“Parents are concerned about the dangers their digitally native children could face, and with Mobilock, parents can and are doing something about it,” says Patrick Lawson, founder and CEO of Mobiflock, the mobile safety and security company. “Given the popularity of BlackBerry smartphones in the youth market around the world, and especially in South Africa, it’s not surprising that our service is popular on BlackBerry.”
In 2011, BlackBerry accounted for 44% of all smartphones used in South Africa and 6% of all cellphones, according to research house Ipsos. In addition, according to the Generation Next 2012 youth brand survey, BlackBerry was voted the ‘coolest’ brand overall, as well as the ‘coolest’ cellphone and the ‘coolest’ gadget.
“There is no denying the massive benefits of giving children a smartphone: access to the mobile Internet, educational content, communication in emergencies, entertainment and socialising,”
According to recent research released by Unisa’s Youth Research Unit (YRU), one of the dangers children face online – cyber bullying – is on the rise. A study of Gauteng high school students showed that almost one in five had experienced cyber bullying, and that the perception amongst the students was that cyber bullying was on the increase. According to the study, the online bullying took the form of upsetting messages; gossip and rumours; name calling; sexual remarks; unflattering and suggestive photos being shared; and physical bullying being recorded then shared.
In addition to cyberbullying, parents are concerned about their children accessing adult and other inappropriate content; the creation and sharing of inappropriate or illegal content, including sexting; sexual grooming; the time spent online, especially late at night; Internet-enabled applications;
While in the past parental control services have been fairly rudimentary, Mobiflock offers a comprehensive and flexible service that puts control firmly in the hands of moms and dads.
“We believe that ultimate responsibility must rest with parents and guardians 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 for both parents and children,” says Lawson.
Mobiflock works through a small app that’s downloaded onto the child's BlackBerry smartphone. The parent then monitors the device use, sets security levels and receives alerts through an online dashboard.
More details on the Mobiflock parental control service for BlackBerry smartphones:
1. Contact management: set VIP and blacklisted contacts, block unknown or withheld numbers
2. Monitor, log and block calls and SMSs
3. Manage BlackBerry use with the timetable: including application use
4. Learn which applications have been installed and manage their use
5. Block web browsing
6. Location services: location history and current location
7. Remote security triggers: turn on siren, locate phone or delete device data
8. Central online dashboard to manage all protected devices, with email and SMS alerts for dangerous activity
The Mobiflock app is available as a free download on BlackBerry App World™:
Mobiflock, 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 BlackBerry, Android and Nokia Symbian; 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 on of GigaOM's top 10 mobile startups to watch in 2011, took first place in Jason Calacanis' This Week in Startups show, was a finalist in the 2011 Tech4Africa Samsung IGNITE competition and has just been named one of DEMO Africa’s top 40 startups.
For more information please contact:
+27 82 335 1117
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14 Hanover Street, London W1S 1YH, UK, Cape Town, South Africa
+27 82 335 1117