Today, July 10, Verizon announced a new service called FamilyBase that helps parents monitor their children’s cell phone usage. FamilyBase allows parents set allowable times for use, lock the device itself, and provide an allowance for apps or music. The first month of FamilyBase will be free for Verizon Wireless customers and cost $5 per month per account after that.
FamilyBase provides parents a way to see who is on their child’s contact list and what apps are on their device. It even allows for certain contacts to be set as always-trusted and others to be blocked completely. This control over the experience for children may help younger children become familiar with using technology while educating them on appropriate usage.
“Parents are concerned about teaching their kids responsible cell phone use,” said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless president for the Carolinas and Tennessee. “This new tool gives them the data and control they need to have good conversations, set boundaries and reward responsible behavior.”
Even with this level of control, it is important to have discussions with children to help them understand how to use the technology and earn additional trust through using it responsibly.
“Insights into how devices are being used help parents have conversations with their children on the responsible use of phones and to set boundaries with the help of access controls if necessary,” said Shamik Basu, Director of Product Development at Verizon Wireless.
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