Aussie scientists have developed new software that would enable parents to keep an eye on how kids use their mobile phones. Parents can now control what websites their kids can visit, who they contact and what photos they click.
The mozone software suite, developed by Leopard Labs is designed to help keep phone bills in check, prevent cyber bullying and block adult content. Currently the suite is available free for the first month and would be available for 5 dollars per month henceforth.
Marketing director Meg Dennis said that right now only Optus mobile customers would be able to benefit from this software, which is installed on the handset and managed over the web, via the Optus Zoo download centre. But she maintained that the deal is not exclusive and they will be adding more carriers by the end of the year.
"It will give them [parents] the confidence to know that their kids can't access adult content, which includes porn and gambling and chat rooms," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted her, as saying.
The software would not only enable the parents to control what sites their kids could visit from their mobiles, but it will also keep a guard on which phone numbers can be contacted via calls or text messaging.
Dennis said that time-of-day would help the parents to block certain sites such as Facebook and MySpace during school hours, and then allow the kids to access them after a certain time. Also, it could be used to confine specific phone functions such as the built-in camera, which the students often use to create humiliating videos of schoolyard fights.
"Kids know that there's no level of control over mobile devices and parents can't control [them] either, so they have no way of offering the same level of confidence they have in their PCs at home," said Dennis.
Other than this, mozone may also cater to business users as it comes with anti-virus and anti-spam applications provided by Kaspersky Lab. Dennis said employers could also use the software to prevent workers from accessing certain sites during work hours.