News / Science & Technology

Apps Help Parents Monitor Children's Internet Use

Teen girl, foreground, texts her mother as they pose for a photograph in LaGrange, Ill., May 24, 2012 (file photo).
Teen girl, foreground, texts her mother as they pose for a photograph in LaGrange, Ill., May 24, 2012 (file photo).
Reuters
— With smartphone and tablet users getting younger, new apps can help parents of 2-to-13-year-olds monitor and control their children's use of the Internet.
 
A Pew Research Center study shows that more than one-third of American teenagers own a smartphone, up from more than a fifth in 2011. For nearly half of these users, the phone is their main way of getting online, making it difficult for parents to supervise their behavior.
 
"When you have a smartphone, you basically have the Internet in your pocket wherever you are — away from your parents' eyes," said Anooj Shah, a partner in Toronto-based company Kytephone, which develops apps.
 
Kytephone's namesake app allows parents to control the apps and sites their children use and the people they receive texts and calls from.
 
The company on Monday released Kytetime for 13-to-17-year-olds. The new app has many of the same features as Kytephone but does not include the ability to block calls.
 
Earlier this month, Net Nanny, a monitoring software company, released a browser app for Apple Inc.'s iOS devices to filter Web content and block profanity.
 
"Smartphones and tablets have added new technology, with new challenges [for parents] — full Web browsing capability, unlimited texting, access to hundreds of thousands of good, bad and malicious apps," said Russ Warner, chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City-based company.
 
The Android version of Net Nanny, which sells for $12.99, can control which apps a child uses. The app is also available for iOS devices, with fewer applications, for $4.99.
 
The company is also introducing Net Nanny Social, a subscription, Web-based tool to help parents monitor problems such as cyberbullying, sexual predators and identity theft on social networks including Facebook and Twitter. The service costs $19.99 per year.
 
For parents of 2-to-8 year olds, Boston-based Playrific has a free app with a locked browser that allows only content suitable for children, including educational videos, interactive games and books.
 
The app, available for Android, iPad and on the Web, curates content based on a child's interests, which it learns over time.
 
"Kids feel the limitless sense of what's on the Internet," said Playrific CEO Beth Marcus, "but the parents know that it's not really limitless."

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid