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A Conversation With Students On Internet Safety

At Mobicip, some unusual requests come by our way once in a while. This week, students from a school using Mobicip sent us some rather pertinent questions. It led to an interesting email conversation, published here in full with names withheld.
Students using iPads in the classroom
Hello S and friends

Thank you for contacting us with these questions. We felt it would be best to have our co-founders answer your questions from a personal point-of-view.

Q: Why do we need Mobicip?
As parents of young children ourselves, we see the need to create a safe internet environment for our families. The purpose is two-fold. Living without the internet is not an option for anyone today, especially for students like you who use the internet for homework, discussions, research, projects, etc. Like most good things, there are some dangers on the internet as well, and just like with driving, a little bit of guidance is good to help you learn to use it safely and responsibly. 

As technologists, our goal is to solve problems in society using technology. Mobicip was founded with the goal of providing tools that schools can use to enable one-to-one learning, where each student is provided with a learning device for individualized instruction. It is something we fundamentally believe in and hope will change the world and how children learn.

Q: How is Mobicip safe for students?
Mobicip creates a safe and secure subset of the internet by empowering the parent or administrator to define what is acceptable for your age, and adjust the policy as you grow up. Besides, it is an advanced filtering service that is provided on what is called the 'internet cloud'. So it allows us to do some really neat things like scan the content you're accessing while you're accessing it and make decisions based on that. If you're into mathematics and computer software, you'll realize that its a really tricky and difficult problem to solve. As you may know, geeks (like us) love hard problems and enjoy solving them!

Q: How can we know that Mobicip is 100% safe?
Mobicip is not 100% safe, and no equivalent product or technology can claim that either. Like its never 100% safe to drive or fly, but we still say its safe enough based on the likelihood of adverse things happening. Similarly, we believe that having an intelligent filter backed up by a parent or administrator involved in the process of educating you to use the internet safely is as safe as it gets.

Q: How does Mobicip work?
A parent or administrator can install Mobicip on smartphones, tablets or computers. The app is enabled using a Mobicip account, which can then be used to login at mobicip.com (or the Monitor app) to configure the settings and remotely monitor browsing history. Behind the scenes, Mobicip's cloud filtering engine runs constantly and scans the content being accessed to make sure the acceptable use policy is enforced.

Q: Is it respecting our privacy?
Absolutely. Your data is safe with us and no one (other than the account administrator, of course) can individually track what you're doing on the internet. We do not sell the data to third-parties or advertisers in any shape or form whatsoever.

Q: How many students are using Mobicip?
It is hard to say since many schools and students are using the service without us knowing about it. The number would be in the hundreds of thousands. Our users are spread around the world as well.

Q: Do you suggest to use Mobicip Why?
We recommend Mobicip to our families and friends all the time, especially for younger children. As explained above, many studies have proven the real benefits of helping children learn to be digital citizens the right way.

Q: Do you think that adults should use Mobicip too? 
There are some situations where adults have a need for Mobicip. Although we do support adult users, it is not our primary mission as a company and team. Having said that, we do try and accommodate their needs as best we can.

We appreciate the effort and thought you have put into this. It is an important conversation to have, and we hope we helped further the thought process.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
Photo credit: flickingerbrad / Foter / CC BY
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Tips To Manage Your Family's Internet Time

It is a given that younger children's use of electronic media has increased dramatically. Contemporary parents are comfortable with this trend and actually see value in it. What we also know is that children are likely to run some risks if they access the internet unsupervised, especially for long periods of unbroken time.

Did you know that Mobicip allows you to manage internet time, across smartphones, tablets and computers in your family?
Login at mobicip.com, select Settings > Time Limits, and select the time window when internet should be allowed. If setup correctly, access will be blocked on any device or computer outside of the allowed time windows.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Learn How To Monitor Apps On Your Family's iOS Devices

Did you know you can manage not only internet usage using Mobicip, but also manage apps on your family's iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad? The new App Monitor feature is in private beta now for Premium users. If you signed up for the interest list, you should get a notification shortly. Upon notification, follow these steps to get setup.

1. On the iOS device that you wish to monitor, unlock and launch Safari.
2. Login at mobicip.com and select Monitor > Apps from the main menu.
3. From the device list, find the device that you're using. Touch 'Download' to install the profile.
4. Once the profile is installed, accept the warning and you should see a confirmation.
Thats it! App Monitor is enabled on that iOS device. Repeat steps 1-4 for other premium iOS devices in your family. You may then login at mobicip.com from any browser and select Monitor > Apps to monitor the apps installed on your family's iOS devices.

To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!

The Mobicip crew
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

How To Block Objectionable Content On YouTube

This should be no surprise really. According to Common Sense Media's 'Zero to Eight' survey, 47% of kids use mobile devices to watch videos today. A 135% jump since 2011! Of course, YouTube remains the No. 1 online video destination on the internet, according to Nielsen Online. It goes without saying that what kids watch, or stumple upon, on YouTube is one of the biggest sources of worry for parents.

Google's Safety Mode for YouTube is poorly supported on mobile. Even if you're able to setup and enforce Safety Mode, whether it is actually effective is questionable. Try it out yourself to see its effectiveness, or lack thereof.
On tablets like the iPad, Galaxy, and Kindle Fire series, setting up a Safe Browser (like Mobicip, of course) remains the most effective alternative to keep bad stuff out! Mobicip instantly screens each video by its title, description and other metadata. You can monitor the videos yourself via the Monitor appemail or online report. No filter is 100% effective, but having an automated scanner and a parent to back it up is as good as it gets. Try Mobicip for free today.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

How To Be An Advocate For Mobile Learning

Its a given the personal mobile devices are ubiquitous and pervasive today. Except in schools, that is. The Living and Learning with Mobile Devices survey reveals that 72% of parents say their child's school bans the use of family-owned mobile devices.
According to the SpeakUp survey, 55% of teachers, and an equal proportion of principals and administrators feel the biggest obstacle to the use of technology in schools is the lack of enough tablets, computers or a budget to purchase them. But surprisingly enough, 62% of parents are willing to purchase a device if used for learning purposes! Obviously, there is a meeting of minds here. What this means is that you, the parent, are the biggest untapped resource who can move the needle on mobile learning!

Get in touch with your child's teacher, principal, and school administrators today! Talk to them aboutthese findings and what you can do to help! You may accomplish more than you think is possible.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
Photo credit: flickingerbrad / Foter / CC BY

Auto-Update Your Safe Browser On Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is one of the most popular devices that Mobicip is used on. However, Amazon has not allowed third-party browsers of any kind on the native App Store, for reasons unknown. As you know, you can still add parental controls using the Safe Browser by sideloading it on the device. 

This presents a unique challenge in pushing out new features and updates over time. As a user, you will need to manually keep track of updates and make sure the latest update is installed. To simplify this, the new Safe Browser automatically prompts when an update is available. You could also check if an update is available from the browser's menu. 

  
At Mobicip, we constantly strive to make your experience more intuitive, and we hope this feature helps you in keeping the app up to date.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Important Update For Safe Browser On Android

The redesigned Safe Browser for Android has been a big hit! Thousands of parents have installed the browser and setup parental controls on the Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire, etc. As can be expected, the first version had a couple of glitches that are fixed in the latest (2.0.1) update. Update the Safe Browser from the Google Play Store (or by sideloading on the Kindle Fire) today!

Parents and school administrators typically install the browser on his/her own device before setting it up for the family or school. One of the key issues faced is with removing the app, which required some jumping through hoops. The new update greatly simplifies the install and uninstall process. Simply open the Safe Browser menu, select Settings > Mobicip > Uninstall Mobicip. Enter your passcode to remove the app and associated parental controls in a jiffy.

To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!

The Mobicip crew
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Parental Controls For Galaxy Tab & Kindle Fire

As the most popular parental controls for tabletsMobicip has seen users move to new devices over time. In the early days, the iPod touch was the most popular, over time displaced by the iPad, then theiPad mini. While schools are still big on the iPad line-up, it appears that parents and families favor the Kindle Fire and Galaxy Tab today. Why not, as these devices are getting more affordable as the price inches towards the $100 point.

At Mobicip, we have worked hard to keep up with this shift. The Safe Browser has evolved from a basic version to a full-featured and high-quality browser.

Once setup, follow the steps in these tutorials to setup your Premium settings and review browsing history reports online or using the Monitor app on iOS.
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
 
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

How To Have 'The Conversation' About Internet Usage

Experts agree that parents and teachers have a responsibility today to educate students and childrenabout safe internet usage. One of the most effective ways is to create 'teachable moments'. Parental controls (like Mobicip) are ideal tools to create these seemingly random opportunities to have 'the conversation'.

At Mobicip, we created the Monitor app for exactly this purpose. First setup Mobicip on your family or student iOS / Android tablets and Windows 7/8 PCs. Then install the Monitor app from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Launch the app to see a quick summary.

Drill down into the reports and see the reason for blocking any content, and whether it was reasonable to do so. Have the conversation with your child or student. Now you can choose to allow the website, or just allow the domain itself.
 
Seize the teachable moments. Stay in touch. You'll be amazed at what you can learn from kids today!
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

The What And The Why Of 'Mobile Learning'

Did you know that the tablet is said to be the most significant development in education technology since the overhead projector? Just look at the facts. Apple alone has 10 million iPads in US school systems. That means at least 20% of students in US public and private schools are using school-issued tablets. Moreover, 62% of parents are willing to purchase a tablet for use at school for learning.

So what really is driving the change? Results. Data. Hard evidence. Yes, study after study has reported the benefits of true mobile learning in the classroom and outside. Administrators have little choice but to take a hard look and take action, or justify reasons for not doing so!
For the first time in history, education is driving technology by forcing companies to innovate. Still skeptical? Just wait until you hear from your kids' school! Mobicip is proud to play a part in history by being a small but significant enabler. Mobicip's mobile security and parental controls protect hundreds of thousands of students today, and the number keeps growing!
 
To report issues or feedback, please get in touch with us. If you're happy with Mobicip, leave a happy review on the Apple App Store or Google Play store! Your feedback and support will be greatly appreciated!
 
The Mobicip crew
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Photo credit: flickingerbrad / Foter.com / CC BY
This is a copy of the latest Mobicip newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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