As a parent, keeping your child safe online is one of your top priorities. You want to protect them from adult content, cyberbullying, predators, and other digital dangers. At the same time, you don’t want to invade their privacy or limit their access to the internet’s many educational resources.
Sprint offers a set of built-in parental controls that can help parents strike the right balance. With Sprint parental controls, you can filter web content, limit screen time, block apps and features, and monitor your child’s location from your own device.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about setting up and using Sprint parental controls.
An Overview of Sprint Parental Controls
Sprint parental controls give parents the ability to:
- Filter inappropriate websites and content
- Set time limits for phone/app usage
- Block specific apps or features like social media, camera, etc.
- Monitor your child’s location via GPS
- Limit in-app/game purchases
- Block incoming calls and texts from certain numbers
- Remotely lock your child’s phone
The controls are configured through the My Sprint Mobile app on the parent’s device. Once set up, restrictions apply to your child’s phone directly.
Sprint parental controls work on Android and iOS smartphones including iPhones. The capabilities are similar across platforms, though iOS restrictions tend to be a bit more limited.
- Comes built-in with your Sprint account at no extra cost
- Can be customized for each child’s device
- Accessible anytime from the parent’s phone
- Lets kids safely use phones with parental guardrails
Setting Up Sprint Parental Controls
Setting up the Sprint parental controls only takes a few minutes. Follow these steps:
1. Download the My Sprint Mobile app
2. Log in to your Sprint account
Open the My Sprint Mobile app and log in using your Sprint username and password.
3. Select your child’s line
From the menu, choose your child’s phone line that you want to manage. You can set different restrictions for each child on your Sprint family plan.
4. Tap “Manage device”
Go into the device management screen for your child’s line. Tap “Manage device” to bring up the parental control options.
5. Configure the restrictions
Scroll down and tap on each parental control category to open the settings. Choose the restrictions you want to set up for your child. More details on customizing the controls below.
6. Save your settings
Make sure to tap “Save” in each section to apply the restrictions to your child’s device. The limits will now be active!
And that’s it! The restrictions will apply to your child’s device immediately after saving the settings in the My Sprint Mobile app.
Customizing the Sprint Parental Controls
Sprint gives you granular control to tailor the parental restrictions to each child’s needs:
- Block mature websites: Prevent access to adult content across the web.
- Set content ratings: Restrict websites/apps by age rating like TV & movie classifications.
- Daily time limits: Limit overall phone use per day.
- Schedules: Set time windows when phone is usable, like 8am to 8pm.
- Block app categories: Disallow games, social media, etc.
- Block specific apps: Select individual apps like Snapchat or Instagram to block.
- Turn on location sharing: See your child’s location on a live map.
- Location alerts: Get notifications when your child leaves or enters specific areas.
Blocking Calls & Texts
- Blocked numbers: Prevent incoming calls/texts from specific numbers.
- Block all texts: Completely disable text messaging.
- Block all calls: Disable calling capabilities.
- Disable camera: Prevent use of camera app.
- In-app purchases: Block spending money within apps.
- Explicit music & media: Limit song/video content ratings.
- Disable voice assistants: Block Siri, Alexa, etc.
Spend some time customizing the configurations for your child. You can always open the My Sprint Mobile app and modify the restrictions as needed.
Using the Real-Time Location Tracking
One of the most useful Sprint parental control features is real-time location tracking. As a parent, it brings peace of mind to know where your kids are throughout the day.
Here’s an overview of using Sprint location tracking:
Turn on location access
First, make sure location sharing is enabled in the parental control settings. This allows Sprint to access the device location.
View locations on the map
Open the My Sprint Mobile app, select your child’s line, and tap “Map view”. This shows your child’s current location on an interactive map.
Set up geofencing alerts
Create geofences for key locations like “School” or “Home”. If your child enters or leaves the geofenced area, you’ll receive a notification.
Check location history
Sprint stores your child’s location history for the past 30 days. Check where they’ve been over time.
See all family members on one map to easily locate your kids.
Location tracking does use a small amount of battery life. Keep phone charged regularly.
With real-time GPS tracking, you’ll have greater visibility into your child’s daily activities and whereabouts when they leave the house.
Is Sprint Planning Additional Parental Controls?
Sprint is continually updating and enhancing its parental control capabilities over time. Some features planned for future release include:
- App blocking schedules – Set certain times when apps are not allowed.
- School mode – Limit phone functions during school hours.
- Drive mode – Prevent phone use when driving over 10mph.
- Additional real-time alerts – Get notifications for suspicious texts or unsafe web searches.
- Expanded device compatibility – More controls across tablets, laptops, and wearables.
- Usage analytics – See insights into how your child is spending time on their phone.
- Remote device locking – Temporarily lock phone if lost.
These upcoming capabilities will provide parents with even tighter oversight and management of their child’s mobile usage and experience.
How Sprint Compares to Third-Party Parental Control Apps
While Sprint’s built-in parental controls offer robust filtering, monitoring and time management, there are also many great third party apps that can complement the native controls with more advanced capabilities.
Some top options to pair with Sprint include:
- Qustodio – Leading parental control app with powerful time/app limits, location tracking, web filtering, and more.
- Norton Family Premier – Provides robust monitoring of texts & social media activities across kid’s devices.
- Bark – Uses AI to detect signs of cyberbullying, depression, threats across texts, emails, YouTube, and 30+ platforms.
- FamiSafe – Monitors calls, texts, social media, browsing history and location on kid’s phone. Blocks inappropriate apps and sites.
Third party apps tend to offer more detailed reporting and analysis of your child’s digital usage and parental alert options. Many also support additional platforms beyond just the child’s phone.
The tradeoff is you need to pay a monthly subscription fee for these apps versus Sprint controls which are free for Sprint customers.
Evaluating your priorities for keeping your kids safe online and how much insight into their activities you need can help determine if a third-party service is worth the added cost on top of Sprint’s offerings.
Tips for Using Sprint Parental Controls Effectively
Here are some top tips to ensure you implement Sprint parental controls effectively and responsibly:
- Have an open conversation with your child explaining why you are setting restrictions and monitoring their activities. Foster trust.
- Start with lighter restrictions at first and increase filtering or time limits if issues arise. Avoid being too restrictive out of the gate.
- Pick your battles carefully. Block only the most high-risk apps and sites to avoid going overboard.
- Use location tracking and other visibility tools ethically with your child’s knowledge and in moderation. Avoid spying.
- Loosen restrictions gradually over time as your child proves they are responsible and mature enough to handle more digital freedom.
- Pair Sprint controls with active parenting by maintaining an interest in your child’s online activities and who they interact with.
- Be aware that very tech-savvy kids can sometimes find ways to circumvent parental controls. Supplement with open conversation.
- Make sure you abide by the restrictions you set for your kids to model responsible device usage.
Troubleshooting Common Sprint Parental Control Issues
As with any technology solution, you might run into occasional glitches with Sprint parental controls. Here are fixes for the most common problems:
Controls not turning on:
- Check that you properly saved restrictions after configuring them in the app.
- Make sure the My Sprint Mobile app is updated to the latest version.
- Try restarting your child’s phone.
- Verify the phone software is updated.
- Contact Sprint support if still not working.
Child circumventing restrictions:
- Some clever kids can find ways around parental controls, like using a VPN. Be aware.
- Strengthen the app/website filters to close loopholes.
- Talk to your child and reinforce the importance of the rules.
- Supplement with third-party parental control tools like Qustodio or FamiSafe.
Location not working:
- Make sure location access is enabled for the My Sprint app in your phone settings.
- Check GPS and wireless network connections.
- Test location with another app like Google Maps to ensure it’s a device issue vs Sprint problem.
- Restart the phone and Sprint app.
Time limits getting disabled:
- Time limit settings can be turned off if your child uninstalls app updates for the My Sprint Mobile app.
- Set a PIN code within the Sprint parental controls that is needed to change configurations.
- Re-install the latest app update after ensuring your child does not have access to your device’s app store/updates.
To wrap up, here are the key points to remember about Sprint parental controls:
- Sprint parental controls give parents free access to robust web, content, and time filtering for their kid’s mobile usage.
- Restrictions like app blocking, location tracking, and blocking texts/calls can be customized for each child.
- Settings are configured through the My Sprint Mobile app and apply directly to the child’s smartphone.
- Advanced protections like geofencing alerts and real-time location tracking provide greater visibility into a child’s activities.
- Sprint parental controls integrate seamlessly with your Sprint service and require no separate subscriptions.
- Third party parental control apps can provide additional monitoring capabilities beyond Sprint’s offerings.
- Finding the right balance between protection and freedom and setting clear expectations with your child is key to success.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sprint Parental Controls
Here are answers to some common questions for parents about Sprint parental controls:
What phones are compatible with Sprint parental controls?
Sprint parental controls work on all Android smartphones and iPhones. Basic restrictions are also available for some tablets.
What happens if my child uninstalls the My Sprint Mobile app?
The parental control restrictions are applied directly to your child’s Sprint phone line itself. Uninstalling the app does not remove the limits.
Can I temporarily disable the controls for a short time?
Yes, you can quickly turn off the restrictions through the My Sprint Mobile app if you want to disable them for a period.
Do the controls work when my child is on Wi-Fi?
Yes, all restrictions including web filtering continue to work even when your child’s phone is connected to Wi-Fi.
What content filters are available?
Sprint allows you to block mature websites. You can also restrict content by ratings like TV show & movie ratings.
Can Sprint monitor social media activity?
What devices can I use to manage the parental controls?
The My Sprint Mobile app is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices so you can manage the restrictions from your smartphone.
Do the controls work outside the U.S.?
If your child is on an international Sprint plan, the parental controls will function globally and restrict data/calling based on the plan. Web filtering capabilities are limited when traveling internationally.
Sprint provides a free and effective set of parental controls directly integrated with your mobile plan. The available restrictions on content, apps, location and phone usage empower parents to oversee their child’s digital activities.
Combining Sprint parental controls with open conversations, trust-building and involvement in your kid’s online world is key. Look to third party apps to augment Sprint’s offerings when you need deeper insights and analysis around potentially risky behaviors.
With the right balance of protection settings and an understanding approach, Sprint parental controls help facilitate smartphone use that keeps your child safe, responsible and knowledgeable as they grow.