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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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|
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.
When a number contacts a ParentShield subscriber for the first time, they receive an announcement before the call is connected. The announcement briefly explains the service and where to find the website. The announcement won't be played to numbers that are specified as Home Numbers or in the SAFE list.
All Data is hosted securely encrypted in the UK
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.