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Comparing MMGuardian with Android’s New Kid Mode

5 Aug

Kid Mode, more technically called “Restricted Profiles,” is Android’s first attempt to create a real, native way for parents to control the content on their kids’ phones.  While the idea is laudable, as Techcrunch highlighted, the implementation needs work because Kids Mode still does not provide parents with the comprehensive feature set they need to effectively keep kids safe.

Kid Mode centers primarily on Application Control.  It allows parents to essentially whitelist the apps they want their child to be able to access.  Moreover, it allows parents to get granular within each app – enabling or disabling the app’s permissions to alter its available feature set.

But, Kid Mode is an “opt-in” option for developers – and a virtually unknown Android option for parents.  So how many developers, at this early stage, will voluntarily allow their apps to be blocked from a huge population segment of devices?  That is simply unknown at this point.

More importantly, while App Control is a very important feature, Android’s attempt is not “parental control” in the needed, comprehensive sense: – it is more of a one trick pony.  App control is just one problem parents have with their kids’ use of devices: other issues include overuse, which is solved by instant and scheduled lock, unsavory contacts and texts, which is prevented by call and contact blocking and text monitoring, and texting while driving.  MMGuardian solves each of these problems in turn, creating a much more complete solution for parents.

In the future, Android will need to get in front of this issue to even come close to the capability that third-party apps already provide parents today.  Whitelisting and blacklisting – of both contacts and apps – is just the beginning.  The future lies in true device management: setting lock and location schedules well in advance and enabling continuous safe driving and bullying protections.

MMGuardian and the Battle Against Cyber-Bullying

28 Jun
By Paul Grossinger

Half of all children experience cyber-bullying.

According to a study by the Prague Monitor, half of all school-aged kids will experience cyber-bullying in at least one of its many forms during their formative years.

So, globally, at least half a billion children experience cyber-bullying through their computer, mobile device, or, most prominently now, their smartphone.

The rising issue of mobile cyber-bullying is becoming a huge issue here in the US as well. 90% of US kids either see or experience cyber-bullying, according to ThinkProgress.org, which adds up to nearly 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims in American schools.

What can be done to stop this rising tide in its tracks?

Encouragingly, parents, educators, and technologists are all taking action to attack the rise in cyberbullying. Parents of teens who have committed suicide are travelling across the country, encouraging kids to stop bullying their peers. Educators and filmmakers like K.R. Shields are working together to promote anti-bullying films like Love is All You Need, which is meant to show kids the real consequences of bullying.

And technologists like ourselves at Pervasive Group are working on MMGuardian. MMGuardian’s Monitor, Call Block, and App Block features now work symbiotically to prevent bullying: Monitor allows parents to flag words and phrases of concern in text messages, Call Block enables parents to shut off certain bullying contacts’ access to their kids, and app blocker enables parents to shut off bullying via third-party apps like Oovoo and Facebook Messenger.

Cyber-bullying is a growing problem – but we can all be part of the solution.

Work with K.R. Shields and Love is All You Need to Prevent Bullying

13 Jun
By Paul Grossinger

Cyber-bullying is wrong and it is becoming an epidemic in America. That is why it is so important to help support projects like K. Rocco Shield’s Love is All You Need, an anti-bullying short film that shows with chilling clarity the terrible consequences of teen cyber-bullying.

Love is All You Need is the story of a straight girl in a parallel universe America where homosexuality is normal and heterosexuality is abnormal. The protagonist is bullied throughout the film and pushed, ultimately, to suicide. The film’s message is clear: treat others as you would like to be treated and, even if you are not a perpetrator, do more to prevent harmful cyber-bullying. MMGuardian, which includes text alerts to prevent cyber-bullying and blocks for harmful calls, texts, and mobile apps, is already a dogged supporter of anti-bullying efforts nationally.

Now Ms. Shields and her team are working on a new ending for the Love is All You Need to increase the film’s educational accessibility and on a new, full-length feature film version of the story. We encourage you to visit her campaign on Indigogo and support this important effort!

New Release of MMGuardian Includes Exciting New Features

8 May

Pervasive Group is excited to announce the new release of MMGuardian, version 1.3x, which includes several very important, exciting new features for parents.

In particular, parents now have new options for when the lock their child’s device with MMGuardian.  Specifically, parents may choose:

1. Whether or not to terminate an ongoing call when the lock is activated.

2. Whether or not to put phone into silent mode when the device is locked.

3. Whether or not to send an auto reply when the device is locked

4. Whether or not to allow certain apps to be accessible when the phone is locked.

5. Whether or not to allow child to call or text a pre-defined list (by the admin) of contacts

6. Whether or not to send location information in case of emergency.

6. The ability to detect user tampering when phone is locked, present a warning and alert the parent, and then lock down the phone to a minimum access level

Please try out these exciting new features when locking your child’s phone and we hope you enjoy using MMGuardian.

MMGuardian Can Help New Public-Private Partnerships to Fight Texting While Driving

22 Apr
By Paul Grossinger

In a sign that governments and private individuals are beginning to recognize the threat posed by texting while driving, public-private partnerships are beginning to form to directly combat the threat.

This week, Ford and the Orlando Sentinel announced a partnership to provide teens in the Orlando area with new information to change attitudes on texting and driving. The new information will explain the deadly dangers of the practice and seek to reduce teen texting while driving over time.

The Ford effort comes on the heels of progress on new state legislation in Florida to ban texting and driving, a crucial step forward that may come to full fruition this year.

We are excited to announce that MMGuardian can help.

MMGuardian enables parents to directly prevent their teens from texting while driving. When enables, MMGuardian’s “Safe Driving” function turns off texting capability on the teens’ phone when they are in a moving vehicle, unless the parent has set a manual override to indicate the teen is not driving.

MMGuardian provides parents with the active control they need to balance the outreach and informational programs and state legislation coming into play. New information and state laws will help but they need to work in conjunction with an enforcement tool like MMGuardian to be as effective as possible.

MMGuardian and the Lone Star State

16 Apr

Addressing the Texting and Driving Epidemic

By Paul Grossinger

Texas’ legislature is now considering a ban on texting and driving. It’s time the Lone Star state, where more individuals drive more hours than any other in the nation, confront the growing epidemic.

The Lone Star state’s response comes at a time when unchecked texting and driving is on the rise. Research from AT&T indicates 49% of adult drivers text while driving and 33% of teens do the same. Indeed, AOL reported last month that distracted driving is the No. 1 killer of teens in America.

When the Lone Star state does take action, MMGuardian can help.

Once texting while driving becomes illegal, parents will want to make sure their teens do not violate the law and put their safety at serious risk. MMGuardian Parental Control’s Safe Driving feature enables parents to prevent their teens from sending any texts from behind the wheel. When the feature is enabled, MMGuardian detects if the child’s phone is in a moving car and, if they are, shuts off the device’s texting capability. Parents can also set up override times if they know their teen will be in a car that they are not actually driving and manually override the feature from their own phone if their teen sends them an alert.

The law is changing. How will you protect your teens?

MMGuardian Asks: Which Parental Control Do You Need?

4 Apr

By Paul Grossinger

You are unique. Your child is unique. Your relationship with your child is unique. So, logically, your parental control will have to be unique.

In an increasingly customizable mobile world, kids are using smartphones in diverse ways that are particular to them. Each parent faces a particular set of challenges that require a different set of fixes than anyone else.

Do you have a 17-year old who texts and drives?

Or do you have a 13-year old who uses Snapchat?

Or a 10 year old who faces mobile bullying?

The challenges are diverse and the more than one fix will be needed.

Luckily, MMGuardian can help.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

MMGuardian’s solution provides a strong fix to each of these concerns – so you can pick and choose what you need for your child.

MMGuardian’s solution for android phones includes the most comprehensive solution set available, including the ability to control when their phone is locked or unlocked, locate your child at any time, set time limits and preschedule locations or lock times, monitor texts, calls, and applications for bullying or inappropriate behavior, and safe driving technology.

So, if you have a 17-year old who texts and drives, a 13-year old who uses Snapchat, and a 10 year old suffering bullying, those are different specific fixes but MMGuardian is the one, single solution to all of them.

So, try MMGuardian today. Your concerns are unique – and we can help.