Verizon releases ‘FamilyBase,’ gives nearly complete control over kids’ phones to parents


It looks like the NSA is  about to have a rival in the spying business— good old Mom and Pops.

Got a feeling your kids are up to no good? Want to monitor your kids’ data usage? Need to lock your son out of his phone because he won’t do his homework?

Good news for you— Verizon has announced “FamilyBase,” which will let parents (or account administrators) monitor and limit calling, texting, app usage, app purchases, as well as set time restrictions and review contact lists. The feature to remotely lock their devices on demand is also available.

Big Red is making the service available for $5/month for up to 10 lines— it’s only for Android devices running 2.1 or higher. (So pretty much all of you can use it.) To set it up, parents can visit, or by calling SAFE, or by texting SAFE to #7233. The apps are also available in the Play store.

Check out the press release after the break for more info.

HOUSTON, Jul 11, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Verizon Wireless today announced the availability of Verizon FamilyBase(TM), an enhanced service that allows parents to monitor and control their child’s wireless usage, to promote the safe and responsible use of smartphone technology.

Verizon FamilyBase(TM) helps customers protect against overage charges and monitor usage on their accounts. It is especially helpful for parents who have children on their account. The service enables parents to monitor and limit calling, texting, app usage, and app purchases, set time restrictions, review contact lists and set trusted contacts. FamilyBase also allows parents remotely lock a phone on demand.

There are countless reasons a parent would consider giving their child a smartphone, from safety and security to help with their homework. However, many parents still struggle with the questions of when to give their child a phone and how to keep some control over how it is used. Verizon FamilyBase(TM) helps ease those concerns and gives parents unprecedented access to their child’s activity on a range of mobile devices.

Verizon FamilyBase is available for $5.00 per month, for up to 10 lines. The first month is available to customers at no charge. All features of Verizon FamilyBase are available on most Android phones running version 2.1 or higher but is not compatible with iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry phones.

Customer can sign up for Verizon FamilyBase and load the Companion and Parents apps at, by calling **SAFE, or by texting SAFE to #7233. The Companion and Parent Applications are also available at Google Play.

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About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 98.2 million retail customers, including 92.5 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 73,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

About the Author: Harrison Kaminsky

Harrison is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh completing a major in communication and a minor in economics. Aside from writing for TalkAndroid, he is the managing editor at The Pitt News, a digital marketing intern at Buzzhoney in Pittsburgh, founder and owner of He's currently using an HTC One (M8) and Nexus 7 (2013). Harrison is excited for the next release of Android, and for whatever the future holds for the tech world. Tweet him at @Harry_Kaminsky.

  • Jimmy Hendrix

    I mean, checking up on a kids phone by making him tell you his password is okay, but spying on the kid? That is just overboard.

  • The lab rat of this nonsense

    Dear parents: Try for once, let’s say, talking to your kids?
    Take it from someone with parents who install these kinds of apps, taking action before talking to them will give them MEGA trust issues.
    Don’t, however, give them the ‘If you can’t tell me what you’re doing then it’s something wrong’ nonsense. It will back your kid into a corner, making them feel guilty when they might have nothing to feel guilty about. Then they’ll feel like they can’t answer you, can’t trust you. They might start to hide things from you, this might create feelings of anxiety for them.

    This comes from personal experience, and this is a hella good way to damage your relationship with your kids. That is never something you should flounce around lightly.
    ‘good old Mom and Pops’ need to sit down and read/ listen to the countless messages from kids who have expressed how much this hurt them

    Regardless of your intents with this action, no, these kinds of apps, will hurt your kids. Don’t even think about teens.
    That’s a rough time in their life that doesn’t deserve any of this