Verizon Smart Family™ FAQs

General information

  1. What is Verizon Smart Family?

    Verizon Smart Family is a service that gives you parental controls to help manage your kids' smartphone* use.

    From a single app**, you'll be able to:

    • Use content filtering
    • Monitor and limit calls, texts and purchases
    • Block contacts, add contacts to a trusted list, and receive contact alerts
    • Pause the internet
    • Use location tracking and check-in features (Verizon Smart Family Premium)

    *Only smartphones are currently supported.

    ** Some features require Smart Family Companion app to be installed on the kid's device.

  2. How much does Verizon Smart Family cost?

    You can get Verizon Smart Family for your entire account for a single monthly fee.

    There are 2 versions:

    • Verizon Smart Family is $4.99/month per account (no location services).
    • Verizon Smart Family Premium is $9.99/month per account (includes location services). The first month is on us.

    Verizon Smart Family Premium is also included for free with the Just Kids plan.

  3. Who is eligible to get Verizon Smart Family?

    You can get Verizon Smart Family if you:

    • Have a standard account* with 10 or fewer lines
    • Have an Android™ smartphone (5.0 and newer) or iPhone® (10.0 or newer)

    Note: If you or your children don't have Android or iPhone, you may still be able to use Verizon Smart Family with limited access to functions. Many functions require the Android or iPhone app to work properly.

    To check your eligibility, go to the Products & Apps page in My Verizon. If Verizon Smart Family is listed there, you can sign up for it.

    *Business and prepaid accounts aren't eligible.

  4. How do I sign up for Verizon Smart Family?

    Download the Verizon Smart Family app on your Android smartphone or iPhone, and follow the steps to subscribe to Verizon Smart Family.

    Note: You can also sign up for Verizon Smart Family on the Products & Apps page in My Verizon.

    For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Sign Up for Verizon Smart Family section of our How to Use Verizon Smart Family page.

  5. How do I upgrade to Verizon Smart Family Premium?

    You can upgrade from Verizon Smart Family to Verizon Smart Family Premium from the Settings menu in the Verizon Smart Family app.

    For step-by-step instructions, go to the Upgrade section of our How to Use Verizon Smart Family page.

  6. Can I sign up for Verizon Smart Family if I have a 5G-enabled device or use the service to monitor a 5G-enabled device?

    Any 5G-capable device can use the Verizon Smart Family app for all parental services.

    If your child's device supports 5G, there may be brief periods when you're in a 5G area that your call, text and data limits won't apply. Verizon Smart Family Premium content filters and location services will continue to function normally.

  7. What Verizon Smart Family features are available without downloading the Smart Family Companion app on my child's device?

    Without the Verizon Smart Family Companion app installed on your child's device, you can:

    • View call and text activity
    • Set time restrictions on texts, calls and data usage
    • Set data limits
    • Set text, call and purchase limits
    • Get access to the device's network location

    Note: Network location accuracy may vary up to a few miles.

    However, you'll need to pair the Verizon Smart Family app on your device with the Smart Family Companion app on your child's device to:

    • Set content filters
    • Pause internet access
    • Set time restrictions on Wi-Fi usage
    • Locate family members and set location alerts with the best location accuracy
    • Use the location check-in feature, where kids can send you their precise location when they arrive at their destination
  8. What notifications will my child receive from Verizon Smart Family? Can I stop these notifications?

    Your child will receive a notification every month that their location is being shared with the parent and other account members designated by the parent. They'll also receive notifications when they're near or have reached the data, call and text limits set by the parent.

    These notifications are legally required and can't be turned off.

  9. How do I unsubscribe from Verizon Smart Family?

    You can unsubscribe from Verizon Smart Family through:

    • The Products & Apps page in My Verizon
    • The Settings menu in the Verizon Smart Family app

    For step-by-step instructions, go to the Cancel Subscription section of our How to Use Verizon Smart Family page.

    Note: With the Just Kids plan, you can't unsubscribe or downgrade from Verizon Smart Family Premium because it's included for free as part of the plan. To make changes to your subscription, you'll need to change your plan in My Verizon.

Smart Family Companion app

  1. What does my child see when they open the Smart Family Companion app?

    Your child will see a page with the Verizon Smart Family Companion app's pairing status. If the Companion app is paired, the message will read: "Connected to Verizon Smart Family."

    If the Companion app isn't paired, the message will read: "Smart Family Companion is not paired. Pair [name]'s phone to enable content filters, pause internet and receive precise location alerts."

  2. Can my child locate me as the parent?

    Yes, with Smart Family Premium your child can view your phone's location if you have your location sharing set to "On" in the Settings menu of your Verizon Smart Family app. By default, your location sharing preferences will be set to "Off."

  3. Can my child view my call and text activity?

    No, a child can't view a parent device's call and text activity.

  4. How do I know my child won't remove the Verizon Smart Family Companion app?

    The experience differs based on the type of phone your child has:

    • Android: The Verizon Smart Family Companion app requires the child to enter a specific code in order for it to be removed from their device. This code can only be retrieved from the parent device. (If the Companion app is removed, a tamper error will immediately be sent to the parent as a text message and displayed on the child's dashboard in the app.)
    • iOS: If the Verizon Smart Family Companion app has been removed, the controls will no longer be active on their device. We can't immediately notify you when this happens. You'll be able to pair your phone and the child's phone again should this occur.

Managing account and assigning roles

  1. How can I access and manage my Verizon Smart Family account?

    You can manage your Verizon Smart Family account in the Verizon Smart Family app or on the My Verizon website.

    Note: Verizon Smart Family Premium location features are only supported by the Verizon Smart Family app.

    For step-by-step instructions, refer to our How to Use Verizon Smart Family page.

  2. How do I add family members to my Verizon Smart Family account?

    You can add family members to Verizon Smart Family through the Settings menu of the Verizon Smart Family app.

  3. Can I set up a second parent device or change the role of a family member in Verizon Smart Family?

    Yes, you can assign roles to other lines on your account, including another parent device role in My Verizon.

    All My Verizon Account Owners and Account Managers can only be assigned a parent role, and all Account Members can only be assigned a child role.

    To change a family member's role in Smart Family, you'll first need to change their account role in My Verizon.

  4. Will changing my phone number or a device also change my Verizon Smart Family service?

    Yes. If you change the phone number of your parent device, your Verizon Smart Family account will be suspended, and you'll need to re-subscribe to the service. You'll also need to set up all of your controls again.

    If your child changes their phone number, all of their controls will need to be reset.

    If the child changes their device, you'll need to pair the Smart Family Companion app on your child's new device.

Activity and limits

  1. Can I view the content of the text messages that my child sends and receives?

    No, Verizon Smart Family doesn't have the ability to view the content of your child's texts. You also can't view the pictures and videos on your child's phone.

  2. Will iMessages or other third-party app messages and calls show up in my child's daily Activity log?

    No, Verizon Smart Family doesn't show messages from third-party providers, such as Apple® iMessage®.

  3. What activity is limited when a time restriction is in effect?

    During a time restriction, the child won't be able to:

    • Call or text people who aren't included as trusted contacts
    • Use cellular data
    • Connect to Wi-Fi (if the child's device is paired)

    Note: With the Just Kid's plan, you can only limit data with time restrictions. Restricting calling and texting to trusted contacts only is already in place and can't be changed.

  4. How are purchase limits measured?

    Purchase limits are measured in dollars per month. Only purchases directly billed to your Verizon account using carrier billing are limited.

Content filters

  1. Can Smart Family block third-party apps and features that can be used for calling and texting?

    Even if you set call and text restrictions through Smart Family, your kids can download and use OTT apps or smartphone features that don’t go through the Verizon Wireless network .These apps and features can let your child call or message people who aren’t trusted contacts.

    To prevent use of these apps and features, you can:

  2. How can I manually allow or block a website or app?

    You can manually allow and block websites and apps in the content filters section of the Verizon Smart Family app.

    See instructions for manually blocking and unblocking websites.

    Note: You can also follow the steps above to remove a blocked website from the blocked website list (letting your child visit it again) or remove an allowed website from the allowed websites list.

  3. Can I block an app that's not included in a content filter category?

    You can't block an app manually. However, on  the Smart Family app's content filter screen, you can report an app that should be blocked. We take these reports into consideration for possible future Smart Family updates.

  4. Will I be notified if my child tries to access blocked content or websites?

    No, you won't be notified if your child attempts to access blocked content or websites on their phone.

  5. How do I remove content filters for a family member?

    You can remove the content filters for a family member in the top-right corner of the content filters menu of the Verizon Smart Family app.

Contacts

  1. What is the top contacts category in Verizon Smart Family?

    The top contacts category shows you which contacts your child communicates with most frequently based on the number of calls and texts. Contact rankings are updated every 4 hours.

  2. What are trusted contacts in Verizon Smart Family?

    Trusted contacts are people you want your child to be able to call and text at all times. Your child will even be able to communicate with their trusted contacts during time restrictions and after their usage limits have been reached (which could result in overage charges depending on your child's plan). You can trust up to 20 contacts.

    Trusted contacts can include any of the following:

    • 10-digit mobile or landline numbers
    • International numbers (international calling is billable and could result in overage charges if you don't have an international plan)
    • Your own number to access Voicemail (Voicemail usage is billable and could result in overage charges if your plan doesn't have unlimited minutes)

    If you have the Just Kids plan:

    • All mobile numbers on your Verizon Wireless account are included as trusted contacts. You can add or delete trusted contacts as needed in the Verizon Smart Family app.
    • Everyone except for trusted contacts is blocked from calling and texting you.
    • You can block data from third-party apps through Verizon Smart Family, so your child doesn't use it to talk to people outside of their trusted contacts.
    • You can disable device features, like iMessage, on your child's phone to prevent them from using it to message other iPhone users outside of their trusted contacts.
  3. What are blocked contacts in Verizon Smart Family?

    You can block up to 20 contacts from communicating with your child's device. All calls and texts to and from blocked contacts will be prevented.

    You can block:

    • 10-digit mobile or landline numbers
    • International phone numbers
    • Incoming calls from numbers listed as Private, Restricted or Unavailable
    • Short codes, including 411, 1411, #411 and *411 directory assistance

    To block specific phone numbers or contacts, enter the phone number as a blocked contact.

    Note: You can't block 911, numbers that are within your own Verizon account, or numbers currently added to the trusted contacts list.

    If you have the Just Kids plan:

    • Everyone except for your trusted contacts is blocked.
    • You can block data from third-party apps through Verizon Smart Family, so your child doesn't use it to talk to people outside of their trusted contacts.
    • You can disable device features, like iMessage, on your child's phone to prevent them from using it to message other iPhone users outside of their trusted contacts.
  4. How does Caller ID Blocking impact the blocked contacts list in Verizon Smart Family?

    If the caller has enabled Caller ID Blocking and the number is recognized by our network, a number on your blocked contacts list will still be blocked.

    If you've chosen to block all Private, Restricted and Unavailable numbers on your child’s phone, any caller using Caller ID Blocking will be prohibited from contacting your child.

    Go to the Caller ID Blocking FAQs to learn more.

Location

  1. Does my child need to have the Smart Family Companion app in order for me to locate them?

    If you don't have the Smart Family Companion app installed and paired on the child's phone, you'll receive the network location of their device. Network location accuracy can vary up to a few miles.

    If the Smart Family Companion app is installed on your child's phone and paired with your phone, you'll get:

    • A more precise location
    • The ability to set up location alerts
    • Access to the location check-in feature that lets your child send you a notification with their precise location
  2. Will my child know when I have located them using Verizon Smart Family?

    No, your child won't know when you've located them. However, they will receive a monthly text message informing them that their location may be shared with account members.

  3. How accurate is the location with Verizon Smart Family?

    If your child's device is paired with the Smart Family Companion app, the location results will indicate a street address and approximately how many yards away the device is from that location.

    However, location accuracy depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

    • Pairing status of Smart Family Companion app with parent device
    • Child device has good connectivity to data network
    • Child device has location ON and set to high accuracy
    • Smart Family Companion app has permission to always access child's device location
    • Smart Family Companion app has Background App Refresh turned ON (iOS devices only)

    We recommend you pair with your child's Smart Family Companion app for better location accuracy.

  4. Does Verizon Smart Family location services work when the phone is outside the Verizon network or roaming internationally?

    Verizon Smart Family is designed to be used within Verizon coverage areas in the continental US and Hawaii. As such, some features may be unavailable outside of this service area.

    However, if your child's device is paired with the Smart Family Companion app and is connected to Wi-Fi when it's outside the Verizon network or roaming internationally, you'll be able to see the device's location.

  5. What should I do if I can't see my child's device location with Verizon Smart Family?

    If a child can't be located, the child's device may be off or the phone's GPS functionality is deactivated.

    If the phone can't be located for an extended period of time, check the child's phone settings to ensure:

    • Child device is paired
    • Child device has good connectivity to data network
    • Child device has location ON and set to high accuracy
    • Smart Family Companion app has permission to always access child's device location
    • Smart Family Companion app has Background App Refresh turned ON (iOS devices only)

    If the phone still can't be located after 24+ hours (and the settings are accurate), please contact Verizon Customer Service at (800) 922-0204.

  6. How long does Verizon Smart Family store location history?

    Location history is automatically deleted after 7 days and isn't recoverable.

  7. Why aren't my arrival / departure alerts available immediately in Verizon Smart Family?

    Arrival / departure alerts should occur close to the time they were triggered. However, we've seen them occasionally delayed for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Dropped pairing between child and parent devices
    • Pairing lost or tampered on the Smart Family Companion app status
    • Network connectivity
  8. Can I use Verizon Smart Family to locate a device that's not on my Verizon Wireless Plan?

    No, only eligible lines on your Verizon Wireless plan can be added as child lines to your Verizon Smart Family account.

  9. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.
    iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the US and other countries and is used under license.
    Apple, iPhone and iMessage are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

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