Keeping kids safe on the Web

2012-11-17 00:00

PARENTS concerned about what their children view or are exposed to on their smartphones should consider parental control options for their children’s devices.

According to recent research released by Unisa’s Youth Research Unit (YRU), one of the dangers children face online is cyber bullying, which is on the rise.

A study of Gauteng high school pupils showed that almost one in five had experienced cyber bullying, and that the perception among the pupils was that cyber bullying was on the increase.

According to the study, online bullying takes several forms, including upsetting messages; gossip and rumours; name-calling; sexual remarks; unflattering and suggestive photos being shared; and physical bullying being recorded and then shared.

In addition to cyber bullying, parents are concerned about their children accessing adult and other inappropriate content; the creation and sharing of inappropriate or illegal content, including sexting; sexual grooming; the time spent online, especially late at night; Internet-enabled applications; and racking up large bills through in-app purchases, subscription services and m-commerce.

Mobiflock launched its parental control service for smartphones in March 2012, which allows parents to monitor how their children use their smartphones and also helps them put the appropriate limits in place to keep their kids safe.

The service has become popular with BlackBerry smartphone customers, but is available for Android devices and Nokia phones as well.

“Parents are concerned about the dangers their digitally naive children could face, and with Mobiflock, parents can and are doing something about it,” said Patrick Lawson, founder and CEO of the company.

“There is no denying the massive benefits of giving children a smartphone: access to the mobile Internet, educational content, communication in emergencies, entertainment and socialising,” said Lawson.

“However, there are some very real online dangers that parents need to learn about, and protect their children from.”

Other applications for smartphones include MyFone, which not only allows parents to monitor their children’s Internet usage, but also to track their child’s location, with a trail of their movements updated every 15 minutes.

To find a suitable parental control application for your child’s device, simply enter “parental control” in the Google Play store or BlackBerry App World, depending on the device.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.