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Smartphone app helps keep tabs on kids' mobile Ps & Qs

SMobile markets parental control software for BlackBerrys, Windows, Android and Symbian models
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Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

It’s 10 p.m., do you know where your children are? The good news is that your cyber-nanny can help.

A software application from SMobile Systems, offered in partnership with ContentWatch, can help parents answer that question more easily. The technology works with a range of smartphone platforms to keep tabs on their communications. It works by filtering text traffic for certain keywords, such as party, or by monitoring photos they were sending or receiving. If one of your selected variables is targeted, you’ll get a text. What’s more you can go retrieve said offspring, if necessary, by using the GPS tracking features in their phone. The application also has Internet filtering capabilities, so it can make sure that your children don't visit inappropriate Web sites with their smartphone.

Lest you start freaking out about privacy, let it be duly noted that the software developer’s CEO, Neil Book, says he does not condone cyberspying and recommends that parents deploy this only after talking to their minor children. The intention is to keep kids safe from sexting and cyberbullying, since kids aren’t always completely in control of what they receive, Book says.

The software costs $30 on an annual basis, and it works on BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms but not the iPhone. Book says the closed nature of the iPhone operating systems makes it difficult to port the application to that platform. It doesn’t matter what wireless carrier you use for your service.

Given how many parents now let their children carry mobile phones, it makes sense that someone address this problem. While mobile phone security threats are creeping upward, the real concern when it comes to the underage set is what they're DOING on their phones -- and the potential impact on their non-cyber lives.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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