LONDON, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Mobiflock, the mobile safety and security company, has made its parental control service available for mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and other service providers to incorporate into their product suites to enable the protection of children online.
Mobile network operators and other Internet service providers are increasingly coming under pressure to empower parents to protect their children online. Some early methods have been problematic and clearly indicate that Mobiflock’s application — which puts the control firmly in the hands of the parents, and gives them maximum flexibility over how they protect their children — is the best way forward.
All too often parental control services are rudimentary on-off switches. What’s more, network-based services allow parents to control what comes into their own home, but as soon as their child moves onto a mobile Internet connection or another Wi-Fi access point, they are unprotected again.
In addition, when it comes to mobile devices, accessing adult and other inappropriate content is only one of parents’ concerns. Unprotected smartphones and tablets leave kids open to other threats, including: the creation and sharing of inappropriate or illegal content, including sexting; bullying; sexual grooming via direct communication; the time spent online; Internet-enabled applications; and easily racking up large bills through in-app purchases, subscription services and m-commerce.
“Around the world, there is a growing tide of sentiment around the protection of children from harm on the Internet,” said Patrick Lawson, Mobiflock founder and CEO. “How parents, service providers, regulators and governments do this is going to have a far-reaching impact on the evolution of the Internet, the free flow of information around the world, and civil liberties for years to come.
“We believe that ultimate responsibility must rest with parents and that they must be able to choose what level of protection is appropriate for their children. This will change as the child gets older and parents should aim to raise savvy young adults who can deal with online threats themselves. As an industry, however, we need to provide the tools to do this to both parents and children.”
Mobiflock works via a small app downloaded onto the child’s smartphone or tablet. The parent then monitors the device use, sets security levels and receives alerts via an online dashboard.
The Mobiflock platform is fully skinnable in a service provider’s branding, can be integrated with operator billing systems, offers multiple language support, is network-agnostic and includes dedicated service provider dashboards and reports.
- 87% of children don’t have security settings installed on their smartphones
- a third of 14-15 year olds (and 21% of children overall) have accessed inappropriate websites via their mobile phones
- 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
Mobiflock, http://www.mobiflock.com, based in London and Cape Town, was founded in 2011 by a team of mobile experts 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.
The team cut their mobile teeth at Clickatell, the Silicon Valley-based global mobile messaging company, and is well-versed in building and supporting high-transaction global mobile platforms and providing services to the telecoms industry. 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.
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