Mobiflock rated among top startups by GigaOM

Mobiflock’s parental control for smartphones application will be presented at Mobilize 2011, GigaOM’s mobile web conference, in San Francisco later this year on 26 September.

“Dozens of forward-thinking young mobile startups applied to Mobilize 2011 LaunchPad, but these 10 companies stood out for their innovative technologies, executable ideas, and strong business models,” said Kevin Tofel, Mobile Editor at GigaOM and chair of Mobilize 2011.

In addition, Mobiflock today announced the launch of its parental control service for Android phones. This means the child safety service is now available for almost 60%* of the global smartphone market. Mobiflock helps to make smartphones safer for children by giving parents visibility of how their children are using their phones, as well as providing blocking and alerting capabilities to protect their children from harm.

Although child safety and parental control services are established good practice in the computer world, they are only now also becoming available for the mobile device. A Carphone Warehouse and YouGov study in the UK showed that 85% of parents don’t use parental control services on their children’s phones. In addition, nearly half of all parents were unaware that adult content can be accessed by mobile phone.

Mobiflock has been specifically designed for the mobile environment and its particular challenges. Some of the existing dangers children might encounter, including bullying, accessing inappropriate content and sexual grooming, have spread to the online mobile environment. In addition, newer risks to children are emerging thanks to the popularity of the mobile phone, such as sexting, mobile chat or being online late into the night. What’s more, a mobile phone is a very personal device and is often carried by the child 24/7 – further exacerbating the impact and potential of these threats.

“The digital generation gap that exists between children and parents today is unprecedented. This is impacting moms’ and dads’ ability to be effective, proactive parents,” said Patrick Lawson, Mobiflock’s founder. “As a first step, parents need to learn about how their children use their smartphones so that they don’t over-, or under-, react if the child does encounter a dangerous situation. This way parents can educate their children about how to cope with online threats.

“And until children are old enough to cope by themselves, parents need to protect their children from the dangers that do exist, while still giving them the benefits of having a mobile phone.”

Mobiflock encourages parents to discuss the use of the service with their children, and a small icon appears on the handset when Mobiflock is active so the child knows they are protected.

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Mobiflock rated among top startups by GigaOM