New app could help parents monitor child’s smartphone activity

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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 local team is working to make apps that help law enforcement and parents protect kids online.

News 18 reports how parents can be notified if their kids are participating in illegal activities both online and offline.

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

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

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,” Sitarz said. “Especially kids getting caught up in getting in a lot of trouble.”

Co-founder Kyle Wise said Cyber Inform’s goal is to design apps to help keep kids safer online.

“You can trust your kid,” Wise said. “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, at taking advantage of them and getting them to trust them and send them inappropriate stuff,” Sitarz said.

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, tablets and it will run the background 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,” Sitarz said.

“It may seem harmless,” Wise said. “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 at an inexpensive cost.

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. It 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 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,” he said. “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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