Verb Innovations launches My Mobile Watchdog™ software in South Africa – Cellphone Parental Control software to protect young children. My Mobile Watchdog is aimed at concerned parents of children between the ages of 6 and 14 who make use of cellphones.
The growing number of young children involved in practices of “sexting” and “cyber bullying” is alarming, as well as the use of social media applications by sexual predators to make contact with our children online has drastically amplified the need to monitor our children’s cellphone communications. Parents currently control what their children can view on satellite television and the internet accessed via the home PC, however until now there has been no effective way to monitor the “mobile generation’s” first choice of cyber communication.
My Mobile Watchdog will be able to monitor incoming and outgoing:
1. SMS (Enables parents to view the sms message and the number.)
2. MMS (Enables parents to view the picture, read the message and number.)
3. Phone Calls (Enables parents to view the call duration and number.)
4. Emails (Enables parents to view sent and received emails.)
My Mobile Watchdog will enable parents to block applications (social networking sites) as well as block the web. Parents can choose to be notified via text message or email for all suspicious activities on their child’s phone. In addition My Mobile Watchdog is able to coordinate a child’s cellphone calendar allowing a parent to remotely notify them about changes in afternoon activities or pick-up arrangements (as an example).
Gareth Miller, director of My Mobile Watchdog distributor Verb innovations, said that parents purchase cellphones for their young children due to concerns over their safety in South Africa. Often the choice and brand of phone are a consequence of peer pressure as cellphones have become the new status symbol among children. “Many cellphones in the hands of our children today have internet access without parental control, as well as the capability to run social media applications that give strangers access to our children via chat rooms etc.”
My Mobile Watchdog, developed by eAgency has been in operation in the United States since 2007 and has also recently launched in Australia. Mr Miller said that his initial idea was to develop software to combat the problems that many affected parents have experienced due to their children’s innocent use of cellphones in South Africa. However after months of research he decided to contact eAgency as he believed this company was the market leader in parental control applications aimed at cellphones.
“My Mobile Watchdog has the benefit of being a dual implementation solution: it can be downloaded as an application on most smartphones or as a more wide-reaching network installation thereby providing many more parents the ability to protect their children.”
Cellphones are becoming “smart” at an alarming pace and it is estimated that smartphone sales will eclipse PC’s by 2012. Parents need to be aware of the capabilities of cellphones as the tools required for effective parenting have changed dramatically over the past five years. Mr Miller urges all parents to take a concerned interest in their child’s cellphone usage as these communication devices are set to become their predominant means of interacting in cyber space.