SCIENCE & HI-TECH

iKydz lets parents monitor and schedule children’s internet access


Web monitoring system gives parents control over a child’s internet access and can remotely shut down their connection wherever they are

  • Parents can schedule internet access and block sites with customisable controls
  • The settings kick in every time the child’s phone tries to connects to the web   
  • Control is device specific and can be used on any phone, laptop and tablet

A new product that claims to ‘hardwire’ childrens’ phones to gives total parental control over internet access is being introduced in the UK.

The technology, described as ‘the first of its kind’ by its Irish makers iKydz, lets parents customise their child’s access to the internet via an app on their phone.  

The product can be set up on any device or system, and can be linked to any of phones, tablets, laptops without being locked to any network or hardware brand. 

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A new product that gives parents total control over what children do on their phones without actually monitoring their activity, is being introduced in the UK

The control can operate over WiFi or 3G or 4G signal, whenever and wherever the child’s phone or other hardware device is able to connect to the internet.

The products works through a central control app downloaded on the adult’s phone, and an app on each of the child’s that the parent is trying to control. 

While it does not actually let parents monitor their child’s activity, parents can set which sites and what time slots are off bounds for their child.  

The product once activated cannot be removed by ‘tech-savvy children’ unlike traditional parental control apps, according to its Irish maker Zyalin Group. 

iKydz is a range of internet control products that includes the iKydz App, and the iKydz hub device that can be directly plugged into the WiFi router at home.

Together they set up a system at home that can separately control each device connected to the WiFi network. 

Parents set filters and schedule access and time to each of their children’s internet-connected devices that has the ikydz app dowloaded on the phone.

This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles or smart TVs. 

The products works through a control app downloaded on the parent's phone, and an app set up on each  child's device lets the parent control individual devices separately

The products works through a control app downloaded on the parent’s phone, and an app set up on each child’s device lets the parent control individual devices separately

Parents set filters and schedule access times to each of their children's internet-connected devices that has the iKydz app downloaded on the phone. Once activated, it cannot not be removed by 'tech-savvy children' on their own phone, according to its creators

Parents set filters and schedule access times to each of their children’s internet-connected devices that has the iKydz app downloaded on the phone. Once activated, it cannot not be removed by ‘tech-savvy children’ on their own phone, according to its creators

Zyalin Group Director of Operations Owen Van den Bergh said: ‘There is an epidemic brewing in today’s connected world. 

‘Children’s open, unchecked use of the Internet is leading to a shift in young people’s social interactions, often to the detriment of their mental health. 

‘Much like global warming, the world may not see the problem until it is too late.

‘We want to make a safer Internet. And we want telecoms companies to use our products to help parents and carers create boundaries on the Internet for their children. 

‘Our simple, retail-ready solution can easily be white labelled by phone operators and vendors.’ 

iKydz has been successfully launched in Ireland. The company also plans to launch in China, Japan, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Nigeria 

HOW CAN PARENTS PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN ONLINE?

A recent study found when sharing parenting advice on social media, common topics included:

  • Getting kids to sleep (28 per cent)
  • Nutrition and eating tips (26 per cent)
  • Discipline (19 per cent)
  • Daycare/preschool (17 per cent)
  • Behaviour problems (13 per cent) 

These common topics of conversation often reveal key information about a child, including: name, age/date of birth, school name and even their appearance.

Whilst it may be very difficult to protect the privacy of children in the digital age, there are some things that can be done to shelter children from online dangers. 

Know your privacy settings

It is amazing how many parents leave on their Instagram location settings. Set your location settings to off if you do not want people to be able to figure out where you and your children live.

Only share with people who care

Ask yourself if all the people you’re sharing your photos with really want to see them and will they protect them in a way you would.

Explore private social networks

Private social networks offer a secure way to share the pictures of your children with your family and friends.

Don’t take any digital photos

Ultimately the only way to be 100 per cent sure that you don’t have a digital footprint is not to have any digital photos taken but this isn’t a road the vast majority of people want to go down.    

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