Safe Virtual Neighborhood Frequently Asked Questions

How do I upgrade to the new version?
That’s easy!  If you have the original SVN App for iOS, just update your app like you do your other apps. Then use your existing family login and password.

For Android, download the new OffenderWatch App on the parent and child devices.  Use your same family login and password.  

What is included in the new Free SVN App?

Find Sex Offenders Near Me

Quickly pinpoint residences of sex offenders currently registered with local law enforcement. Click on the pin to see a photo and details about the offender. Keep aware of offenders near you and use this information to talk to your child about staying away from that location.

Find My Family

It is often difficult to keep track of your child on a bicycle, walking home from school, or visiting grandma. By monitoring your child’s phone, you can track their location as they move about the neighborhood.

Find Sex Offenders Near My Family

Your child is planning to visit a friend in another town or go trick-or-treating with friends in another neighborhood. Now you can track the location of your child, and the location of the residences of registered sex offenders around them.

Get Alerts from the Sheriff

Parents receive an email alert should a registered sex offender move to a residence nearby. Parents also receive safety advisories and information directly from local law enforcement.

Get Help or Contact the Sheriff’s Office

  • Learn how to speak to your child about sex offenders
  • Get online safety tips
  • Contact local law enforcement or quickly dial 911
What is included with a Protect Plus Subscription?

By adding a family annual subscription, OffenderWatch Safe Virtual Neighborhood will alert parents if a registered sex offender contacts your child by email, text message, phone call or if your child lingers near a registered offender’s residence.

 

Monitor My Child’s Activity

  • Parents can see the numbers of text messages, emails, and calls each month for each child

Alert if My Child is Contacted by a Known Sex Offender

 

  • Parents are immediately alerted by a contact by a registered sex offender
  • Parents receive a text message and/or email with information about the contact and suggestions on what to do

Alert if My Child Lingers Near a Registered Sex Offender’s Home

  • Track each child’s location on a map
  • Get an alert should your child linger near a registered offender’s address
How does Safe Virtual Neighborhood Work?
Safe Virtual Neighborhood (SVN) is an application that resides on your child’s iPhone or Android smartphone. With a Protect Plus subscription, SVN compares the information from people calling, emailing or sending messages to your child’s device against law enforcement databases of sex offender information. We will alert you if a registered sex offender contacts your child using their registered phone, text, or email. SVN can also monitor your child’s location and notify you if the device is within close proximity of a sex offender’s home address.
How is SVN different from other parental control applications?
SVN is the only app that alerts parents if a known sex offender has contacted their child.  Information on registered sex offenders’ internet and phone accounts is not generally available. SVN is currently the only application using the most up-to-date offender information, which is provided directly by law enforcement. 
Will my child be safe after I start using Safe Virtual Neighborhood?
No application can guarantee that your child will never receive any unwanted communications. However, your child will certainly be safer using SVN since the app monitors communications from people who are known to prey on children.

The sex offender data is not always collected accurately through law enforcement, and offenders who want to hide their identity can often do so. But we think it’s better to have some safety against known offenders than none.

There is more you can do.  Follow these Online Safety Tips.

What do if I forgot my family password?

The easiest way is to open the app and click forgot password on login screen. Now enter your e-mail address and click reset. You will be sent an e-mail with further instructions.

How do change my password?

If you are logged in, click on the setting gear at bottom right of the screen.  Click on reset password.  Enter your current password.  Then enter your new password twice.

How do I update my home address?

Click on the profile at the bottom right corner of the screen.   In the profile, click Edit, then enter your new address.

How do I update the phone number for the parent account?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   In the profile, click Edit, then enter your new phone number.

How do I refer a friend?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   On the profile page, click Refer a friend. Your default email will open.  Enter the email address of your friend and press send.

How do I change my parent email?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   Click on manage notifications. Then choose the name of the recipient you would like to change and update their email.

How do I change my parent email?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   Click on manage notifications. Then choose the name of the recipient you would like to change and update their email.

How do I change my child’s email?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   Click on the child’s name, then on the Child profile page you can add and remove emails.

How do I add another parent?

Click on profile at the bottom right of the screen.   Click on manage notifications.  Now you can add or remove parents.

What offender data is used by the app?

The OffenderWatch App uses data provided by law enforcement agencies who have elected to participate in the Safe Virtual Neighborhood program as well as data from other public sex offender registry sources. The offender data includes offender address as well as phone numbers, email, and other internet identifiers when available.

How do I get refund?

Did we disappoint you?  Please e-mail us at support@offenderwatch.com for assistance.

How do I block a phone number from future calls or text messages?
To block a phone number from calling your child in the future, you will need to access the child’s phone, find the phone number in the recent call history, and then access the information on that number. One of the options when you tap the info button will be a choice to “block this caller.”
How do I block emails from a specific address?
Log on to your child’s email account and scroll down to the unwanted email. Most email applications will have an option to “block sender.”
Can I block a Snapchat sender?
Open Snapchat on your child’s device (the yellow icon with a ghost logo in it). Swipe down anywhere on the screen. Doing so will open your child’s account profile. Tap “My Friends.” It’s near the bottom of the screen. Select a friend to block. Do so by tapping on their name and holding briefly. Tap ⚙️. It’s in the upper-right corner of the dialog box. Tap “Block.”

If the unwanted chat is not from a friend, then tap the “Chat” bubble and find the unwanted person from the list of people that appears by tapping on their name and holding down briefly. Tap ⚙️. It’s in the upper-right corner of the dialog box. Tap “Block.”

How do I set location services on?
It’s very important to leave location services “on” for your child’s phone so SVN can monitor and send you notifications if your child is near a sex offender’s residence. If location services are turned off, you will receive a notification advising you that this feature won’t work.

To turn these services on:

For iPhone Devices:
1. Open the Settings App
2. Scroll down to Safe Virtual Neighborhood
3. Set Location” to be on “Always.”

For Android Devices:
1. Open your device’s Settings app.
2. Select Apps.
3. Select the Safe Virtual Neighborhood App
4. In App Info, Click on Permission
5. Turn on Call Logs, Contacts, Location, Phone, SMS, and Storage.  

Why would I ignore an offender contact?
Sometimes sex offenders are known to you or your children. They may even be relatives. If you feel that contact with these offenders is not a danger to your child, you can mark a phone number, email, or location as OK so that it is ignored for future alerts. To do this, tap or click the “Ignore This Offender” button next to the alert about that offender. You may want to choose this option so that you’re not constantly alerted about offenders you feel present no risk.
What happens when I contact local law enforcement?
If your child receives a threatening or soliciting message from a registered sex offender, or you suspect criminal behavior, save the texts and images, then contact your local law enforcement office listed in the app or dial 911.

Please note that the sex offender may not be in your local sheriff or police department’s jurisdiction—but they will know how to contact other agencies to get information about the offender. The process may take some time. Be patient. Carefully monitor your child’s communications and talk to him or her about safety with strangers or and to avoid this particular person.

If you have other questions or need help you can always Contact SVN Support and we will respond.

What if my child keeps turning off location services or otherwise disables the application?
If your child turns off location monitoring or disables / deletes the SVN application, you will receive a warning alert. You should take action when you receive this warning. Sometimes children will try to hide information about who they are communicating with online. Explain to your child that Safe Virtual Neighborhood is a tool to help protect them from bad people online. If you receive a notification that the app’s location has been turn off or if it has been deleted, ask your child if they have been tampering with the app. If you think it’s an SVN technical problem and need further help, Contact Us.

 

Does Law Enforcement see my child’s data?
No, Law Enforcement does not have access to any of your child’s data unless you authorize it. SVN does log certain data related to sex offender contacts and alerts in order to support any subsequent investigation. However, the data is held private and is not shared unless you authorize it.
Can I still use other parental control programs along with Safe Virtual Neighborhood?
Yes, SVN should not interfere with any other parental monitoring products. SVN does not monitor all activity on your child’s devices, and some unwanted activity may come from predators who are not registered sex offenders.

However, one of the best safeguards against online predators is talking to your children about what is right and wrong when chatting online.

What do I do if an offender contacts my child?
If you suspect something is wrong, or you receive an alert that an offender has contacted your child, first talk to your child. Ask if he/she knows the person. If not, or if the communication is concerning, save any texts or images, then contact your local law enforcement listed in the app or dial 911.
Where can I read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use?
Your privacy and safety is important to us.  You can read the privacy policy here.

Privacy Policy

You can get all the legal details here in the Terms of Use.

Terms of Use

Contact Law Enforcement

If a sex offender has contacted your child and you are concerned about the communication, contact your local police or sheriff department listed in the app. Explain that a registered sex offender has contacted your child and request to be connected to the agency in charge of managing the local sex offender registry.

If you suspect abuse, immediately contact local law enforcement office listed in the app or dial 911 or contact the CyberTipline 1-800-THE LOST.

Contact Safe Virtual Neighborhood

Send us a message, and we’ll get back to you shortly.