Would you like to be able to give a mobile phone to a child, so they can call home and be called by home, but don’t want the phone to be able to call, or be called by anyone else? That’s exactly what the ParentShield Child-Safe Mobile Network allows you to do. It also restricts SMS in the same way and you can turn off Mobile Data completely.
A Walled-Garden Network
This implementation is a version of a Closed User Group Mobile network – sometimes referred to as a “walled garden” for that’s just what it is – a safe place in the telephone network where children can communicate safely, and only with people who are, themselves in that group.
Because ParentShield operates Network-Side, all this can be achieved without changing any settings on the phone. Just by inserting the ParentShield SIM card into an unlocked phone, the account holder ( the parents or guardians ) can control the phone’s network behaviour completely. You can determine what numbers can call, or be called and even set time limits to block all calls and texts at bedtime or other times, such as school times.
Setting these features up on a smartphone is possible, to a fashion, but it will mean that the user could potentially change the settings – on purpose or by accident – and it will be necessary to confiscate the phone every time a change is required.
The ParentShield Portal is open 24/7 and it’s simple to add or remove safe numbers or to turn the Ultra Secure Mode on or off. As the user grows in confidence and responsibility it’s simple to relax restrictions up until the phone behaves in an identical manner to any mobile phone on a normal mobile network.
Landlines or Mobile Numbers
ParentShield Home Numbers can be landlines or mobiles. so a phone can be set up to be able to call exactly the right number at any time.
How to restrict a child’s phone to calling home only
- Place an order for a ParentShield SIM
- Add two ‘Home Numbers’ to the ParentShield Account
- In your Portal click “Ultra Secure Mode”
- Set up your Safe Lists to add any other numbers that will also need to be allowed.
It’s all in the Ultra Secure Mode
A ‘normal’ mobile phone service operates in “open” mode. By default the phone can call and be called, and can text, and be texted from any telephone anywhere in the World.
ParentShield’s “Ultra Secure Mode” flips this on its head. With this setting turned on the only “open” numbers are those of the child’s Parents ( and the emergency services of course ). In Mobile Telephony speak it’s a “closed group mobile network” – you can think of it a little like a walkie-talkie between your home or mobile numbers, and your child’s phone.
Unless numbers are explicitly added to an allow list, they are completely unable to call or text the ParentShield phone.
Choosing the right phone
For the youngest children you would probably be providing a simple feature-phone, but whether it’s a simple ‘chocolate bar’ phone or the latest smartphone, the control is identical. As long as the phone is unlocked to any network, it will work nicely.
For information and ideas on providing the phone see our blog post: https://parentshield.co.uk/never-confiscate-a-childs-phone/
Closed Group Mobile
This ability to lock a mobile phone down so it can only communicate with a group of pre-defined numbers is known, in telecoms jargon, as a closed-group mobile service. With ParentShield Ultra Secure Mode turned on ( you do this yourself via a switch in your online portal control panel ) a child’s phone is completely unable to call, text, or be called or texted by anyone not on your list. There is no way around it – and no settings are needed on the phone.
The safe list of numbers can be changed at any time and the changes you make are active instantly. By default your two “Home Numbers are always part of the safe list, so it’s impossible to accidentally block yourself form contacting your child.
No Answerphone Bullying
With a normal adult mobile network, the default behaviour for any blocked callers is to redirect them to Answerphone. Some mobile phones will also provide a pop-up “You have missed a call from” notice. This means it’s possible for an unwanted caller to still communicate via answerphone – and potentially solicit a return call via a different means.
With ParentShield, a child will be completely unaware that a call has been blocked, and is never notified so someone who is not allowed to contact them – for whatever reason – is unable to still cause harm or distress via an answering service.
Removing the voicemail also completely removes any possibility of phone-hacking.