Bemilo phone network lets you read your kids' texts

Bemilo is a phone network designed to keep your children safe when they use their phone.

It's 10am -- do you know where your children are? Bemilo is a new phone network designed to keep your children safe when they use their phone.

Bemilo sets out to combat bullying and inappropriate behaviour targeting kids by giving parents more control over their littl'uns' phones.

A Bemilo SIM card pops into most phones and allows parents and guardians to read texts through an online interface, to see if kids are receiving abusive or inappropriate messages. Parents can block selected numbers, and set the time kids can browse the web.

Parents are in charge of pay as you go spending too. In case of emergency, a Bemilo phone can ring parents even when out of credit.

Because it's a SIM card rather than an app, Bemilo is always on and crafty kids can't get around it. Its also available to feature phones that don't support apps, and isn't confined to any one app platform.

As yet, Bemilo doesn't work on BlackBerry phones, which means it's no good for the large population of teens hooked on free chat app BlackBerry Messenger. The network is planning to launch on BlackBerry by autumn.

The Bemilo package costs £4 per month on a month-to-month basis or £3 if you sign up for a year. Calls, texts and data are bought separately, costing 10p for a minute of calling or a text message and 25p for 1MB of data.

Is Bemilo a good idea? If you have kids, how do you keep them safe online? If you're a teenager, would you like your parents reading your texts? Share your familial musings in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Update: In October 2012, the Advertising Standards Agency upheld complaints that some of the figures quoted by Bemilo in its advertising could not be substantiated, including claims that one in 10 kids have received bullying calls or texts. We have amended this article to remove figures quoted by Bemilo.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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