As a parent in the digital age, keeping your kids safe online is a top concern. You want to protect them from inappropriate content and limit their screen time. But you also want to respect their privacy and allow them to explore technology. Finding the right balance isn’t always easy.
That’s where parental control apps like AT&T Secure Family come in handy. These tools allow you to monitor your child’s device usage and set boundaries, while still giving them some freedom.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about AT&T Secure Family parental controls.
By the end, you’ll understand exactly how AT&T Secure Family works and whether it’s the right pick for your family. Let’s get started!
Why Use Parental Control Apps?
Before jumping into AT&T Secure Family specifics, let’s review the overall benefits of using parental control apps:
Limit Access to Inappropriate Content
Parental controls allow you to block inappropriate websites and content based on age. This includes things like pornography, violence, gambling sites, and more. Filters ensure your child avoids content that could negatively impact them.
Monitor Screen Time Usage
Most parental control apps allow you to view your child’s screen time usage across devices and set daily limits. This ensures a healthy balance between technology, schoolwork, and other activities.
Track Location Remotely
Location tracking gives you peace of mind by allowing you to check your child’s location at any time via a map in the app. Useful for monitoring whereabouts after school.
Manage Apps and Online Activity
Advanced controls in some apps let you restrict app usage, view web history, and even monitor texts and social media (with consent). This gives greater oversight into their online behaviors.
Set Study and Sleep Schedules
Parental controls allow you to set “Off Hours” for bedtime and study time by limiting access to apps and websites during those hours. Helpful for managing sleep and focus.
Works Across All Devices
Most parental control apps today work across smartphones, tablets, computers, and other connected devices for comprehensive monitoring.
Now let’s see how AT&T Secure Family delivers on these benefits.
Introducing AT&T Secure Family Parental Controls
AT&T Secure Family is AT&T’s built-in parental control app for wireless customers included with Mobile Share plans. It’s designed to help protect kids on up to 10 devices.
Here are the key things AT&T Secure Family allows you to do:
- Track real-time location of child’s device
- View location history
- Set up “Places” like school and home for arrival/departure alerts
- Establish usage limits and filter content based on age
- Pause internet access on demand
- Block apps and lock device screen time
- Receive tampering alerts if the app is removed
In short, it provides extensive monitoring and time management capabilities for multiple devices.
There are free and paid versions:
- AT&T Secure Family Basic: Free for AT&T postpaid wireless customers, but limited to basic features like location tracking and alerts.
- AT&T Secure Family Plus: Full-featured paid version with content filters, time limits, app blocking, and more. $7.99/month per line. 30-day free trial available.
Next, we’ll walk through exactly how to set up Secure Family on your and your child’s device.
Step-by-Step Setup of AT&T Secure Family
Setting up AT&T Secure Family is simple and straightforward. Just follow these steps:
1. Install the Secure Family App
2. Create Your Account
Open the app and sign up for a new AT&T user account if you don’t already have one. This will be the “administrator” account to manage your family.
3. Invite Family Members
From the app, click “Add Family Member” and send an invitation to your child’s smartphone via text or email.
4. Have Them Download the Companion App
Your child will receive a link to download the Secure Family Companion app. Have them install this on their device.
5. Link Devices
On your end, you’ll receive a notification that your child joined Secure Family. Their device is now linked!
6. Adjust Parental Controls
Dive into the app’s settings to enable features like location tracking, content filters, app limits, and more based on your child’s needs.
And that’s it! The setup takes about 5-10 minutes total. You’ll immediately have visibility into their location and can start managing their device time.
Now let’s explore some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using AT&T Secure Family.
AT&T Secure Family Pros and Cons
AT&T Secure Family delivers robust parental controls, but how does it stack up versus third-party apps? Here are some pros and cons:
- Included free for AT&T customers
- Real-time location tracking
- Customizable content filters
- Ability to pause internet
- Tamper protection
- Works across devices
- Can’t monitor calls or texts
- No social media monitoring
- Limited to AT&T customers
- Can’t reward good behavior
Overall, Secure Family provides a cost-effective solution focused on location monitoring and time management. But it lacks capabilities like social media oversight that standalone parental control apps offer.
You’ll need to decide what’s most important for your family. Many parents use Secure Family for location tracking and basic time limits, then supplement with a secondary app for deeper monitoring if needed.
Next, let’s address some frequently asked questions about AT&T Secure Family.
FAQs About AT&T Secure Family
Here are answers to some common questions about using AT&T Secure Family:
Does it work on phones besides AT&T?
No, AT&T Secure Family only works on AT&T wireless networks. For non-AT&T devices, third-party parental control apps are a better choice.
Can my child remove the app?
They can’t fully delete it, but on Android they can disable the companion app. You’ll then receive a tampering alert. On iOS, deletion is blocked.
Are there ways for my child to bypass the controls?
Like any parental control app, a tech-savvy child could find ways to work around it. But Secure Family’s tamper alerts let you know if they try.
Can I read my child’s text messages?
No, AT&T Secure Family does not let parents view texts, calls, emails or social media content on their child’s device.
Does location tracking work if the phone is off?
No, the phone needs to be powered on and connected to cellular data or WiFi for location monitoring to work.
Is there a one-time purchase option?
No, AT&T Secure Family requires an ongoing $9.99/month subscription after the 30-day trial. There is no lifetime purchase option.
Can I manage game and app usage?
Yes, you can block app downloads and limit screen time on demand. But you can’t view daily usage reports per app.
Hopefully these FAQs have helped clarify how AT&T Secure Family works and what it can and can’t do. Next, let’s explore a few alternative parental control apps to consider.
Top Alternative Parental Control Apps
While AT&T Secure Family is a great integrated option for AT&T families, these alternative parental control apps are worth considering:
- Robust web filtering and social media monitoring
- Daily app usage reports
- Custom device schedules and time limits
- Location history tracking
- Family communication tools
- Free and premium options available
- AI scans texts, emails, YouTube for concerning content
- Alerts for cyberbullying, depression, online predators
- Web filter blocks millions of sites
- $9/month for comprehensive monitoring
- Real-time location tracking
- Screen time limits and schedules
- Suspicious photo detection
- Monitor app usage and block apps
- Web filtering and search history
- Parent-child communication features
- Free and premium plans available
- Real-time GPS tracking
- Geofences and location alerts
- Listen to surroundings with child consent
- Track messages in approved messenger apps
- Monitor calls and browsing history
- AI alerts for cyberbullying and depression
- Free and premium plans available
Each family’s needs are different. Evaluate your priorities around time management, content controls, and visibility into activities.
Apps like Qustodio offer maximum oversight with expansive monitoring tools. Others like Bark focus specifically on AI-driven alerts for concerning behaviors. Figure out what’s right for your child’s age and maturity level.
Here are the core things to understand about AT&T Secure Family parental controls:
- It provides robust location tracking and time management for AT&T mobile customers
- Easy to set up and manage filters, limits, pauses, and alerts
- Solid basic features, but lacks social media and text monitoring
- Free for AT&T users, or $9.99/month paid for full version
- Alternative parental control apps have additional capabilities like usage reports, rewards systems, etc.
- Evaluate your family’s needs and child’s age to choose the best fit
- Can use Secure Family for basic controls and supplement with other app features
The goal is finding the right balance of protection for your child while respecting their growing independence. AT&T Secure Family offers an integrated solution for AT&T families looking for core time and location monitoring.
Now You Can Confidently Monitor Your Child’s Safety
I hope this guide has helped explain how you can leverage AT&T Secure Family and other parental control apps to oversee your child’s digital behaviors and safety.
While technology can seem daunting, arming yourself with the right tools makes all the difference. With greater visibility into their location, activities, and screen time, you can feel at ease while allowing them to benefit from today’s digital world.
Here are a few parting tips:
- Have open conversations with your child about online safety and ground rules
- Start with more controls early on, then look to loosen up over time as they prove responsible
- Don’t rely solely on technology – combine with in-person talks and family time away from devices
- Learn about the latest apps and digital trends so you can guide them effectively
Stay vigilant, but avoid overreacting. With knowledge and compassion, parents can help children become responsible digital citizens. Here’s to a safer, yet rewarding online experience for your family!