Irish start-up combats cyber bullying with new mobile app

24 Jan 2011

Dublin start-up Associate Mobile has developed a new parental supervision platform called Mobileminder, so parents can monitor their child’s mobile activities remotely. The platform is now available for a 14-day free trial on Android phones.

The company, which is based at Dublin Docklands Innovation Park, is developing cloud-based mobile platforms for enterprise and consumer markets, with Mobileminder being its first commercial output.

Text, email and location supervision

Mobileminder’s Parental Control Dashboard enables parents to view the people contacting their child and monitor messages sent to and from their child’s phone. It also has a location system that allows parents to pinpoint where their child is at any time.

Another innovative aspect of Mobileminder is its built-in system that notifies parents to texts with specific words that could be linked to cyber bullying, sexting or unusual behaviour.

Mobileminder is now available for download on Android Market. Other versions of the platform are in development.

Preventing grooming and sexting incidents

With the worrying growth of cyber bullying, grooming and sexting when children use mobile phones, Don Corbett, CEO of Associate Mobile, points to a recent poll carried out by the children’s charity NCH, which found that one in five 11- to 19-year-olds have been bullied, harassed or threatened via SMS text.

“As the prices of smartphones continue to fall and their popularity increase, they are becoming a must-have for kids and teens,” says Corbett.

Mini computers and the dangers

“Many parents are installing parental control software on their desktop computers and there are many internet solutions for supervising personal computer usage but the new reality is that children are now walking around with mini computers in their pockets. We decided to develop Mobileminder to give parents a similar set of tools, that are already available for desktops, to supervise their children’s mobile activities,” he adds.

Associate Mobile has also been receiving mentoring at DCU Ryan Academy over the past few months to help with its efforts in gaining a foothold in the cloud-based mobile platform space.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic