Norton by Symantec’s free app, Norton Safety Minder for Android, was released to coincide with Safer Internet Day (February 7th) and aims to help concerned parents monitor their children’s smartphones remotely. Despite the rise in cyber bullying and trolling, Norton research shows that only 38 per cent of parents use controls to protect their families online.
The application, used as part of Norton Online Family, is a family safety service for PCs and Macs. Parents can use several tools to teach their kids safe and age-appropriate digital habits on their mobile devices.
This new application provides free web monitoring and blocking features so parents can now see what sites their kids are visiting and block inappropriate content if they wish to. Parents can use the same set of web filtering settings for the child’s PC and the child’s Android phone. The service tracks up to seven days of content for free.
Getting started is simple. Download the app on to the child’s phone and login to their Norton Online Family account (or create one from within the application). Then parents can centrally manage the “House Rules” on that device through the onlinefamily.norton.com website.
Norton says up to a dozen phones can be easily added to the same account at no extra charge. With unique settings for each phone, parents have a single point to supervise a range of varied settings for kids of different ages.
“Parents know they need to be involved in their kids’ digital lives and most actually set and discuss house rules for computer use and internet browsing” said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate. “But to make those rules work, you need to extend them to your child’s mobile phone where so much web browsing takes place. With Norton Safety Minder for Android, parents can help their kids stick to those rules, regardless of which device they are on.”
Deborah Preston, online safety advocate at Norton, added: “When I pick my child up from school it still amazes me that even the youngest teenagers have smart phones and unrestricted access to the web. Recent research shows that too many parents aren’t taking the proper precautions to limit the online threats that are out there now. It’s important to strike a balance between software and filters that act as a safety net, and also education and being open with your kids about what you expect from their behaviour online.”
Norton Safety Minder for Android is available free from market.android.com and can be downloaded in English, Japanese, German and Polish. Android version 2.2 or 2.3 is required on the device.
Parents must have a Norton Online Family account to activate the application which must first be installed on the child’s device. A free, basic Norton Online Family account will activate the mobile web-filtering and monitoring within Norton Safety Minder for Android.
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