Tag Archives: Parent

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.

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MMGuardian: How Technology Disconnects Parents From Their Kids

30 Mar

‘Technology connects us.” It’s a common refrain, perhaps explored most famously in Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, and it is clearly true in many instances. Yet, while technology brings us closer, it also splits us apart in ways we often barely realize. Nowhere is this clearer than in relationships between parents and their kids.

If you have ever watched That 70s Show, you know how technology has completely altered parents’ reality. Back when, parents did not always know what their kids were doing, a fact hilariously parodied in the show, but they interacted with them on a consistent, connected basis. The kids were often at home, they spoke over the dinner table, they hung out in the basement…and the parents were largely aware of their kids and connected to their existence in a very real, personal way.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

TV shows display arch-types, not reality – but clearly the technology age has turned that on its head. Smartphones may bring us closer than we have ever been to our relatives on other continents – face to face on skype and ‘just a click away’ – but they have driven us equally far away from those who actually populate our daily lives. Now, parents and kids may be sitting in the same room and ‘interacting’ but entirely missing one another – the kid busy on his phone or Xbox, the parent pecking away at their laptop; both apparently unaware that this sham of an interaction is exactly representative of the problem technology is rapidly creating in our society.

The question now is: how do we fix it?

MMGuardian: Shutting Down Mobile Bullying

23 Mar

MMGuardian’s Tactics for Parents

By Paul Grossinger 

If any phrase defines mobile tech, it’s “24/7 Connectivity.” But, 24/7 is also responsible for serious new problems arising from tech, especially bullying.

While I’m quite sure that, all the way back in 5,000 B.C., kids bullied one another with rocks and sticks, I’m equally certain that mobile technology has completed changes bullying’s dynamics from anything we’ve seen in the past – for the worse. Simply put, kids get no rest.

And parents are beginning to ask the toughest question: how can I shut down the cyber-bullying that is hurting my child? Luckily, while difficult, there are solutions.

First, communicate. Only 25% of children nationally tell a parent they are being bullied. If you make yourself a safe resource for your child and show them that you care about their problems, will not blame them, and will commit to being part of the solution, you can earn a spot in that coveted 25%.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

Second, reinforce communication. For that, MMGuardian can help.

MMGuardian enables parents to set up alerts on their children’s phones, so, if their child receives bullying messages, they instantly become aware of it.

For example, if a parent wants to know if their child receives messages containing potentially bullying words like “gay,” the parent can set that word up for an alert using MMGuardian’s system. If that word appears in their child’s texts, the parent is notified and can take action.

Out there, mobile bullying is only getting worse. But in your own family, you can make a positive difference. And MMGuardian can help.

MMGuardian: The Thin Red Line

15 Mar

MMGuardian Protects Your Child and Their Privacy

By Paul Grossinger

You know…but you don’t want know.

Who is your child texting? Who are they calling? What apps are they using?

You have a clear desire to know, to be aware, and to keep your child safe. Yet, you also know there is a thin red line between protecting your child and ruining their privacy, controlling every aspect of their lives in the process and facing rebellion every step of the way.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

Every parent wants safety – but no parent wants constant rebellion, antagonism, and lasting anger.

MMGuardian can help.

MMGuardian was designed with this potential dichotomy in mind and it is intended to provide safety, awareness, and control – without devolving into absolute control unless the parent deems it absolutely necessary.

Let’s delve into exactly what that means in real terms.

Text Monitor

Text Monitor

MMGuardian’s Monitor feature analyzes your child’s texts. With monitor, you choose the words and phrases that worry you, individually, and only receive alerts for texts that indicate problems you yourself have highlighted. That way, you don’t receive every one of your child’s texts – ruining your own time and their privacy – but you do know they are safe.

Application Control

Application Control

MMGuardian’s App Control feature blocks or restricts apps, providing you flexibility in how to handle your child’s applications. Some apps, like Snapchat, are truly dangerous and need blocking. But others, like Angry Birds, may simply require time restriction to reduce distraction. The mixed feature set lets you incorporate nuance into your decision-making.

In the end, it’s about wielding power with a chisel, not a hammer. With kids and teens, that’s often the story of life, isn’t it?

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?

MMGuardian: Snapchat vs. MMGuardian™: The Solution to a Parent’s Nightmare

25 Feb

Snapchat vs. MMGuardian™: The Solution to a Parent’s Nightmare

By Paul Grossinger

Nothing keeps a parent up at night like the feeling that their children are up to something they will later
regret – and they are powerless to prevent it.

Snapchat is the personification of that fear.

Snapchat, a new text and image sending phenomenon on the iPhone and Android smartphones, enables
users to send something to another use that self-destructs after ten seconds. Unless someone takes a
screenshot (and Snapshot notifies the user if they do), there is no trail and no evidence.

In other words, Snapchat is sexting and, worse, cyber-bullying nirvana.

Most parents’ current tactics for managing their children’s smartphones don’t work against Snapchat.
Reading their text messages? No, because Snapchat is a separate app, not a text message. Checking
their phone every night? No, because the evidence is gone – forever.

So, how can parents prevent Snapchat from potentially damaging their child’s future through mobile
bullying or sexting?

For Android smartphone users, MMGuardian can help.

Application Control

Application Control

MMGuardian has a feature named “App Control” that can neutralize snap chat. When MMGuardian is
installed on their child’s phone, a parent can see the entire list of apps on their child’s smartphone. For
each app, parents have the option to either “Block” the app, preventing their child from using the app
entirely, or “Time Restrict the app if it is not unsafe but is used too often or at the wrong times.

For Snapchat, parents may simply select “Block” and Snapchat will no-longer be usable on their child’s
phone. Plus, parents can also block any other third party messaging apps they find on their child’s
phone, preventing them from switching to a similar, lesser known app. As a bonus, MMGuardian has
uninstallation protection and tamper prevention, which stops kids from disabling its settings, so once a
parent blocks Snapchat, they know it is blocked forever.

So, if Snapchat is giving you nightmares, download MMGuardian for peace of mind today.