Despite assurances from web safety experts that Internet is not actually as bad a place as it is made out to be, minor children having free access to the World Wide Web still gives nightmares to parents. Are they going to the right websites? Are they sending or receiving inappropriate content? Will they be alright if left on their own surfing the net? Are they safe from stalkers and predators lurking online? Questions like these cloud their minds and make parents restless. But if technology is the cause for worry, it’s technology that offers solution too.
While keeping children away from Internet is not feasible any more, securing their safety is. There are several apps that you can download on your smartphones or tablets and keep track of your children’s online activities. Working in this direction, eKAVACH claims to be India’s first digital parenting application.
Launched last year by Delhi-based technology start-up Certus Technologies, eKAVACH claims to be India’s most comprehensive digital parenting application designed specially to increase parental awareness about their children’s activities online and in the social media.
Available on Android and iOS platforms, the free eKAVACH app offers families parental supervision and control over a child’s activities across various digital media “to ensure focused learning outcomes and appropriate usage of social media”. It offers insights about the behaviour and activities of children when they are online and on the move.
The app allows parents to monitor and engage with their children remotely on real-time basis. Parents can receive instant notifications about their child’s online activity and change settings on the move to support a child’s needs dynamically.
All you need to do is download the app on your and your children’s phones/tablets, register and sync the devices. You can review default parameter settings and customise to suit your requirements.
Its real-time filtering technology enables parents to block specific web categories, sites, inappropriate content, set appropriate time usage limits, limit access by days or times of day, and enable “safe search” on sites like YouTube and Google to block harmful sites from search results.
The developers claim to have been receiving an overwhelming response to the app, with close to 4,000 downloads in the last three months, besides an active Facebook and Twitter followership.
“We wanted to build a simple and easy-to-use tool that parents can deploy for Internet content safety, Internet time and application management. Through eKAVACH, we seek to empower parents with an e-shield so that they can protect their children from falling prey to cyber bullying, inappropriate web content and other forms of online dangers,” says Noopur Raghunath, Founder, eKAVACH.
Certus has a panel of experts connected to the fields of parenting, child psychology, education and child behaviour who provide regular insights to help develop the product.
“At eKAVACH, we feel childhood is all about exploration. Internet is a powerful tool that is revolutionising our children’s learning, communication and play. We firmly believed there is a need to introduce kids to digital age as soon as possible and why hold them back from something that will inevitably come to them,” says Raghunath.
But are teens open to the idea of parental control over their online activities?
“Parents do keep a tab on their child’s real-life activities through friends, family and local social fabric. We are simply looking to extend this into the digital world,” says Raghunath.
eKAVACH has plans to tie up with schools to offer services either as a standalone model, or as a customised offering to parents on behalf of schools.
User reviews of eKAVACH smartphone app have been mostly positive, though some parents say they would like a desktop application.