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Trend Micro debuts Online Guardian

Software is designed to protect children from inappropriate content and contact online

Trend Micro has released its Online Guardian software, designed to help parents protect children from unwanted contact or inappropriate content online.
Trend Micro has released its Online Guardian software, designed to help parents protect children from unwanted contact or inappropriate content online.

Trend Micro has revealed its Trend Micro Online Guardian for Families, a product designed to help parents protect their children online while social networking.

The Online Guardian has parental controls, social network monitoring and internet filtering, designed to help parents protect children from inappropriate online content and contact on mobile phones, tablets, desktop PCs and laptops.

"Keeping our kids safe online is critical.  As busy parents who may or may not have the technical know-how, it's hard to keep up with our kids online," said Carol Carpenter, executive general manager for the consumer and small business units at Trend Micro and also a mother of two digitally-savvy children.  "Our vision with Trend Micro Online Guardian is to provide the tools and information for parents to become aware of their kids' online activities, to generate healthy family dialogue, and to prevent problems before they happen."

According to Trend Micro, Over 90% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 are on the internet and over 70% of teens have a social networking profile and face risks such as unwanted contact, scams, cyber-bullying, identity theft and security issues.

Trend Micro says that 68% of teens have accepted friend requests from people they don't know, 31% of teens have shared content on social networking sites they do not want family or teachers to see and 18% of teens have been disciplined as a result of sharing something on a social network.

"There are times in kids' development when a little up-front internet monitoring can be helpful to kids as well as the parents. One of those times is when kids are heading into middle school and engaging in social networking, another is when a child seems extra vulnerable," said Anne Collier, co-director of ConnectSafely.org. "Then it's great when parents use tech tools for talking points in the kind of calm, ongoing family discussion that really protects kids online and offline."

Fifty-six percent of teenage girls said that social networking helped them keep connected, while 68% said they have had negative experiences through social networking.

Trend Micro Online Guardian allows parents to monitor internet activities 24/7 on web sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr and stop access to adult content.

Parents will also be able to view browsing histories, wall postings, messages, photos and videos, both shared and viewed, and chat logs to help prevent damage to their reputation. The parental control system is also designed to block sharing of personal information to protect children from online predators, identity thieves and cybercriminals.

The Online Guardian also has settings designed to limit a child's internet usage time and set daily access schedules.

The system can be installed on multiple devices and can monitor up to five children whether they are accessing the internet at home, on a mobile device or at a friend's house.

Privacy settings within Facebook and MySpace are also unable to stop Trend Micro Online Guardian from monitoring activities.

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