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Vodafone Guardian is our app of the week

  • Vodafone introduces online safety apps
  • Enables parents to control smartphone usage
  • Available free on Android operating smartphones
Written by Mikaella Clements
20/03/2012

Vodafone has introduced a new free app for Android smartphones geared towards keeping children safe online.

 

Vodafone apps

The app allows parents to monitor and control smartphone usage amongst their children. It comes pre-programmed with three age-specific settings for 7-8 year olds, 9-10 year olds, and 11-12 year olds, but settings can be customized manually. It may also be particularly useful to reassert control as teenagers turn to smartphones to avoid a parent's strict control on home computers.

Vodafone Guardian enables parents to:

  1. Block specific contacts or mobile phone numbers as a deterrent to bullying text messages and calls,
  2. Create a secure 'bullying folder' for text messages that can be used as evidence with their child's school or the police,
  3. Restrict outgoing calls to specified contacts, i.e. Mum, Dad, or specific friends,
  4. Specify times during which the child can make or receive calls, use apps, access the Web, and use the camera, and
  5. An instant override for emergencies which allow children to use the full functionality of the phone for 15 minutes.

Vodafone's customer operations director Cormac Hodgkinson said: "[We] hope the new app encourages parents and children to talk openly about responsible mobile phone use, creating a sense of mutual respect and understanding when it comes to digital technology."

The new app follows the launch of Vodafone's Digital Parenting app, which aims to "help parents get to grips with some of the digital devices and services their children enjoy, such as Facebook, Google, and smartphones, and to get more involved in their digital world".

For parents who are concerned about their child's usage of smartphones and the web and wish they knew how to properly confront their child and understand exactly what was going on, the app is invaluable. It removes the problem of a communication barrier and lack of understanding between parents and children by teaching parents exactly what their children are using, so that parents can better understand what they want to control usage of and how to do it.

The app offers advice on a range of issues from mobile costs that may result in bill shock to hurtful and dangerous activity such as online bullying and sexting. It also provides 'How to' guides that can help parents become more comfortable with the online tools and websites their children are using.

At the moment both of these apps are only available on Android operating smartphones. If you're interested in getting one for your child, consider the TransACT Endless 49 plan, which will ensure that your child always has enough credit to call home for help. Call TransACT on 1300 302 514.

If you are only after a light plan, you could try the $29 Optus Cap plan, which includes a range of Android operating phones. Call Optus on 1300 136 793.

If you have any further questions, or need help in picking the best plan for your phone, don't hesitate to call us on 1300 106 571.

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