Tag Archives: Bullying

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.

Advertisements

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!

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.

MMGuardian: Parental Control

11 Mar

Parental Control: It’s Now All About Mobile

By Paul Grossinger

Remember 2005?

In the mid-2000s, internet parental controls were all the rage. Parents were, rightfully, concerned by what their children were viewing online and bought parental control software left and right. Internet parental control became a multi-billion dollar industry.

PC Security is now a mountain we’ve climbed. We reached the summit and, for most parents, systems from McAfee, Norton, and other companies keep their kids away from virus and porn sites.

Fast forward to 2013 and parental control is fundamentally changing: now, it’s all about mobile.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

Mobile parental control isn’t a true buzzword yet in pop culture terms but it is on its way. 35% of children and teens own smartphones, according to Pew Research; similar numbers to PC penetration among teens in the early 2000s. Texting while driving, cyber-bullying, Snapchat, sexting…these problems are just beginning to enter the mainstream public discourse.

But, starting now, all of that is changing. Soon, “mobile” will be inseparable from parental control and parents will be focusing less on internet browsing and more on phone control. Is my child receiving bullying texts – or sending them? Is my child texting behind the wheel? Did my child send nude pictures? MMGuardian works to solve the problems posed by these questions. And it is those questions, now spoken mostly in the shadows, which speak to the problems that will come to dominate conversations about technology parenting.

Indeed, by 2016, when nearly 100% of teens own at least one smart device, how could they not?

MMGuardian: The Intersection of Communication and Technology

8 Mar

How MMGuardian Can Help Hold Your Teens Accountable

By Paul Grossinger

The old adage, which dates from practically the dawn of time, grows more relevant with each new advent of mobile technology.

In particular, as smartphones give teens more independence and increase their capacity for self-harm, parents must set up strong ties of communication between themselves and their kids.

Whether it is bullying, sexting, texting and driving, or something else, parents should set themselves up as a trusted source for their children to communicate their problems.

But, here is the elephant in the room: communication is great – but how do parents verify their children are being honest with them and hold them accountable when they are not?

That is where MMGuardian™ comes into play.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

At its essence, MMGuardian is about providing accountability. Parents install MMGuardian so that they can set preventative safety measures; eliminating texting and driving and dangerous apps, alerting themselves to bullying, and giving themselves access controls for their child’s phone. In short, MMGuardian lets parents know the real story – clueing them in to whether their child’s phone and activities are safe.

Its leading with communication and trust and handicapping it with clear rules, controls, and accountability.

In the age of ever more capable smartphones, is there really another option?

MMGuardin: Threading the Cyber-bullying Tightrope: MMGuardian’s Nuanced Solution for Parents

3 Mar

By Paul Grossinger

Every few weeks, America wakes up to news of a child suicide. Often, the culprit is cyber-bullying.

Many parents know the troubling trend – bullying is invading the lives of their children and teenagers 24/7. Bullying has been around since the dawn of time but, before the recent advent of mobile communication, kids could at least escape it for long periods. Now, with bullying taking place over cell phones – in text messages, photo sharing, and third-party apps, where can kids escape to?

Parents know they need an aggressive solution – and they need it now.

MMGuardian

But – what about child privacy?

Few parents want to invade their child’s privacy completely; reading every drop of their child’s communication, all the time. Parents need to thread the cyber- bullying tightrope – to find a solution that gives them enough information to act but not enough to overwhelm them completely.

MMGuardian can help

MMGuardian’s “Monitor feature gives parents that tightrope solution – it enables them to self-select words or phrases that concern them, then sends alerts when their children or teens use those phrases.

MMGuardian Text Monitor

MMGuardian Text Monitor

For example, parents concerned about cyber-bullying may self-select, “suicide,” “kill myself,” “end it,” and other relevant keyword phrases. Most kids who are considering suicide reveal the intention to others, often through textual communication, so this method alerts the parent and helps make sure they can stop anything awful from happening.

If you need this help, MMGuardian is free. Try it at www.mmguardian.com for peace of mind today.