Sprint Launches New Parental Controls and Offers Wireless and Internet Safety Information for Families
In this space, we typically talk about cool apps for your wireless phone. There certainly are a lot of apps out there. If you are a parent, though, that may be daunting if you are concerned about what apps your child is downloading and other things they may be doing with their cell phone.
Sprint wants to help. We recently introduced some new account management tools that make it easier for parents to manage their child’s wireless usage, help keep them safe with new parental controls, avoid surprises on their monthly bill and compare rates.
The new Sprint family focus microsite, www.sprint.com/family, offers a variety of “family friendly” services, including Sprint Family Locator and free tools that help parents manage their children’s phone usage, restrict access to the mobile Web and view safety information. The following services are available at no charge:
• Block texts and numbers
• Block digital media downloads
• Block Web access
• Block Picture Mail
• Block voice calls
• One Touch to set or release all controls
These restrictions can be set by logging into the parent’s My Sprint account online at www.sprint.com.
-David Owens, vice president of marketing for Sprint
"With this new family microsite on Sprint.com, Sprint is giving parents tools and information to help better manage their families’ wireless experience and to supervise how their children are using their phone. The site includes valuable information about Sprint Family Locator and Sprint’s Internet and wireless safety program, 4Net Safety. We are committed to continually enhancing and expanding these tools to better meet family needs.”
Below is a comparison of the account management tools currently offered by Sprint to some of the tools offered by our competitors*. Sprint continues to lead the industry with its Sprint Family Locator app. Sprint Family Locator is a location-based service that uses Sprint's state-of-the-art GPS technology to enable a parent to use a phone or PC to locate a child on a map.
Sprint Family Locator
•$5 / month for up to 4 lines
•15 day free trial
•$9.99 / month for up to 2 lines
•$14.99 / month for up to 5 lines
•30 day free trial
•$9.99 / month per line
No mention on website.
Sprint Account Controls
Block your Sprint phone from downloading things like ringtones, apps, screensavers and more from Sprint’s vending machine.
Block all incoming or outgoing messages, or allow only messages to or from numbers you approve.
Block phones on your account from sending or receiving Picture Mail.
Control the ability of the phones on your account to use data services like Web access, email and streaming media and avoid costly surprises in your monthly bill.
Control which phones on your account are capable of making outbound calls and establish a list of numbers that are blocked both for inbound and outbound calls.
One touch to set or release all controls.
$4.99 / month per line.
Block incoming and outgoing calls and text messages by specifying blocked numbers.
Restrict times of day the phone can be used for messaging, browsing and outbound calling.
Set limits for the number of text and instant messages allowed per billing cycle.
Choose a dollar limit for downloadable purchases (ringtones, games and more).
Select the amount of web browsing/data usage allowed per billing cycle.
Restrict access to inappropriate content with content filters.
$4.99 / month per line
Set limits for voice minutes and messages that can be used during a billing cycle.
Limit and control cell phone use during a certain time of day or day of week.
Restrict calls and messages with phone numbers that you designate.
Allow trusted numbers regardless of any other usage controls or restrictions.
Pricing not available on website.
Assign allowances for minutes, messages, and downloads to all the lines on your account.
Restrict calling and texting to specific phone numbers.
Block usage during certain times of day (conditions and restrictions apply).
Sprint Family Locator
Sprint Family Locator is a location-based service that uses Sprint's state-of-the-art GPS technology to enable a parent to use a phone or PC to locate a child on a map. The service also gives the address, surrounding landmarks and accuracy of the child's location within a specified radius. Sprint Family Locator costs $5 per month to locate up to four phones.
Internet and Wireless Safety
Sprint is a leader in promoting education about Internet and wireless safety. Sprint launched the 4NetSafety program in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC), the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). 4NetSafety offers free tools from expert resources. These resources address perils that young people commonly encounter online and encourage positive dialogue about Internet safety. Please visit www.4netsafety.com for more information.
*Pricing comparison based on publicly available information as of November 2010. Coverage not available everywhere. Sprint Family Locator: Not available on Corporate-liable accounts. GPS: Requires GPS & Java-enabled phone. GPS reliability varies by environment. Use without a plan that includes data is 3¢/kb).