Stealth Israeli startup UnitedParents is stepping closer to the bright lights today by announcing a $900K seed round, and the beta availability of its online child safety product, aimed at alerting parents whenever their children become involved in a potentially dangerous relationship with online predators and / or cyber-bullying.
UnitedParents’ consumer product is a downloadable piece of software (Windows only for now) that monitors children’s online activity. The product will initially latch onto the more popular Instant Messaging apps such as those by ICQ, AIM, MSN, and Yahoo, but will expand to include online chat modules such as that of Facebook’s. Further down the road, the product will also monitor email and public chat rooms.
UnitedParents’ software keeps track of the child’s online activity, monitoring over thirty parameters along his or her path. Using analysis, the technology is able to create profiles of the persons the child has engaged with and of the relationships themselves. Once a predator or bully is identified, UnitedParents creates a sort of fingerprint that it propagates across its network. Doing so allows it to track this person and alert potential next cases very early on, theoretically before any harm is done to the next child in line.
Parents will be alerted by way of email and in more urgent cases, via SMS. The alerts will provide parents with information on why the alert was sent (e.g. when their 14-year old daughter has been chatting with someone UnitedParents has assessed to be in his 30′s and that is attempting to have her send him photos although she does not really want to).
The company also intends to offer their solution to social networks and online communities that operate chat environments for children.
The consumer product which will be marketed to parents of children ages 9 to 17 will be priced at under $100 when it officially ships in a few months. In the meantime you can sign-up for the beta by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org