Originally appeared on My Life Scoop, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about using social media and technology for a more connected life.
When SafetyWeb co-founder Geoffrey Arone was conducting college admissions interviews for his alma mater, he — like about 10% of college admission directors — started to Google applicants. The unflattering information he found inspired him to start SafetyWeb.
SafetyWeb helps parents protect their children’s online reputations by searching hundreds of social networking, photo and community sites for their children’s accounts. The service delivers a summary of what accounts their children are spending time on, what information and photographs are publicly available on these accounts, and who their friends are. Parents get e-mail or text message alerts when their children’s content relates to depression, profanity, bullying, drugs, alcohol or racism.
Through the acquisition of Odojo in July, the service was able to add the option for parents to monitor children’s mobile activities. Parents can see who their children are communicating with on their mobile phones and when they’re using them. The company also recently released a mobile app that allows parents to check in on their children’s online activities from anywhere.
Price: $10 per month
SocialShield not only tells you who your children’s online friends are, but checks each friend against more than 50 databases to make sure that he or she is not “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” If someone suspicious friends your child, SocialShield sends you an alert. The service also sends alerts for discussions involving your children that relate to drugs, sex, violence, alcohol or suicide.
Less threatening issues like curse words are posted in a warning section of the parent dashboard. The site keeps track of all discussions that your children post on social networks, but it posts this issue summary on top so that parents don’t need to look through all of their children’s interactions in order to spot potential threats. Parents can also use this dashboard to view photos that their children have posted and any photos of their children that others have posted.
Price: $10 per month
AOL’s SafeSocial is actually powered by SocialShield and is a very similar product.
One slight difference is that AOL requires you to send an invite to your children to gain access to their accounts. SafeSocial offers a similar option, but will also grant access to parents who know their children’s passwords but don’t ask for their children’s permission.
Price: $9.99 per month
Busy parents might friend their children on Facebook but not have the time (or the desire) to constantly police their children’s profiles. The Parental Guidance Facebook app sends alerts to parents when children make potentially dangerous changes to their profiles like posting obscenities, personal information, or inappropriate photos or becoming friends with someone outside their age group. Parents can select which issues they’d like to be notified about and view a dashboard display of the items on their children’s profiles that violate the rules they’ve set up.
More Social Media Resources from Mashable:
- Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation
- 5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children
- HOW TO: Help Your Child Set Up a Blog
- The Case For Social Media in Schools
- 5 Innovative Tech Camps for Kids and Teens
- 4 Effective Tools for Monitoring Your Child’s Online Safety (mashable.com)
- Facebook app tackles cyber bullying (cbc.ca)
- ‘SafeSocial’ monitors children on social networks (telegraph.co.uk)
- The parents who police the online bullies (telegraph.co.uk)