Whether a kid carries Windows Phone 7, an iPhone, or an Android, the cut of their jib is measured by the strut of their phone. This of course brings into question all sorts of concerns for parents, given the amount of information and communication available with these devices. Symantec, known for their Norton computer security software, would like to appease both parties with its Norton Safety Minder product.
Norton Safety Minder is an application that parents can install on their child’s smartphone that allows the parents to monitor and, if needed, block the activities on the phone. Parents can also adjust the criteria of what exactly will be monitored or prohibited based on the needs of their child, which includes text and MMS messages, web use, and even which apps are downloaded. Now it’s worth mentioning that the app itself is free, but this is a service (like all of Norton products) and that only the web use monitoring and screening is free with this service. To use the rest of the features of the app and service, there’s a yearly fee of $49.99, though they’re currently running a special of $29.99 for a year of service.
As a parent, I can definitely see the merits of Norton Safety Minder, and were my kids older and carrying smartphones, it’s something I would definitely consider, based on their behavior. As stated previously, Norton Safety Minder is available for free in the Android Market. Click the Market link below to check it out for yourself and read on for the official presser.
Is this something that you would consider for your own kids? Let us know in the comments! The full press release can also be found below.
[spoiler show=”Show Press Release”]
Norton Online Family Expands to Keep Kids Safe on Mobile Phones
Free Android app allows parents to apply “House Rules” and filters
to children’s smartphones
Mountain View, Calif. – Feb. 07, 2012 – Norton by Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) released today Norton Safety Minder: Mobile Edition, a free app that allows parents to keep an eye on their kids’ smartphone activities. The application is used as part of Norton Online Family, the award-winning online family safety service for PCs and Macs. Through the new app, parents can avail themselves of several tools to teach kids safe and age-appropriate digital habits on their mobile devices.
The application provides web monitoring and blocking features for free, allowing parents to see what sites their kids are visiting and block content they feel is inappropriate. Applied through their Norton Online Family account, parents can use the same set of web filtering settings for the child’s PC and apply them to the child’s Android phone. The service tracks up to seven days of content for free, and up to 90 days for those with a paid Norton Online Family Premier account.
Norton Online Family Premier accounts, a paid and more robust version of the basic Norton Online Family solution, will unlock additional advanced features in the app, including:
– Text and MMS Message Monitoring: Shows parents who their kids are texting with, what they say and whether they are exchanging photo (MMS) messages. Additionally, parents can provide input around who their kids can exchange messages with, by designating whether certain contacts are blocked, monitored or unmonitored.
– App Monitoring: Gives parents the ability to see which apps their child has installed and uninstalled, so that they can keep it “kid-friendly” and also protect them from malicious applications.
To get started, parents download the app on their child’s Android phone, login to their Norton Online Family account (or create one from within the application) and can then centrally manage the “House Rules” on that device through the onlinefamily.norton.com website. More than a dozen phones can be easily added to the same account at no charge, with unique settings for each, allowing parents a single point to manage 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: Mobile Edition, parents can help their kids stick to those rules, regardless of which device they are on.”
Pricing and Availability
Norton Safety Minder: Mobile Edition is available for free in the Android Market at 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 in order to activate the application, which they must first install on their child’s device. A free, basic Norton Online Family account will activate the mobile web-filtering and monitoring within Norton Safety Minder for Android. A paid subscription to Norton Online Family Premier, currently only available in the US, will unlock the application’s additional advanced features, such as SMS text monitoring.
Norton Online Family Premier
Norton Online Family Premier is a web-based online family safety service, available for purchase in the United States at https://onlinefamily.norton.com/ in English only. The suggested retail price of Norton Online Family Premier is $49.99 for a one year subscription. But for a limited time, the service is being offered at an introductory promotional price of $29.99.
To use Norton Online Family Premier on a Mac® (Mac OS® X 10.5 or later) or PC (Windows® 7, Windows XP Home or Professional, SP2 or later; Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, Windows Vista® 32-bit or 64-bit, SP1 or later) parents simply sign up and create a family account athttps://onlinefamily.norton.com.
Norton protects the Stuff that matters to consumers, across all aspects of their digital lives. Norton provides a range of security solutions including technologies for PCs and mobile devices, live tech support services and online backup. Like Norton on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/norton.
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.