Some Hoosier parents are using new online tools to help keep track of their kids’ online habits in an effort to keep them safe from bullying and online predators.
Pastor Jeffrey Richards recently signed up for P911 Safety to keep up with his 16-year-old daughter.
P911 allows him to tap into what kind of activities she’s into, who she’s talking to, who is talking to her, where she goes and it even sends him notifications when it catches any buzz words like “fight” and “gun.”
While some may call that spying or an invasion of privacy, Richards said he’s just keeping up with the times.
“The way kids communicate now is via cyber space," he explained. "I think it's best to put out the fire when you smell the smoke as opposed to waiting until there's a blaze."
P911 Safety is just the latest in a wave of monitoring tools, like My Mobile Watchdog and ScreenRetriever, popping up all over the web. It was inspired by internet security expert Tim Woda after his own son became the target of an online predator.
"It makes you scared to realize that there are people that really do intend to cause our kids harm," said Woda. "Parents are desperate for this."
Richards said in a world where kids are communicating electronically, it’s important for parents to stay one step ahead. He said it’s smart parenting that could even save lives.
"I don't believe you can really be an effective parent without knowing your child's real life,” said Richards. “And their real life is not when they're with you. It's when they're away from you."
More information about P911 Safety is availabe online, just use the code 3751.