The online world is rife with danger. From identity theft to bullying, viruses, porn, and unmonitored social interactions, the list of threats grows longer each and every day — and that’s when you just consider adults. When it comes to children trying to find their way online, the potential for danger skyrockets.
Fortunately, in the crowdsourced startup world we live in, it doesn’t take a company the size of Amazon or Google to come up with an accessible, affordable solution. Here are six startups that are devoted to developing tools with a laser focus on child safety:
One of the most ambitious child-safety tech startups at the moment is Gabb Wireless, a company pioneering the first mobile phone network that’s dedicated to the safety of children. Gabb’s CEO and founder, Stephen Dalby, has gone on record explaining that its phones are tailored to what kids need and what parents want (i.e., text messaging, a camera, a calendar, the radio), but the company provides these features in a phone that’s designed for children.
The goal is to provide a device that, while usable, is less addicting or dangerous than a full-blown smartphone. And based on the company’s early success, it appears the product is striking a chord with parents and children alike.
2. Super Awesome
Another startup that’s gotten in on kid-friendly tech development is Super Awesome. The tech company specializes in providing parent-approved tech of all shapes and sizes. Its products focus on providing parental controls, kid-friendly advertising, and a kid-safe social media environment.
The company has found enormous success in its brief lifespan. It’s already partnered with companies like Hasbro, Cartoon Network, and Nintendo and even passed the almighty bar of profitability in just half a decade.
One of the greatest concerns of parents is the need for protection from fraudulent or inappropriate online encounters. Enter SafeToNet. The startup has been developing a cyber safety system since 2016 that’s particularly focused on policing the exchange of inappropriate messages and sexting.
The tools provided by SafeToNet aim to protect a child’s privacy when it comes to the individual messages he or she sends. At the same time, the product provides parents with general reports that outline the emotional condition of a child based on the messages being monitored.
UKnow is another startup that’s working to help monitor children’s behavior online. The company’s flagship product, uKnowKids, aims to provide a secure level of protection on children’s smartphones and social media to bring a more traditional level of involvement to parents when it comes to their children’s online behavior.
UKnowKids enables parents to closely monitor their children’s interactions and even creates a firewall of sorts that acts as a screening service for their children’s devices. This requires parental approval before anyone engages with the child. The goal is to provide the online equivalent of “knocking on the door” to ask if a child can come out to play.
Backed by entrepreneur Lawrence Ng, child-safety startup KidGuard takes monitoring to the next level. While the privacy element of the child goes by the wayside, KidGuard does provide an unparalleled level of comprehensive observation over a child’s device.
Parents who install KidGuard on their child’s smartphones are able to see everything from text messages and chats to social media, browser history, installed apps, contacts, and even GPS location.
Finally, we have MamaBear. Most of the tech on this list has focused on either providing hardware exclusively made for children or installing monitoring apps to observe a child’s behavior on regular applications and social media platforms. MamaBear looks to compartmentalize the entire monitoring experience into a single application.
The MamaBear app is designed to serve as an all-in-one app that parents can use to create a virtual private communication hub for their family. The app allows family members to stay in contact with each other and see each other’s current locations. It even comes with a social media monitoring feature and reputation management tools.
These six companies are just a sampling of the numerous startups working toward building a safer online world for our children. All are aiming to create both strong companies and products that will make the world a better place.