Free Parental Control Software
One of the sectors I have been interested in for some time now and is Internet safety for kids and the parental control software that has grown up around it.
Having read various reports that outline the actual threat to kids online I could have easily been lead to believe that there is no problem at all; a Harvard report even went so far as to infer that the threat to kids was ‘overstated'. I don't disagree that there is some scare mongering on the Web but this never takes away from the harrowing stories you read about people meeting up with minors for nefarious reasons, suicides caused by ‘cyber bullying' and other such abominations.
You only have to watch an episode of Dateline's ‘To Catch a Predator‘ to have shivers running down your spine, especially if you have kids yourself. My stepson is now a 6′2″, 190lbs lean-mean-self-defending-machine, thankfully, but when he was younger I worried about his online activities everyday.
In the spirit of entrepreneurship there are now a million solutions that are being provided on the Web for just this issue, these blockers provide protection but not an alternative solution to the ‘unsafe' social networks. From router based blockers to browser based blockers many of these solutions don't take into account the fundamental activity that young people crave; social interaction. Many of these solutions are also cost prohibitive and intrusive.
Free Parental Control Software
The business that I have been working with is called Koini.com, and I have to say, I think they have hit the right balance. Koini provides a complete Internet safety tool, using state of the art technology they provide parents with the ability to manage the factors that matter to them most; Where a child can go online and who they can interactive with.
The Koini solution is a downloadable web-based browser that provides young people with a safe-list of web sites that is updated by Koini and, importantly, by parents themselves. The browser also blocks outside IM messaging while providing its own IM messaging system which can be controlled in conjunction with the young persons parents, who can decide what age group, gender or individuals that their child can talk to.
Integrated into the system is access to The Koini Club where young people can interact, share and talk like they can on any other social network. The Koini club has some great functionality, your child can customise the backround (a la Twitter / Myspace), install a range of customizing options for their profile, there is a 'white wall' where comments can be left, customizable emails keep you up to datre on who is asking you to be a freind etc.... Basically, think of it as a young person-safe Facebook.
One of the great functions is also the option to 'add a family member'. What this does is allow the parent to add family members to the childs Instant Messenging program and automatically to the KoiniClub site, but only so that they can talk to little Johnny or little Janet, the grandparents can't interact with anyone else. For familes, and particlularly the techno-savvy granny, this is great piece of functionality.
The key to the safety aspect is that each parent signing up for the system on behalf of their child is asked to provide proof of who they are. While this does not necessarily block predators it does, along with IP logging and monitoring of the site, give security way beyond that provided by MySpace or Facebook. The logic being is that why would a predator go to the extreme lengths of trying to get around the system when monitoring is in place?
There is even a place for parents to get in on the action; The ‘Koini Cafe' gives parents the opportunity to chat with each other in their own social network setting with all the fuinctionality that their childs system enjoys as well as a few extras.
The process to sign up is easy and quick, basically you sign up and are asked to verify yourself. This can be done two ways; either donating $1 via your credit card or downloading the pre-completed PDF, signing it and faxing it back to the company. When this is done you can now go about adding your children on the parents dash board, the user name and password you choose for them is their login to Koini Club and your settings determine who can interact with your child.
In a monumental ‘movement of the free-line' all of these facilities are offered for free. The business model is based on users signed up and the addition of paid extra services when membership grows to a substantial level.
I love the idea of kids learning to use social networking responsibly and I love the idea that this business gives the parent a tool which young people will love for its extensive functionality while giving the parents peace of mind.
Nice job guys.
The author has spent 20 years in the financial services industry trading everything from physical commodities to futures. Currently writes for a variety of sites including online trading sites and general market information sites.
Article Source: ArticlesBase.com