New app could help parents monitor child’s smartphone activity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Whether you have a toddler obsessed with tablets or a smartphone-addicted teenager, do you ever wonder what’s going on behind the screen? Soon there may be an app to help keep parents clued in. A team in Indiana is working to make apps that not only helps law enforcement be more efficient protecting kids online but also for parents.

Indiana journalists report that parents can be notified if their kids are doing illegal activity on or offline.

Snapchat, Twitter, Instant messaging are all platforms for teens to communicate on. But as a parent, do you ever wonder what they’re saying or sending?

“Kids are using their phones in the bathroom and the bedroom and parents most of the time don’t know what’s going on,”Cyber Inform CEO Rachel Sitarz said.

If you’re a parent worried about what’s going on behind the screens, a new app could help clue you in.

“Kind of a way to monitor on smartphones of what’s going on,” said Sitarz. “Especially kids getting caught up in getting in a lot of trouble.”

Co-founder Kyle Wise said its goal is to design apps to help keep kids safer online.

“You can trust your kid,” said Wise. “But it’s not out of line to want to see what they’re really up to.”

Sitarz previously worked with Indiana State Police as part of the Internet crimes against children task force.

“These predators are masters at manipulating children,” said Sitarz. “Taking advantage of them and getting them to trust them and send them inappropriate stuff.”

The team has been working hard to design “the mommy app” and plans to have it up and running by fall.

“It will essentially run on phones, devices and tablets and it will run the background and anything that’s deemed inappropriate or bad, it will ping on that and it will send a report to the person who is running the software.”

“It may seem harmless,” said Wise. “Like sending a snapchat of me and my underwear. Well that’s online forever.”

Wise said the app gives parents easy tools to help monitor their kid’s devices, while at the same time being inexpensive and easy to use.

But that’s not the only app Cyber Inform is creating.

Wise and Sitarz said they are also working on an app to help stop domestic abuse.

The app aims to help domestic violence and sexual abuse victims and will record evidence showing abuse. From there, the app will send the information to dispatch immediately and leave no trace of evidence on the phone or of any recordings.

Wise said it’s his past that inspired him to create an app like this.

“I was sexually abused and raped as a child,” said Wise. “And I watched domestic violence in my own home.”

The app is still in the works but the team is working hard to help make the community a safer place.

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