Mobiflock, the mobile safety and security company, announced the commercial launch of its parental control service for smartphones and tablets. In addition, Mobiflock released a raft of new features and services for its customers:
web blocking on Android smartphones and tablets
application blocking on Android smartphones and tablets
parental control services for BlackBerrys
the parental control service has been rebranded Mobiflock My Child
a new free service, Mobiflock My Life, allows anyone to block unwanted callers, track phone use and find or disable a lost or stolen phone
With growing numbers of children owning or having access to smartphones and tablets, it is becoming increasingly important that parents both understand their children's online lifestyles and protect them from danger, in the same way they do on their computers. According to Pew Internet, 23% of 12 to 17-year-olds have a smartphone and of these, 92% had gone online in the last month and 91% use social networking sites. However, according to a YouGov survey carried out for Carphone Warehouse, only 13% of children have security settings installed on their smartphones. What's more, the study revealed that a third of 14-15 year olds (and 21% of children overall) have accessed inappropriate websites via their mobile phones.
As well as accessing adult and inappropriate content, other dangers include cyberbullying – according to the Anti-Bullying Alliance, up to 40% of children have been bullied online; sexting; giving away personal information; staying up too late using their smartphone; and losing an expensive phone containing private information.
The parental control service, Mobiflock My Child, also gives parents visibility over their child's mobile device use as well as the ability to protect them from harm, either through discussing potentially dangerous activity with their child or by blocking certain contacts, content and activities. Parents can also limit phone use via a timetable, locate the child or phone if they go missing, and block or delete a stolen phone. A web dashboard allows parents to manage all the phones they are protecting with Mobiflock. Mobiflock's services work across all networks, as well as both wifi and mobile data connections.
“It's no longer a case of 'if' my child gets a smartphone, but rather 'when',” said Patrick Lawson, Mobiflock founder. “And the benefits these devices give our children are huge. But, no matter how tech-savvy kids appear, they are still children and need both guidance and protection from their parents and guardians. We've carefully built Mobiflock My Child to allow parents to choose the most appropriate restrictions for each of their children and given them the ability to relax these as the child matures. We've also made sure we haven't removed all the fun from having a smartphone!”
Mobiflock My Child and Mobiflock My Life can be installed by downloading the Mobiflock application from the Android, BlackBerry and Nokia app stores. Unlike most mobile apps, the parent interacts with the service via a web dashboard, which is set up and configured via www.mobiflock.com. The parental control service, Mobiflock My Child, costs $25 per device per year, and includes a 30-day free trial per device. Mobiflock My Life is free.
- 27% of children have received unwanted calls or messages on their phones
- 18% of children have had to tell adults about unwanted calls or messages to their mobile phone, peaking at 25% of 12 year olds
- 36% of children keep their mobile phone switched on at all times
- 32% of children keep their phones switched on at night-time
- 18% of children keep their phone on at school
- 47% of children always carry their mobile phones with them wherever they go
Source: Carphone Warehouse/YouGov 2012
About Mobiflock Mobiflock, www.mobiflock.com, based in London and Cape Town, was founded in 2011 by a team of mobile entrepreneurs who wanted to make the mobile world a safer, more secure and more manageable place for businesses, children and individuals. Its services include Mobiflock My Child, a parental control service for smartphones and tablets; and Mobiflock My Life, a free smartphone management and location service. Coming soon are Mobiflock My Business, enabling companies to safely manage mobile devices in the workplace; and a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow other developers to benefit from Mobiflock's safety and security services. Mobiflock was named one of GigaOM's top 10 mobile startups to watch in 2011, took first place in Jason Calacanis' This Week in Startups show and was a finalist in the 2011 Tech4Africa Samsung IGNITE competition. Mobiflock My Child is being used around the world by parents keeping their kids safe on their smartphones and tablets.