Vodafone unveils child safety apps


Operator launches two Android apps to advise parents and help them control their child’s mobile usage, as it announces it will become founding member of new pan-European task force to improve online child safety

Vodafone has launched two Android apps and a mobile content filter to help improve safety for children using mobiles.

The firm’s Guardian app offers parents the ability to block calls and messages to prevent “cyber bullying” or to transfer bullying text messages to a secure folder to use as evidence when reporting incidents to the police or schools.

It also allows parents to restrict outgoing calls to preset numbers, and specify times during which calls cannot be made or received.

It can also place time limits on the use of specific apps, block access to the the mobile web oor the handset’s camera during specific times.

The app also sends a text message to a parent if the handset is used to call emergency services, but does not record logs of calls to counselling hotlines such as Childline to protect confidentiality.

The app has launched in Egypt, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the UK, with other countries to follow.

Vodafone has also released an app to accompany Guardian, called Digital Parenting, which provides help and advice for parents who want their children to benefit from smartphones hile protecting them from dangers. The Digital Parenting app is now available in the UK, and  will be made available in other countries in the future.

In addition, Vodafone has also introduced a mobile content filter that blocks inappropriate content for under 18s without parental consent

It has also announced it will become a founding member of a pan-European task force, the CEO Coalition, which has been established by European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes to improve child safety online.

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said, “The smartphone revolution is enormously positive for society, transforming the way millions of people communicate, share and learn. Children and young people have an intuitive understanding of the new world of smartphone communications and the mobile internet.

“However, parents who are concerned about the potential risks from cyber-bullying and unsuitable content often lack the tools, support and skills to protect and support their children. The Vodafone Guardian and Digital Parenting apps will empower parents and enhance their ability to share in their children’s digital journey to adulthood.”