controls for Cell Phones
Parental controls for cell phones will vary depending on your carrier, plan, and model, and they may or may not be what you need to protect your children. Parents have the right to know what their children are seeing via their cell phones, and so it’s important to learn every option for how to filter and limit what they see.
Here we’ll discuss some of the top carriers along with their options for parental controls:
AT&T has a feature called “Smart Limits.” It allows you to set limits on the number of text messages your child sends and receives per month. You can also have time restrictions when your child is only able to use their phone for calling, texting, and using data during the times you set. With this carrier, you can see how much time your child spends on the phone.
On some phones you can see their contacts and how often they spend communicating with each of them. Thirty numbers from callers may be blocked. The cost is $4.99 per month for one phone and $9.99 per month for up to 10 phones.
T-Mobile has a program called “Family Allowances.” With this carrier, you can also limit your child’s cell phone usage. Parents are sent a message when their child is about to reach their limit. They may designate certain times the phone can be used even in a moving vehicle if their teen is driving. Parents may block, “Always Allow,” and “Never Allow” phone numbers.
The service has a GPS feature that will record and store a child’s locations for the previous week. Parents may also set it up to send themselves texts alerting them to their child’s location. The cost is $10 a month per phone.
Verizon’s basic family plans offers two free parental controls.
The first is “Content Filtering,” which can be set up according to your child’s age and will help keep them from seeing inappropriate material. The filter is divided into four groups: ages 7+, ages 13+, ages 17+, and no filter.
The other free feature allows you to block incoming calls, text messages, pictures, and videos from cyber bullies, sexual predators, and other people you don’t trust. You have to manually add the numbers online every 90 days in order for them to remain blocked, and there is a limit of five numbers.
For added protection, Verizon has a feature call “Family Base” which costs an extra $4.99 per month. With this feature, you can set limits on how often and when your child uses their phone for calling and texting. You can also “lock” their phones at certain times so they can’t use it, see what apps they’re using the most, and explore their contacts.
For an additional $9.99 per month, you can add the “Family Locator” feature to up to ten phones. The will allow you to keep track of family members through their phone. You can schedule this control to alert you when family member reach and leave their destination. It will also notify you if your child turns off their location service.
With Sprint, parents can see how much their child uses their phone and see who and when their child is communicating. This feature allows parents to set the appropriate times the phone may be used and to deactivate the camera controls. They can also see what apps are being downloaded. Parents also can elect to have messages sent to them alerting them of their child’s locations.
When It’s Not Enough
Each of the carriers offer basic parental controls on cell phones, but none of them offers comprehensive monitoring that is sometimes needed to keep your teen safe. Some of these plans are limited to either Androids or iPhones, and don’t cover both. They also don’t cover tablets.
With TeenSafe, you get a full range of monitoring features, all for one low monthly price. It isn’t limited to calls and text, but allows you to see activity through every aspect of smartphone activity: social media, search history, and GPS.
What TeenSafe Can Do
TeenSafe offers what most all of the cell phone carriers offer, but more! With TeenSafe, you can
- See your child’s location on a map and a history of where they’ve been
- See your child’s contacts and a record of who they’ve communicated with, when they communicated, and how long they communicated.
- Not only can you see who your child’s is sending and receiving texts from, you can see the actual text messages, even if they’ve been deleted.
- If your child is on social media, you can see their activity such as posts, comments, and messages on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Kik.
TeenSafe is the perfect asset for any parent who needs flexible yet comprehensive monitoring for an entire family.