Verizon Smart Family: How to Use it to Monitor Kids Online

Mobile Apps

Nowadays, everyone likes to explore the wilderness called the internet. Thanks to it, everyone, including the kids, has easy access to anything. May it be entertainment, shopping, or messaging, everything is just at the tip of your fingers as far as the web is concerned. Due to the abundance of content kids can get on the internet, there’s a need to actively monitor their activities online. That is why there is an urgent need to install parental control apps. If you are a Verizon member, however, look no further as they’ve got an exclusive parental control app for their customers, the Verizon Smart Family.

Verizon Smart Family supposedly helps maximize your child’s safety online by primarily filtering the content that goes through your kid’s tablet or phone. In this article, you’ll find out how to use this nifty app as well as our thoughts on this parental control app.

 

What Is Verizon Smart Family?

verizon smart family logo
Photo from devonsanderson.com

As already mentioned, Verizon Smart Family is an exclusive parental control app for Verizon members. That said, the app won’t work if you try to pair them on devices that are on a different network. It should be used on a Verizon phone or tablet to give you control over what your kids do online.

However, Verizon Smart Family isn’t free whichever Verizon plan you have. You can get this service for $4.99 per month or get the Premium version for $9.99. The Premium version gets a free trial for its subscribers for 30 days.

Much like any parental control apps, Verizon Smart Family filters what your kid does on his or her gadgets. It can block any questionable sites, filter searches, as well as prevent unwanted purchases. This app can even locate your child whenever they’re missing. It would be helpful if there are kids’ smartwatches that can supplement protection for your kids.

Download from the App Store

Download from Google Play Store

 

How to Use Verizon Smart Family?

verizon smart family app functions
Photo by Verizon from The App Store

Currently, the Verizon Smart Family app is compatible with smartphones and most Android tablets, though it is not yet available on iPads. This app will do the following to safeguard your child’s privacy:

  • Screen every content that goes through your and your kid’s devices
  • Check and verify calls, texts, and purchases
  • Keep an eye on web and app activity
  • Track location, check-in, and pick-me-up services (for Verizon Smart Family Premium subscribers)
  • Pause internet usage

These functions will surely help to monitor your child’s’ footsteps on the internet. At last, you can properly teach your child how to use the Internet and unleash them from the shackles of their gadgets.

Check out how to use the Verizon Smart Family to monitor your kid’s activity.

 

Signing Up for Verizon Smart Family

  1. Download the “Verizon Smart Family” app on your mobile device.
  2. Once installed, tap “Get started” on the prompt.
  3. Add your mobile number and your Verizon account password before tapping on “Sign In.”
  4. Choose the most suitable Verizon Smart Family plan then tap “Next.”
  5. Click on “Agree” once the disclosure agreement to collect data appears.
  6. Add the lines you want to subscribe to with this family plan then tap “Sign up.” You can name these lines for better classification. Tap “OK” once your desired lines are selected.
NOTE

You need Verizon’s standard account with at most 10 lines to be able to sign up for Verizon Smart Family.

 

Blocking Numbers or Contacts

verizon smart family app
Photo by Verizon from Google Play Store
  1. Tap at the child icon whose account you want to manage.
  2. Find the “Manage controls section” then select “Contacts.”
  3. Click on the “Blocked contacts,” then toggle on “Block private and restricted texts and calls.”
  4. Tap “Block contacts,” then enter the number/s or contact/s that you want to block. If all is good, tap “Save.”

Take note that you can add up to 20 blocked numbers or contacts with the app.

 

Adding Trusted Contacts

  1. Tap at the “child” icon.
  2. Go to the “Manage Controls Section” and select “Contacts.”
  3. Tap on “Trusted Contacts,” then tap on “Add a trusted contact.”
  4. Enter the mobile or phone number of the desired trusted contact, then tap “Save.”

Just like blocked contacts, you can add up to 20 trusted contacts to your list.

 

Viewing Who Your Child Contacts

Verizon Smart Family can let you view who your child chats or calls with. This will give you a perspective if your child chats with your friends, family, or people unknown to you. It can also give you control over who your child mingles with, thus letting your child stay away from potential harm.

To view your child’s top contacts, do the following:

  1. Tap on the “child” at the top of your screen, then go to the “Manage Controls section.”
  2. Select “Contacts,” then tap on “Top contacts.” You will see who your child often talks to.
  3. To receive notifications on your child’s certain contact, press on the contact.
  4. Tap on “Contact alerts,” then tap on “Customize,” then tap on “Watchlist.”
  5. Tap “Save” if all your desired contacts are added.

 

Pausing Internet Usage

When your child is stuck on watching YouTube for hours, it’s just right that we must pause their internet usage. First, you have to check first that your account is paired with the Verizon Smart Family app. This will ensure that you can properly pause the internet of your kids.

To pause the internet, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the “Child” at the top of your screen.
  2. Select “Pause Internet.”
  3. When prompted, hit “OK.”

To unpause this, just do the same steps, except that this time, select “Unpause internet.”

 

Locating Your Child

Photo by Verizon from Google Play Store

Kid tracker apps help you locate your child easily whenever he or she is lost. These apps also have the same feature as the Verizon Smart Family app. However, the location tracker is only available on Verizon’s Smart Family Premium plan.

Follow these steps to locate your child using the app:

  1. Select your kid’s icon. It will automatically give you an idea of where your child has been.
  2. To gain more detail on your child’s location, tap on the Map on the picture’s background. Here, you can also view your child’s location history.
  3.  If you want to get even more detail on your child’s location, you can tap on each location. If you want to get to your child’s current location, you can use this app to navigate towards your child.

Setting Arrival and Departure Notifications

Whenever you want to know your kid’s current location, the Verizon Smart Family app can provide you that. With this function, you can see where your children are going without you hiding behind their backs.

  1. You can set departure and arrival alerts on your phone by going to your child’s profile located at the top of your screen, then look for the “Manage controls section,”
  2. select “Location alerts.” Go to “Places & alerts,” then go to “Add a place.”
  3. Add your desired address and name the place once prompted.
  4.  toggle on “Arrival alert” and/or “Departure alert” to receive notifications of your kid’s arrival or departure at the desired location. Once all is set, tap on “Save.”

 

Scheduling Alerts

Sometimes, you may get paranoid about where your child has been. When you want to check your child’s location from time to time, you can set an alert for that on your phone. To do this:

  1. Tap at the child icon on the top of your screen
  2. Scroll down to “Location alerts,” then go on “Scheduled alerts.”
  3. Tap on “Add alert,” then set a schedule for you to get the notification of your child’s whereabouts. Tap “Save” afterward.

 

Content Filtering

Photo by Verizon from Google Play Store

Skimming through your kid’s phone or tablet can be a chore. Thankfully you no longer have to do this with Verizon Smart Family as you can easily enable content filtering on your kid’s devices.

To enable this setting, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the child icon whose online activities you want to filter, then select “Manage controls section.”
  2. Go on “Content filters,” then choose the kind of content you want to filter.
  3. Toggle on the switch for content filtering. A black switch indicates that content filtering is on, while a white switch is disabled. You can also select to filter all content by tapping on the “All” switch.
  4. Tap on “Save” once done.

You can also choose to block websites that might go through the content filter of Verizon. This will ensure a strict filter for your kid’s gadgets. To do this, do the following:

  1. Tap on the child icon at the top of your screen, then under the “Manage Controls section,” tap on “Control Filters.”
  2. Find the “Websites” option, then tap on “Trusted Websites” or “Blocked Websites.” Enter the website or URL that you want to block.
  3. Removing trusted or blocked websites is also easy. Just follow steps one and two and select “Delete.” Once prompted, tap on “Remove.”

If you want to remove content filtering on the app altogether, simply tap on the child icon, then go to the “Manage Controls section,” then select “Content Filters.” Select the “Remove all” to initiate the removal of filters.

 

Setting Time Restrictions

set time limit verizon smart family app
Photo from Verizon

Ideally, screen time for kids should be limited to only two hours. Time restriction is another necessity when dealing with controlling your kid’s screen time. The great news is, the Verizon Smart Family app also provides screen time restrictions for your kid, similar to screen time management on Android phones.

The Verizon Smart Family app provides restrictions on texting, calling, data, and Wi-Fi access. This will help your kids reduce their screen time on their phones and focus more on important tasks that need to be done.

To restrict screen time on your kid’s phone, do the following:

  1. Tap at the child icon at the top of your screen. Go to “Manage controls section,” then go to “Limits.”
  2. Tap on “Time restrictions,” then choose whether you want to set “School” or “Night hours” or a custom-made timeframe for the time restriction.
  3. Adjust the desired time restriction then tap “Save.”
  4. Restart your kid’s phone to immediately apply the settings.

 

Limiting Data Usage

Limiting data usage will not only teach your child how to effectively use their data allocation. It can also teach your kid to chat less on messaging apps and interact more with their peers physically. It can also help them concentrate on other things outside the Internet.

To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select your child’s icon at the top of the screen. Tap on Manage controls section.
  2. Go to “Limits,” then tap on “Data Target.”
  3. Set the monthly data limit for your child in gigabytes (GB).
  4. Tap Save, then reboot your child’s device for immediate effect.

 

Blocking Unintentional Purchases

screen time verizon smart family app
Photo from Verizon

There are times that your child might be a little too frisky that he or she has suddenly bought something from the Internet. To avoid this occurrence, the Verizon Smart Family app can block any unintended purchases made from the Internet. This will significantly reduce expenses on your wallet for sure.

Ready to block unnecessary purchases? Here are the steps on how to do this:

  1. Tap on your child’s icon, then go to the Manage controls section.
  2. Go on “Limits,” then tap on “Purchase limits.”
  3. Set how much will be the limit to be charged at your monthly bill. Then tap “Save.”
  4. Reboot your child’s phone for immediate effect.

 

Setting Text and Call Limit

When your kids are constantly looking at their phones, maybe they are expecting a call or text from someone. When personal interaction is lacking, perhaps you can set a limit on your kid’s text and call allocation. You can now easily monitor who your child is interacting with when you limit these functions in their phones.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on your child’s icon then “Manage controls section.”
  2. Go to “Limits,” then tap on “Text limit” or “Call limit”
  3. Enter the desired maximum limit of texts or calls being sent and received by your child.
  4. Tap on “Save,” then restart your child’s phone for immediate effect.

 

How to Pair Verizon Smart Family With Your Kid’s Phone

This is one of the most important steps in setting up the Verizon Smart Family app. It will give you access to some of the functions available on your kid’s version of the app.

verizon smart family pairing
Photo from Verizon

 

Pairing With iOS Devices

Pairing your device to your kid’s app will depend on the operating system you are using. For iOS users, follow these steps:

  1. Get the Smart Family Companion app from the Apple App Store.
  2. Launch Verizon Smart Family app.
  3. Tap on “Settings.” Go to “Family” settings, then tap “Add family member.” Add the device you want to monitor through the app by ticking the checkbox next to it. Tap “Save” once the devices are added.
  4. Go to “Smart Family Companion,” then tap “Send Invite.” Your child’s phone will then receive an invite link through SMS.
  5. On your child’s phone, open the sent SMS then tap on the link or URL.
  6. Follow the verification process and allow any permissions asked by Verizon.
  7. Set up and allow the creation of a VPN profile. Once you are connected, the device is already good to go.

 

Pairing With Android Devices

  1. Get the Smart Family Companion from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch the app and go to Settings.
  3. Go to “Family” settings, then select the device you want to add.
  4. Tap on “Settings.” Go to “Family” settings, then tap “Add family member.” Add the device you want to monitor through the app by ticking the checkbox next to it. Tap “Save” once the devices are added.
  5. Go to “Smart Family Companion,” then tap on “Send invite.” This will depend on the device you intend to pair with. A link will be texted when you want to link your child’s Android phone or iPhone. Meanwhile, a link will be sent to your preferred messaging service when you want to pair with your child’s Android tablet.
  6. Open the message sent and tap on the link included in the message.
  7. Follow the verification prompts and allow any permissions asked by Verizon.
  8. Once done, set up the VPN connection and set it to “Always on.” You have successfully paired your app with your child’s device.

 

Verizon Smart Family: Does It Protect Your Kids From Harm?

verizon smart family
Photo from Verizon

With all these riveting features of this parental control app, you might find it already compelling to subscribe and download Verizon’s Smart Family plan. Verizon is a trusted company over the years, which is why it must be a given that their app is safe and secure from unscrupulous madmen out there. Does Verizon Smart Family really protect your kids from online harm?

Most of the time, this parental control app works great, especially on texts and calls. Updates on these communication platforms are real-time, providing an instant perspective of who your child is talking to. Other functions, however, are anything but horrible. Location reporting is somewhat spotty and at times really inaccurate. The app also unintentionally blocks internet access on some parent’s devices, though it is intended for the child. The worst of it is that this app constantly crashes from iOS to Android. Even just a glimpse of the call logs, the app forcibly closes it, thus the need to reopen the app every time.

Overall, if you want a no-frills parental control app that is reachable at the palm of your hands, Verizon’s parental control app should be enough for you. But we think Verizon should further furnish this app. Its haunting app issues plus the fact that you need to pay for this service might not pique the interest of many out there, thus looking for alternatives for Verizon Smart Family.

 

Other Parental Control Apps Like Verizon Smart Family

The best parental control apps might not always be out in the limelight, but these are truly helpful in managing your child’s online behavior. That is why parental control apps are essential when your child ventures into the world of the Internet.

To help your child pass safely in the vast cyber highway, these are some of the parental control apps we recommend to guard against the bad people of the Internet:

 

Qustodio

qustodio ui on iphone and android
Photo from Qustodio

Qustodio is one of the great parental control apps out there today. It almost has the same functions as the Verizon Smart Family app. But there are more features in it than meets the eye.

Qustodio lets you monitor your kid’s usual activities, such as website visits, text messages, screen time, and many more. What makes this unique against Verizon’s parental control app is that it monitors your child’s gameplay on their devices. We all know kids love playing games on their devices, and it’s a good thing Qustodio considered this option for your kids. One more thing is that Qustodio monitors not only your kids but also your teenage children, too. This kind of monitoring can help your teens to protect themselves from cyberbullying and other hate crimes.

Prices start at $54.95 per year for five devices.

Download from App Store

Download from Google Play Store

 

ESET Parental Control

eset parental control for android
Photo from ESET

Antivirus apps for Android do not only protect your and your kid’s phone from malware. Recently, antivirus apps also cater to your kid’s safety on the Internet. The ESET Parental Control can give you that assurance for your kid’s security. It provides comprehensive protection not just against unwanted websites but also harmful apps. Its price competes with other parental control apps competitively. At just $29.99 per year, you can use this app for an unlimited number of devices. This pricing is truly unbeatable against the competition.

Hopefully, ESET will make an iOS version of this app so iOS users have access to more affordable parental control apps.

Download from Google Play Store

 

Kidslox

kidslox
Photo from Kidslox

When your kid does not use texts and calls and instead uses apps more frequently, Kidslox is a great choice for you. It provides the most basic features such as website and app blocking, activity monitoring, and screen time monitoring. This app is great for parents that may not fully understand technological terms, for its user interface (UI) is fairly easy to navigate. It is also uber-affordable with a $5.99/month price tag with a three-day free trial.

Download from App Store

Download from Google Play Store

 

Google Family Link

google family link icon
Photo from Google

There is no need to look further: the Google Family Link is there to save your kids from any online harm. This parental control app gives you the most basic features such as screen time monitoring, location tracking, and disable your kid’s phone remotely. You can also track your child’s apps usage without particularly blocking the said app. This way, you can interact with your kids more personally and teach them how to properly spend time with the family. It also blocks unnecessary shopping splurges. At last, you don’t get that bill shock from your credit card, thanks to this app. The best part is Google Family Link is free to use for every Android, iOS, and Windows devices. No need to pay extra for the most basic online protection for your child.

Download from App Store

Download from Google Play Store

 

Final Word

Monitoring your child depends not only on your physical but also your online presence. When you want to protect your child’s privacy, the best thing to do is to subscribe to parental control apps. And when you want an accessible parental control app, the Verizon Smart Family app is one of the best options out there. It gives you the ability to block and monitor certain activities and contents such as unwanted purchases, mature content, text and call activities, and location history. This gives your child enough protection against cyber attackers. It is also affordable with a starting price of just $5 per month. This gives you the ease of mind in this day of modern parenting.

But its constant app crashes is a major downfall of this app. Of course, you don’t want to stress yourselves on these bothersome glitches. When you want stricter and more stable control of your child’s online activities, you may try other apps that give you the most protection at a fraction of Verizon’s price.

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