Verizon Wireless has recently announced the launch of a new app called FamilyBase. A fee-based service currently available on GooglePlay (30-day free trial, additional $5 a month for up to ten lines) allows parents to monitor a child’s cell phone usage.
This service is yet another way for parents to have control over how kids are utilizing cell phones. The app allows parents to monitor whom their children are talking and texting with, what apps they are using, when the activity is taking place and for how long.
Other key features of the app include:
- Being able to view call and text data, contacts and app usage on all operating systems
- Set time restrictions on the device. Ex. during school hours or at bedtime
- Set-up trusted contact the child can call and text
- Having the ability to remotely lock the phone for up to 30 minutes
A recent Pew study indicated that 78 percent of the 802 teens ages 12-17 surveyed have mobile phones, and 47 percent of them are smartphones users.
Whether its texting during school hours, chatting late at night or sending inappropriate messages, this app was created to keep parents informed of what their children are up to. But keeping tabs on our kids via an app is not enough. We live in an age where anything digital can go viral fast. In order to know our children are being smart about the technology they are using, we need to teach them proper digital etiquette to ensure they are not disrespecting themselves or others online.