Flash Networks has announced it’s new parental control service, Content Control 2.0. The web-based application offers parents a pretty comprehensive set of options to limit what kind of content a child can access over the mobile Web. The service caters to people on all points along the “control axis”, from the merely concerned all the way to the ferociously dictatorial.
What kind of options are there?
Good old fashioned black-listing – while it’s not the primary avenue of Content Control, it does allow the option to simply block a specific URL. It also offers a “White List” option, where the only websites allowed are the ones on a list.
Categories – Content Control works on a broader set of “categories”, so that parents can block any site related to, for example, “suicide”, “drugs” or “anorexia”
Timing is everything – blocking services can be set to work during specified times, like after bedtime or during school hours.
Always watching – parents can choose to keep a log of all web-based activities of their children, so they can know exactly where their child has been on-line. The extra-paranoid can choose to receive an immediate SMS or email notifying them if their child has attempted to access a blocked site.
Social not working – you block chat services, as well as automatically blocking any video or image from a mobile social network.
From the release:
“As browsing on the mobile Internet is becoming more prevalent, and the age of subscribers is falling, parents are becoming more aware of the need for content control,” said Emma Mohr-McClune, Research Director at Current Analysis. “Putting subscribers in the driver seat and letting them choose how controls are implemented provides a better alternative to regulation and across the board blocking of mobile content.”
“As more and more youth are using mobile devices to enjoy music, games, and video, parents also need to have a high level of confidence that their children will be protected from harmful content,” commented Liam Galin, President & CEO of Flash Networks. “With Content Control 2.0, operators can take a more active role promoting social responsibility, protect their brand, create a competitive edge, and build customer loyalty by enabling subscribers to customize content control based on their own family values, and the needs of each child.”
What we think?
I usually scowl at services like this, which I tend to regard as being little better than spying on your kids. However, I don’t have kids myself, so I can imagine that I’m not as invested in this product as someone with young children would be. I do like that Content Control allows parents to take a soft approach to parental control, and it’s certainly a thorough service. If I had kids myself, and I was worried about what kind of madness they were encountering on-line, this is the kind of service I’d be tempted to use.