When I was growing up, I heard tales of "the world wide web," but no one in my immediate circle really had the internet back in the late 80's and early 90's. We still researched our homework in the encyclopedia and reference books at the library, then went home to write our essays on our typewriters. That seems like a million years ago, doesn't it? Now I make my living on the internet, and Angeline is so dependent on the internet that many of her school assignments require internet access! 80% of teenagers regularly use a cell phone. When you factor in the time kids spend on the internet for school work, socializing with friends and long-distance relatives and entertainment, you might start to wonder what is happening during all of that online time. While we do our best to monitor what our kids are doing, tools like the newly-launched WebSafety app are so helpful!
The WebSafety app provides parents with real-time alerts to help us protect our kids from the common online dangers like cyberbullies, sexting and Internet predators. Using patented technology, the WebSafety app provides us with analytical tools that allow us to watch out for alarming patterns of behaviors while the kids are using their smartphones - because let's face it, in this increasingly mobile-friendly time, kids are using their smartphones more than their computers! The WebSafety app sends parents real-time alerts about suspicious activity on smartphones, so that we can investigate and shut it down as soon as possible!
We have so many things to worry about with our kids on the internet these days. Did you know that nearly 43% of kids have been the victims of online bullying? Due to ease of access and lack of monitoring, cell phones are the most likely medium for bullying. In a perfect world, other kids would step in and stop the bullying behavior, but that's just not the case. 90% of teens admit to having witnessed online bullying and ignoring it!
Almost one-fifth (18%) of parents believe their child has encountered online behavior they would consider aggressive or unpleasant between 1 and 5 times in the past year. Even once is too many times. But how do we handle this? In this modern world of increasing reliance on technology, it's almost impossible to take away a kid's smartphone or internet access. That is why monitoring services like the WebSafety app are so valuable: we can allow our kids to use the internet but keep a watchful eye not only over what is being said TO them, but what they are doing as well.
I believe in giving our teens a little privacy and room to be their own independent person, but I also believe that it is our job as parents to protect them from themselves. Kids make stupid decisions every day, and monitoring their online activity can help keep those mistakes that might haunt them for the rest of their lives to a minimum!
WebSafety’s founder and CEO, Rowland Day spoke about why he created the WebSafety App:
“I’m a parent and a grandparent, so I understand the challenges firsthand. I’ve heard of some terrible situations involving young people’s experiences online and I had been looking for a solution to help me protect my family and the victims of cyberbullying, sexting and other online dangers that I hear and read about. I developed WebSafety to meet the needs of my family, and to provide the best product for other families. My goal is to provide parents with the tools to better protect their children in the digital age and help them determine the line between protection and privacy, and guidance and independence.”
How the WebSafety App Works
Download the app onto any Android device, and the activity on this device can be monitored from an iPad, laptop or desktop. The WebSafety app is now available on Android, and can be used across all four of the major wireless carriers in the United States and the three major wireless carriers in Canada.
Parents can monitor multiple devices such as phones and tablets, customize alerts, and the kind of the information they want to receive.
WebSafety App Features
Dashboard: Websafety features a real-time dashboard that you can use to stay informed about the mobile and tablet usage habits, and displays daily activities.
Track Location: Parents can view the current and past locations of their child's device and create areas where the phone will be inoperable. An example would be to lock down a child's phone at the location of their school, so that they aren't able to play around on their phone without parents being notified - so that they can concentrate on their school work!
Monitors apps: Detailed descriptions of apps downloaded by the child onto their phone or tablet are accompanied by WebSafety’s own notes and suggestions for parents on why you should or should not be concerned.
Monitors text messages:Options include the ability to view all of the text messages sent and received, or you can limit notifications to alert you only of words of concern or specific people.
Monitors websites: URLs for porn and other inappropriate websites are flagged for parents’ notice.
Monitors social networks: Parents can view all photos uploaded to Social Media accounts in one convenient location, and receive notifications about words of concern used on social media networks.
Curfew: Parents can set time restrictions in the Curfew settings, with automatic notifications of out-of-hours use.
Notifications: Reports can be customized to provide parents with real-time, hourly, daily or weekly activity summaries.
WebSafety App Pricing
There are a few price levels for the WebSafety App, and the first 25,000 subscribers will now receive 50% off their 6-month or year long subscription to WebSafety!
Single Child: $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year (save 16.5%) - This covers one child's device, but additional devices can be purchased for an additional $3.99 per month. This includes a Parent Dashboard on the Web, Tablet or Smartphone, access to the WebSafety forum and customer support.
Small Family: $11.99 a month or $119.99 a year (save 16.5%) - This covers up to four devices, but additional devices can be purchased for an additional $2.99 per month. This includes a Parent Dashboard on the Web, Tablet or Smartphone, access to the WebSafety forum and customer support.
Big Family: $14.99 a month or $149.99 a year (save 16.5%) - This covers up to six devices, but additional devices can be purchased for an additional $2.49 per month. This includes a Parent Dashboard on the Web, Tablet or Smartphone, access to the WebSafety forum and customer support.
The WebSafety app is currently available for Android devices, but an iOS version is slated to be released in early 2015. You can ENROLL NOW and take advantage of that 50% discount if you are one of the first 25,000 subscribers!
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
I am definitely looking into this. You can never be too safe, right?
I love services like this, it's so important these days with technology. Bullying and everything else, you just can't be too careful.
Ben @ Cheap is the New Classy
I'm loving this! My niece is 8 and my nephew is 13, so both are at prime "get into trouble" age for the internet. I'm going to be looking into this immediately.
This looks like a great way to make sure kids are safe online. I'm sharing with my friends that have small kids. thanks.
I've seen web monitoring services for kids before, but the in-depth features of this one are great. It takes more than just "blocking web pages" to really monitor kids online.
This sounds so useful! I worry about what my kids might do online that I'm not aware of.
This sounds like a great app for a great price. It will help keep kids safe on the internet.
TerriAnn @ Cookies & Clogs
Fortunately we haven't had to deal with any bullying yet as my daughter is homeschooled. I love that I can track her social accounts as that's what's prevented us from letting her get on them more.
I am all about products/apps like these. Even though my daughter has an iPhone and is super honest with me, I know she is still a child and with that comes me having to be proactive to ensure her safety! I would totally use this app!
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
I don't have children and to be honest am a bit mixed about Apps such as these. I think it's sad that we leave in a world that these things are becoming necessary. To keep kids 'safe' we have to take away their privacy and then expect them to learn be independent while knowing their every move is being tracked...I wish these apps weren't necessary but I guess since they are having one that is feature rich is a good idea!
Our are not old enough to go out on their own. But let it be know I will be trailing them when they can.
I am excited for real time results. Thinks online happen so fast, we've already experienced cell phone bullying at our house.
This sounds like a really good app. Especially since I have two kids who have their own laptops and they are on them a good bit throughout the day doing their lessons.
I'll check this out since we just bought our son a phone and he got an iPad Mini for school... we want to keep him safe!
great device. I need to get one of those instead of checking history occasionally
Sadly, these days you can't be too safe. The internet can be a dangerous place and this seems like a really good way to monitor your kids and keep them safe online.
April @ Everyday Fitness and Nutrition
It is so important to monitor kids online activity even though they hate it. I wish I would have done this more when my girls were younger.
Sounds like a great app. So important to keep the kids safe.
This is very interesting. I am going to check into it. Safety is ALWAYS important!
Kids don't have the maturity to make the right decisions all the time and they can be quite naive. This is a great help!
This is so useful. I love that the results are in real time.
I got to try this app out recently. It has such amazing features for child protection!
Chrystal @ YUM eating
You can't ever be to careful. Kiddo doesn't get online here when she's with us. We are too busy anyway.
This is great, the world that I'm raising my kids in today scares the hell out of me. When I was a kid I had run of the town, now my children cant leave the cul-de-sac, this gives peace of mind.
I love technology these days. My kids are only allowed online in the living room and when I buy their phones I make it so I can go online later to check who they were texting and possibly what the discussions. I love that it is getting easier to track them for us parents.
This WebSafety app is such a wonderful idea. When my daughter starts using a computer, I will definitely have to sign up for this.
This will definitely be helpful as my son gets older. Thanks for sharing!
Janel (A Mom's Take)
Soon my oldest will be old enough to get online more and it worries me. I teach all my children how to be safe online but it's nice to know there are ways to monitor them.
Looks like a great app! Internet safety is so incredibly important.
I like the ability to monitor the use of the phone during school. My daughter's much better about it this year than she was last year, but her decisions w/the phone are NOT always good ones. She's working on it, and we're helping her. I think this is a great post.
Wow I love how in depth this is! Definitely worth the small fee to make sure our kids are safe.
My sister has a really good (in my opinion) policy with her teen. She checks his online activity, but only when he's present. That way she doesn't feel like she's snooping, and she can discuss any errors in judgement immediately. It's been a catalyst for some great life conversations also (like what do you say when a friend's relative passes away).
Tammy Litke (@threedifferent)
One wants to give their children a measure of trust but you can't always be sure about everyone else that's online with them! I hear about young girls and men stalking them in chat rooms and then I know why apps like this are a good idea!
online safety is very important. I monitor everything my 11 year old does on her phone and tablet. i'll have to look into the app more.
we're all connected at some point during the day. this is a great idea for some extra protection
Oh, yeah, that is definitely a tricky time for kids to be on the internet!
I was pretty surprised when I saw what all it could do! I can't wait for it to be available on iOS so I can install it on my daughter's iPhone!!