AOL UK has launched SafeSocial, a bespoke social media monitoring tool, providing parents with an overview of their children’s interactions across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
SafeSocial works to protect younger users by alerting parents to any irregular or concerning behaviour arising whilst spending time on social networks.
SafeSocial encourages positive dialogue between parent and child and requires consent from the young person before monitoring can be activated.
It does not require a parent to befriend their child on a specific network, and provides an overview of their online footprint including a ‘report card’ of overall activity and the identification of any potential red flags.
Parents also receive a real-time alert of any suspicious connections such as unique contacts outside the child’s network and indications of potential at-risk behaviours, including references to bullying, drugs and suicide.
Tailored to the UK market, SafeSocial also goes some way to addressing the growing issue of teenage reputation management online by allowing parents to review uploaded photos and photos in which their child has been tagged, for inappropriate behaviour and activity.
AOL’s head of Online Safety and Security, John Ryan, advises: “SafeSocial builds on AOL’s rich heritage in providing safety and security products online. We are offering parents a product that monitors their teen’s social media activity without being overly intrusive or invasive. SafeSocial helps parents to keep their children safe online by taking an across-the-board look at their child’s friends, connecting the dots and identifying any red flags.”
SafeSocial is the first major launch from AOL UK’s Paid Services division, a key growth area in AOL’s Communications/Product armoury, delivering additional revenue streams through the development of best-in-class offerings from PC utilities, safety & security products to online entertainment and lifestyle services. AOL provides consumers with a quick and easy way to find, try, purchase, and manage content and services on the web.
“The average social networking user has an average of 173 friends* and until now the job of tracking online activity has been both difficult and time consuming. SafeSocial enables teens to have their freedom and enjoy time on their favourite social networks, without being visibly monitored or censored, at the same time providing parents with a quick overview of any irregular activity,” said David Smith, Head of AOL UK Paid Services.
SafeSocial is available as a stand-alone product with a free 30-day trial. Thereafter it is priced at £6.99 a month for the ‘family plan’ allowing the monitoring of up to four separate individual accounts. AOL Broadband users who purchase SafeSocial will be able to access the product through their existing sign-in credentials.