AT&T Unleashes Parental Controls On Its Phones
AT&T has introduced Smart Limits for Wireless, a service that basically spells “Parental Control” all over the kids' cellphones. The service charges $4.99 a month.
September 5, 2007
The service is available online and provides parents with a plethora of options regarding what children can or can't do with their phones. The virtual leash allows the setting of various limitations, starting with the calling hours and ending with web surfing. The child will get a notice when he/she got near the set limit and, when the limit is reached, the service will become impossible to use.
There are exceptions, of course, and calls to 911 or to a special list of "Allowed Numbers" (the parents' phone numbers in most cases) are the first to make the list.
Speaking of lists, here are several examples limitation featured by the service:
- Limit the number of minutes that their children can use a wireless phone
- Set limits on text and instant messages
- Establish a dollar amount for download purchases, such as ringtones and games
- Control the time of day and days of the week that the phone can be used
- Block calls and text messages to/from numbers they don't approve
- Filter access to Internet content that is inappropriate for children
The service can be accessed online at any time so that limitations can be changed, if necessary.