How to Use Verizon Smart Family Parental Controls

Verizon Wireless helps you keep track of your family

If you have a Verizon account, then you have access to a suite of Verizon parental controls, for a small monthly fee. Verizon parental controls let you track the location of your family members and better control what apps and content your children use and when they use them. Controlling your child's overall internet access is important, and mobile parental controls are one part of that.

How to Use Verizon Smart Family Parental Controls

Enabling Verizon parental controls on your account is as easy as signing up for the service, then configuring each of the features that are available at your purchase level.

  1. To enable the service, log into your Verizon account and visit the Verizon Smart Family page, then select Get it now in the header image at the top of the page. To get the app for configuring and monitoring the service, you'll need to type your phone number into the text field, then select Submit. Or, you can just download the Google Smart Family app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

    Screenshot of Verizon Smart Family sign-up page
  2. In the app, choose the plan you want to sign up for, agree to the Consent Agreement, then select the lines you want to manage and name them so you know which family member they belong to.

    Screenshots of enabling Verizon parental controls
  3. Once connected, you'll see a screen for each family member. Tap the first letter of their name at the top of the screen to see their page. On each page, you'll see a map at the top that shows their current location. In the middle, you'll see web and app activity, and a bar graph of phone call volume. At the bottom you'll see the options to manage all of the Verizon parental controls.

    Screenshot of parental controls on Verizon app

    To view web & app activity, you'll need to install the Smart Family Companion app from Google Play or the Apple Store. This app gives you access to much more detailed information about activity on your child's phone.

  4. To track your child's cell phone location and get location update alerts, tap Location alerts at the bottom of their page. You can tap Places & alerts to get alerts when your child arrives or leaves a specific location, or tap Scheduled alert to automatically check up on their location at a fixed time of day, then tap Add an alert and use the configuration options to set up the alert details.

    Screenshot of verizon parental controls app

    The Places & alerts feature requires that you install the Smart Family companion app on your child's phone.

  5. From the main screen, tap Limits to limit screen time, data use, purchases, and texts and calls:

    • Time restrictions: Set a school or sleep schedule to prevent your child from using their phone when they shouldn't.
    • Data target: Set a data usage limit.
    • Purchase limit: Set a monthly Verizon account purchasing limit.
    • Text limit: Assign a numeric limit to the total texts your child can send each month.
    • Call limit: Limit monthly minutes of phone calls.
    Screenshots of time restrictions in verizon app
  6. From the main screen, tap Contacts to control your child's mobile communications:

    • Tap Blocked contacts to list numbers you don't want your child ever communicating with.
    • Tap Trusted contacts to set numbers your child can call or text any time.
    • Tap Top Contacts to review a list of the most frequently contacted phone numbers.
    Screenshots of contacts in Verizon parental app

Manage Family and Customize Notifications

You can manage family member permissions and tailor your notifications in the Settings area. To access settings, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner of the main screen.

  1. To assign family permissions to a phone number, first tap Family settings.

  2. Choose the phone number you want to customize. You can review the number's family "role" (child/parent), modify the name, or tap Location sharing to provide access to that line's location information to either parents, all members of the family, or to turn off location sharing.

    Screenshot of family settings in Verizon parental control app
  3. To customize notifications, tap Notifications from the Settings menu, then choose the child you want to customize notifications for.

  4. On the Notifications settings screen, you can enable or disable mobile or email notifications for any of the following activities.

    • A new contact is added
    • Contacts a number on your watchlist
    • Uses their phone during school hours
    • Uses their phone at night
    • Calls 911

    You can also enable or disable the feature where you'll receive a weekly email report of all of your child's activities on their phone.

    Screenshots of notification settings in Verizon parental controls app