Verizon Smart Family Cyber Nanny Lets Parents Closely Monitor Kids' Smartphone Habits

Verizon has rolled out some new optional tools for families that allow parents to keep a watchful eye on what their kids are doing on their smartphone. The new tools are part of the Verizon Smart Family Premium service and allows parents to track devices and set a limit on what the kids can see on their devices.

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"Being a parent in today's digital world can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be," said Susie Fernandes, senior product manager at Verizon. "We created Verizon Smart Family to give parents the tools they need to help them raise tech savvy kids with a healthy and responsible approach to screen time and content viewing."

Smart Family Premium offers parents a free 30-day trial of the tools and after that trial, the service costs $9.99 per month. Usage limits allow parents to set time restrictions for when kids can use the device for calls, texts, and data. Parents can limit the data kids have access to and limit purchases to a set amount or turn them off altogether. Texting can be limited, and call limits can be enforced as well.

The service allows the setup of alerts that will send the parent notifications when a child makes it to their intended destination. Parents can set alarms to tell them when the child is home, at school, at work, or custom limits. The idea is to give parents peace of mind knowing the kids got where they are supposed to be without making the kid feel like they have to constantly stay in touch with mom or dad.

As long as the kid has their phone on them you can track their location and check activity to see how many texts or calls the kid made and received that day. Content filters allow you to lock inappropriate apps and websites from access. You can also pause the device over WiFi or via a cellular connection. Verizon previously had and still offers Verizon Smart Family. That feature costs $4.99 per month and doesn’t offer location tracking or alerts.