Checking on the Kids with Verizon Family Locator

Better design, improved operating systems and faster networks have dramatically improved the effectiveness of tracking apps – those web-based and wireless monitoring programs that can help you keep an eye on the kids. Whether you have a youngster who is starting school or a teen who just got his driver’s license, these apps can help reassure parents that everyone is where they should be.

Although there are dozens of tracking apps to choose from, all of them are slightly different. Some are passive and merely pinpoint a phone’s location; some request a check-in or response from the person being tracked; and some are designed for undetectable surveillance, which starts to be less about monitoring and more about spying.

However, if you are a parent who is less worried about reading your kids’ texts and e-mails but more concerned about checking on their whereabouts, then Verizon’s recently re-launched Family Locator service is a great solution.

Family Locator helps you securely determine the location of your family members’ phones and other mobile devices through the Family Locator web site, or by using the new Family Locator Android app. Family locations are displayed as approximate addresses on a detailed map.

While Family Locator can locate any cell phone on a Family Account, using the Family Locator software on a fully compatible phone has added benefits, like determining a more precise location or generating arrival and departure notifications. These notifications will alert you when family members arrive at or depart from specified locations, like a school, a friend’s house, or a workplace. (See the Family Locator web site for a list of fully compatible phones.)

You can also send messages to family members via the Family Locator web site, and location information can be incorporated into the VZ Navigator app to get turn-by-turn driving directions.

Family Locator requires a Family SharePlan account and costs just $9.99 per month to cover all the phones on your account. The Family Locator service can be used anywhere within the Verizon Wireless network but can’t be used when a phone is roaming.

Family Locator information can only be accessed by account owners and other individuals designated by the owner as locators. Location information is only visible via a PC or a cell phone using the appropriate account information including a password.

Family Locator won’t tell you who your daughter is texting or what web sites she has visited. But if you are looking for the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly where your kids are, the Family Locator service is the perfect answer.

I have been compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

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