Verizon: Keeping Cell Phones Safe for Kids

Recently I was blessed to attended a meeting of bloggers and some of Verizon’s best in San Francisco. It was a two way meeting, we learned about some of their products and Verizon learned our very blatant opinions;). One of the areas I learned a lot about is 3 packages available to parents to help keep their children safe on both their cell phones and in life.

One of the things I love that is universal to all of these packages is that the controls are not set on the physical phone! You go to you My Verizon site where the rest of your account data lives. Then you can set up the packages per phone from there. It is a little less hackable by your kids. Not completely but much better than having it on a phone they play with constantly;).

Let’s start with the free tools, because you know free is my favorite;). Content filters available for free on their phones. What does that men? It means that you can choose a rating for a phone and the media center material, song downloads, V-Cast material and websites will be blocked or allowed according to that rating. Your rating choices are C7+, T13+, YA 17+ and of course there is always the filter off option. I think it is a super easy step that every parent on Verizon should be taking! It just takes a second to set up and you can change the settings as the kids get older or phones get passed down.

The next package is Usage Control. This currently runs $4.99 a line. It has a few areas. the first is Usage Limits. You can go in and set up how many texts your kids can send or how much data or minutes they can use so you aren’t charged with go over your plan! You can also set limits on how much they can spend on the extras like ringtones, apps and music. You also can set up time restrictions. If your child isn’t supposed to use their phone while they are at school you can set it up that during those hours the only calls that can be made are from “trusted” numbers that you set up. So they can’t text or call their friends but can call you! You can also block numbers, emails, screen names, the like. This can be that extra step of protection or just help to limit contact with someone who isn’t the best influence. My favorite part is the trusted numbers. No matter how much you limit the phone’s usage they can always make and receive calls from the numbers you list under this feature!

The last safeguard is the Family Locator program. This runs $4.99 a line or $9.99 per account. I like their description better than my own;).

From your PC, phone or tablet, enjoy the comfort of knowing you can check on the location of family members’ phones. Family Locator is a simple, secure service that allows you to:
Receive arrival & departure updates for each family member. A Verizon Wireless exclusive!
Locate your family members.
Create scheduled location updates for each family member.
Now available as an Android app and Web app for iPhone (fl.vzw.com on your phone’s browser).
Enjoy your first month free!

If this is something you are interested in make sure you try it out while they are offering a free month!!!

I learned lots of other cool things at my Verizon trip and there will be more posts! They really are trying to create more than just a cell phone carrier. They are attempting to partner with their customers to live a full digital life and they are thinking about all sides of that. Including safety for us and our children!

(Disclosure: I did get a trip to visit Verizon but all opinions and thoughts are mine and mine alone!)

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