Mobile apps help Indian parents monitor teens

Summary:One area of mobile apps that has yet to become more popular and accepted by parents are apps that allow parents to monitor their teenagers' Internet consumption on smartphones and tablets.

Kytetime is a newly launched app that aims to help teens become more responsible. For a fee of 54 rupees (US$5) a month or 2,177 rupees (US$40) a year, it gives parents an insight into their children's online activity, helps teenagers focus in school, and also identify their location.

Kytetime allows parents to schedule when teenagers can use apps such as Facebook and SnapChat. Scheduling itself can be done remotely from a phone, tablet, or via a PC using the Kytetime Parent Dashboard. This dashboard also gives parents real-time information of their teenagers online activities including time spent per app, favorite Web sites, and with whom they talk and text.

Most teenagers who are aware that Kytetime has been installed in their tablet or smartphone, providing so much information to their parents, would surely object and say it is an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, this would force teenagers to become more vigilant online and learn not be naïve, especially when it comes to meeting strangers. Realistically, though, what other options do parents have to keep their teenagers safe and secure online? Clearly, taking away their tablets or smartphones is one solution, but it would defeat the purpose.

Kytetime also offers a real-time GPS locater which parents can use to identify the whereabouts of their children. Gone are the days when their teenagers can say they're studying late at night at the library when in fact, they’re elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the app does not have the ability to block of filter Web sites, such as filtering profanity or pornography. It also lacks mechanisms such as timer controls to set specific times and the number of hours a tablet or smartphone can be used. It's currently available only for the Google Android platform and there's a free 14-day trial offer.

A free app very similar to Kytetime, but targeted at younger children, is Kytephone. The app has features to prevent cyber bullying by blocking numbers as well as help parents manage their children's game-playing by setting time limits. This app also comes with GPS locator.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps, India, Security, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Originally from Canada, Nitin has been residing and working in India since 2009. He has worked in different ICT industries in countries such as India, Canada, and Tanzania. He is an avid follower and application developer within the growing mobile phone sector in India.

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