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ParentShield becomes the first Mobile Network to offer automatic "Number Neighbour" blocking

The Dangers of Number Neighbour Texting

The Dangers of Number Neighbour Texting

ParentShield Child-Safe Network

ParentShield Child-Safe Network

Texting your 'number neighbour' may seem a harmless activity but when the phone is in the hands of a young child, the results can be dangerous and unpredictable

These things have innocent intentions, but unfortunately, it’s a vector for less benign conversations leading to to children becoming stressed or upset, and may not tell parents what has happened.”
— Paul Stevenson

DERBY, DERBYSHIRE, UK, November 15, 2021 / -- "Hello Number Neighbour" is a recurring Internet meme and "Challenge" that pops up every few years on Social Media. It invites phone users to text or call numbers either side of their own with witty comments with a view to posting the resulting conversation online. And with each Christmas bringing a flood of new first mobile phones to children it's something parents need to be aware of before it happens to their child.

A Number Neighbour is someone who shares an adjacent or close mobile number to yours. So if your phone number ends with 786, your number neighbours have the same number ending in 787 or 785. Sometimes it’s referred to as a “text-door neighbour” or "neighbour number".

In adult hands it's quite likely that such an activity would be understood and brushed off as harmless, and an activity that is little more than a 'bit of fun'. Unfortunately, in modern times with the average child now getting their first mobile phone at around 8 or 9 years of age, such a conversation - either started by the child, or received by the child - is quite likely to cause confusion or distress. In some cases the conversation may roll into a longer-term event with very unpredictable or undesirable consequences.

ParentShield - the only mobile network that is designed to be totally safe for use by Children of any age - introduces "Block Number Neighbours", a function that can be turned on by Parents in their powerful ParentShield Portal, and instantly blocks ALL communication - that's Calls and Texts, from a range of numbers either side or similar to their child's number. Any attempt to text or be texted by any of these numbers will fail - and the attempted text message will instantly be available for review by the parent, so they can have a timely and appropriate conversation with the child about their phone usage.

Conversations that 'turn bad' can become very stressful for young children and may cause them to become secretive about their phone usage in the fear that parents might confiscate their phone. Such secrecy is harmful as it removes the ability to have timely and appropriate conversations with the child about their interactions with others.

Calls are also completely impossible to or from the number neighbour list as well. it's instant and can be effected without any apps being installed on the phone, and without the need to touch the child's phone. The blocking list is generated automatically by ParentShield's technology but can be edited should a sibling or friend happen to have a number that is numerically similar to that of their child.

Number Neighbour blocking is just one of the many features that ParentShield adds to their unique all-network MVNO service to make the service the only one that is completely safe for children. In its most restrictive mode, the child's phone is only able to communicate with Parents' phones, and time and caller restrictions can be relaxed as the child grows in confidence and responsibility up to the point where it behaves exactly as any 'adult' network, but still maintaining monitoring and control capabilities by parents.

The 'hands-off' approach to controlling a child's phone that the ParentShield Portal provides is particularly appreciated by the Network's customers as it removes the common stress-point of having to take the phone off the child to make changes or modifications. Being network-side controls everything is done remotely and securely and will work as well on a basic feature phone as it will on a smartphone.

About ParentShield

ParentShield is the UK’s only Mobile Network designed specifically with children in mind, incorporating a wide range of tools - from call recording to keyword alerts - that allow parents to oversee their child’s phone usage without invading their privacy. It can work with any unlocked feature-phone, smartphone or smartwatch and does not require any app or parental controls to be set on the device. Its features are handled remotely, allowing for optimal convenience while kids retain their independence. The SIMs work across the UK and beyond.

Being a SIM-based network-side service, parents can provide ANY unlocked phone to their child and give them a totally normal mobile phone experience without the stigma of being a locked or crippled "parental control" phone that you wouldn't want to show your friends in the playground.

Graham Tyers
Engine Mobile Ltd.
+44 1283 707051