ParentShield- Frequently Asked Questions

ParentShield from Engine Mobile is a completely new type of mobile phone service. Here are some answers to questions we are frequently asked. If there's something we've not covered, you can email us at:

1What is ParentShield?

ParentShield is a new breed of mobile telephone service, designed to help parents and guardians protect children and vulnerable people from the risks that are associated with them having their own phone. Our service provides parents and guardians with the ability to listen to all calls, read all texts and limit the internet access through an online portal. This service works in the same way as a normal SIM would for the child or vulnerable person, but provides important safety benefits.

The end user experience is identical to that of any other mobile network.

2Do you have coverage in my area?

Our SIM cards are Roaming SIMs and will connect to Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile, Orange and O2 networks. If you have coverage from any of these networks where you are, the answer is YES!

(if you're on the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey we also work with Manx Telecom, Jersey Telecom, Sure and Airtel)

3What is a Roaming SIM?
A UK Roaming SIM, allows your child's phone to automatically connect to the strongest network in their area, meaning that they will have signal in nearly all areas of the UK (excluding remote areas). We believe this to be a great safety feature, as where ever your child goes, they will nearly always be able to be in contact with home, which wouldn't be the case if the SIM connected to one specific network.
4How do the Home Numbers work?

Each account has "Home Numbers", which are free for all SIMs associated with that account to contact, via calls or SMS.

To prevent abuse of this feature, you can only change these numbers every 30 days. These numbers normally contain the mobile number of the child's mother & father or a close family member.

5How do the Specific Word Alerts work?

The new "Specific Word Alerts" allow the account holder to be alerted when the user uses a certain word or phrase. As soon as a text containing an alert word or phrase is detected, the account holder will receive a text, containing the word that has been used & a link to the portal so necessary action can be taken as soon as possible.

You can set alerts for as many words as you need to, which can be added in your online account under the settings section.

6How does Time-Restricted Mode work?
The Time-Restricted Mode has been designed to give you, as a parent total control over when your child can use their phone. You have the ability to block all communications to and from the phone between your chosen hours, such as after bedtime or during school hours. This can be done in the settings in your portal.

During the restricted time period, the Phone can only be used to contact, and be contacted by the two "Home Numbers" and of course, the Emergency Services

7Is it possible to completely block internet access?
It is only possible to block your child from accessing the internet through mobile data, they will still be able to connect to the internet through a wifi connection. Although we don't have the power to block internet access through a wifi connection, your internet provider should be able to give you the option to use appropriate parental controls, to ensure that your child will always be protected.
8How long will I be able to view the recorded information for?
The information recorded by the ParentShield SIM will be stored in your online portal for 6 months after the record was created. If you wish to keep any of the records for a longer term than 6 months, you can download the records to keep as potential evidence. If any of the records are of no interest to you they can be simply deleted to make it easier to manage the information.
9Can I block and unblock numbers?
Yes you can block as many numbers you feel necessary. This can be easily done in the online portal by finding the number that you would like to block in the call history and simply clicking block. This number will then be blocked from calling or being called from the Engine Mobile SIM until you, the account holder unblock the number.
10Will my child be able to be contacted by withheld numbers?

You can choose whether to allow withheld ( anonymous ) callers or not in the account's settings.

Your child will be unable to be contacted by withheld numbers when Ultra Secure Mode is turned on, but they will be allowed when Ultra Secure Mode is turned off.


1What will I see as the Network Name at the top of my phone?

You'll see the brand of the Network you're currently attached to, so if you're in an area where Vodafone provides the strongest signal - you'll see "Vodafone UK". If your phone has roamed to O2 - you'll see "O2-UK" etc.

The Roaming means you experience far fewer 'mobile blackspots' than if you're tied to just one carrier

2Can the user of the ParentShield SIM bypass the recordings?
No, the user of the ParentShield SIM can't bypass their activity being recorded while using an ParentShield SIM card. The user will be unable to tell any difference from using any other mobile network.
3Can I keep my current number?
Yes you can keep your current number, this will need to be done after you have set up your account. If you wish to transfer your current number to your new ParentShield SIM, please use the form at:
4Will the SIM card work with all types of mobile phones?
Yes, your ParentShield SIM will work with any 2G, 3G, or 4G mobile phone. Our new generation of Roaming SIMS are a 3-way design, so simply press out the size that you require. The surrounding plastic can be kept and used as a converter should you ever need to change from a Nano to a Micro or Standard SIM.
5Will my phone need to be unlocked to use an ParentShield SIM?
Yes in order to use the ParentShield service, you will need an unlocked mobile phone, so that it is open to all networks. If you already have a locked phone you are wanting to us , you can easily get it unlocked by contacting the mobile network it is locked to.


1I've placed an order - what happens now?

In a day or two you'll receive a letter in the post at the address you specified as the delivery address, containing your SIM Card(s). We'll also send a sheet of stickers with the mobile phone number of the SIM and your temporary password for the online portal. The username will be your email address.

Pop the SIM in a phone and turn the phone on. Within a minute or so it'll have found the strongest network and registered itself.

You can then log in, change your password, and you're good to go.

2Monthly Billing

You will be billed the price shown on the monthly plan that you have chosen, once a month on the anniversary of the date that you ordered your SIM.

If your child has reached their monthly usage limit and has no additional funds, they will only be able to contact your chosen Home Numbers for the rest of that month.

You can add more funds for additional usage within your account.

3Additional Costs

Here at Engine-Mobile ParentShield, we have a close working relationship with the Major UK mobile network providers, 02, EE & Vodafone, to ensure that our network and its features work as smoothly as possible.

Below is a billing comparison table for the rate that you will be charged 'out of bundle' ie. if your monthly allowance is used up and the number being called isn't a Home Number. It will be necessary to top up the account before these calls are available.

£0.30 per minute£0.30 per minute£0.30 per minute£0.18 per minute
£0.20 per message£0.15 per message£0.14 per message£0.14 per message
£12 per 1000MB£30 per 1000MB£13 per 1000MB£16.00 per 1000MB
4What do you do about Premium Rate Services
ParentShield blocks all premium rate services and shortcodes. It's not possible to run up an unexpected bill with ParentShield.


1How does the service comply with Data protection or Privacy laws?

We have taken a large amount of time to ensure that our service complies with these laws.

In practice, our service is the same as a parent monitoring the websites that their child visits, which is recommended by large organisations who deal with safeguarding as guardians have a legal responsibility to protect vulnerable people in their care.

As the SIM card is in the control of the guardian for their own personal use, it doesn’t count as an interception as defined in RIPA 2000.

You are quite legally allowed to record your own phone calls as long as the calls aren’t sent to a third party.

Privacy and Data protection is covered by the privacy and electronic communications regulations 2003.

Our responsibility is covered under section 5 ( appropriate measures) which ensure that calls are stored securely, can only be accessed using the most secure SSL encryption protocols, and ONLY by the account holder. Calls and SMS messages are deleted securely when required.

All Data is hosted securely encrypted in the UK

2You're an MVNO - which network are you on?
Yes, Phone Engines and Engine Mobile ParentShield are a full MVNO - A Mobile Virtual Network Operator; but we're not totally virtual! We produce SIM cards that are true UK roaming and we own and control our own telephony infrastructure. The Engine SIMs will connect to whichever mobile network is the strongest, wherever you are. This gives you the very best signal and network available. Especially in rural areas.

We are telephone system developers and programmers and proudly own and secure our own interchange hardware that links to the other networks. That's how we can cram so many features into our service. We have two UK data centres at present linked to the UK's major Internet Peering points in both London and Manchester. Our NOC is at our offices in South Derby.

All our numbers are in the range 07412 and are in-tariff with every major carrier in the UK so will be treated just like any other mobile number as far as other carriers are concerned. However please check with your mobile company to make sure as we're not in control of what other companies charge.

If you have technical questions about the service, or are interested in peering with us, please feel free to email the development team directly:

We will soon be announcing peering relationships with some overseas networks to take ParentShield into other countries.

If you have any questions you'd like to add to this page, please contact us