Tag Archives: Text Monitoring

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 Featured on Upside on Comcast Hometown Network

15 Jul

MMGuardian Featured on Upside on Comcast Hometown Network

By Paul Grossinger

On Tuesday July 9, MMGuardian made its debut for thousands of Northern Californians who tuned into the 6:30pm PST broadcast of Upside, the primetime news show on Comcast Hometown Network.

Parental control is becoming a hot topic as kids leave school for the summer and parents grapple with how to handle their children’s rapid-fire smartphone use and the dangers associated with their activities.

On Upside, smartphone dangers were discussed but with an eye for the upside – pun intended – in the issue for parents, which is that these dangers can be quickly mitigated with parental control. MMGuardian’s feature set, including call and text monitoring, scheduling and instant phone controls,and text and drive prevention were on full display for the show’s viewers.

For more information, check out the broadcast!

MMGuardian Text Monitoring

25 Feb

Sprint Guardian brings parental controls to children’s mobile phones – part 3

10 Feb

Free alternatives

For those looking for free alternatives to some of the features offered in Sprint GuardianLife360 Family Locator is a free Android, iOS, and Blackberry app which performs some of the same location services as Sprint Family Locator if there’s an active GPS signal. Google Latitude also offers location reporting service for those willing to opt in.Check here for a list of other location service apps for both Android and iOS. All are subject to the same limitations in that the target phone can only be located if it is turned on. Life360 Family Locator does periodic GPS updates in the background even if the app is not running. To get the a current location, the target phone cannot be in standby mode. To locate the target phone at anytime, the target phone will have to run the Life360 app but running an active GPS will will burn up battery life. Sprint Family Locator has the advantage here as it can operate with the target phone in a passive GPS mode falling back to cell tower triangulation when necessary. Safely Go is a free Android app which serves some of the same functions as Drive First. In fact, it’s from the same developer.

Finally, MMGuardian Parental Control is a freemium Android app that offers some of the same basic features as Sprint Guardian. Scheduled locate, time limits, application control, call clock, text monitor require a $3/month or $25/year subscription while locate the phone via SMS, lock and unlock the phone via SMS, safe driving mode, and SMS command to sound siren/alarm are free after the trial period. Joel Holl, Co-Founder and COO of Pervasive Group Inc., creators of MMGuardian, said “MMGuardian is also capable of protecting against a factory reset. MMGuardian is capable of dis-allowing the use of the Settings option, using our Application Control feature, which means the child would not be able to even gain access to the Factory Reset option, which resides within the Settings option menus.” However, that option is only available in the paid version. The free version can be defeated by performing a factory reset although MMGuardian will send a daily report to the parent phone which will alert the parent the child phone is no longer running the MMGuardian app.

 

54346eb40e50f87cc9c5d5bd1b14c7d1

Parent and child’s perspective

Leah is a parent of 11-year old Drake. When asked what she finds most useful about Sprint Guardian, she said “I think the mobile controls would be the most useful to me right now. When he’s older, the locator tools would be very useful.” She didn’t find the locator feature too intrusive although she may change her mind when Drake is older. Parents I surveyed already use electronics grounding as a discipline tool and noted that children generally respond well to this form of discipline. Although Drake is not yet driving age, he did express some annoyance that the phone would be disabled even if he was a passenger. Another parent Tanya finds the Drive First feature the most appealing to her when her son reached driving age. Regarding the locator feature, she said “I do not think finding a minor under 18 to be too intrusive. I think it would be the same as calling the ‘house’ phone to check in on them or calling a friends parent to make sure they are actually hanging out with them. Or say the kid has an attendance problem, this could be a way to check to make sure they are there.”

Read More: http://www.examiner.com/article/sprint-guardian-brings-parental-controls-to-children-s-mobile-phones-part-3 

CES 2013: Five things you missed (Day 1)

10 Feb

2. MMGuardian Parental Control

Manage your family’s phone usage remotely with the MMGuardian Parental Control application.

MMGuardian Premium ($2.99/month after a 14-day free trial) allows parents to forbid texting while driving. It also has an anti-cyber bullying feature that allows parents to set a list of watch words. If one of the flagged words comes in a text, a copy of the message is automatically forwarded to the parent’s phone.

A remote control feature allows parents to control, lock or locate their child’s phone from their own, while the monitoring feature allows for viewing of app activity, removal of apps and reading of a kid’s texts. The amount of time kids can use the phone can be limited using the app, and parents can set timeframes, like school hours, for disallowing phone use.

Read More: http://storify.com/DigitalFirst/ces-2013-five-things-you-missed-day-1/embed

Protecting Your Kids Better With MMGuardian

21 Aug

Do you ever stay up at night wondering whether your child is safe on their cell phone?

Sadly, you should: cell phones are amazing tools but they can also become dangerous environments for kids who become victims of cyber-bullying.

And, most of the time, you will never know about it.

Unless you take action and put MMGuardian on your child’s phone.  

MMGuardian prevents cyber-bullying by alerting you to bullying texts messages sent to your child.  You choose the words you are worried about and MMGuardian lets you know if those words ever come up in your child’s phone conversations.

For example, if you spend your nights worrying that your child will be bullied over their weight, tell MMGuardian to monitor the word “fat” and you will have peace of mind knowing your child is safe.

MMGuardian

MMGuardian

So, the only question is: what is stopping you from using MMGuardian today?