A recent report, commissioned by Garlik, has shown that the rise of online social networking tools such as MySpace and Facebook has exposed children to a number of dangers such as cyberbullying, grooming and fraud. Worryingly the report found that 20 per cent of eight to fifteen year olds surveyed had given out their mobile numbers online. However, although the potential dangers of PC based internet use for children are well understood, Lorcan Burke CEO of AdaptiveMobile argues that when it comes to mobile phones, there is still a lot to learn.

“While the internet is generally accessed at home via the family or individual child’s PC, how many parents think about the access their child may have via their personal mobile phone? Although not immediately obvious, the mobile phone poses a more serious problem than PCs as they are an inherently more private medium and are harder to police.

“One in four children in the UK own a mobile phone. By the end of the year the average age a person will acquire their first mobile phone is expected to be eight years – a huge opportunity for those wishing to exploit the qualities of mobile phones that have been so instrumental in fuelling their growth – their immediacy, simplicity and ubiquity.

Service providers can, however, empower parents to manage the types of content their children receive through controls which allow parents to prevent children from accessing inappropriate web and WAP sites; receiving unwanted and unsolicited calls and messages, bullying and harassment, pornographic images by MMS; or subscription to unwanted premium rate messaging services. Studies into online habits have shown that the most effective form of protection is that of parental consultation and education of appropriate behaviour. Therefore, rather than deciding what is appropriate for a user, operators and regulators should provide parents with the ability to set controls and with the associated insights into their children’s usage in order that parents can fully assume this responsibility.

AdaptiveMobile provides unified mobile customer protection across all cellular technologies, security threats and media type. This includes protection against illegal or inappropriate content, viruses and malware, unsolicited messaging and unauthorised communications. It allows mobile operators to offer Parental Controls to protect minors, and to extend corporate security policies through to mobile assets. It works across all mobile services (WAP, SMS, MMS, email), all forms of access (Mobile, WiFi, WiMax) and for all media including mobile internet, text, images, music, voice and video. This unified protection ensures the growth of data ARPU for mobile and convergent operators.

By implementing a solution that helps protect the growing mobile markets in Youth & Enterprise sectors, operators can deliver appropriate security control over privacy, spend and protection from malicious intent. Mobile phones are a direct connection into a child’s mind, so it is imperative we protect vulnerable segments of our population. It is important that these controls are supplemented with support from parents and teachers, educating children to be fully aware they should not share their mobile phone numbers and other personal details online.”

If you would like more information or a briefing with a Lorcan Burke, CEO at AdaptiveMobile please contact Elena Dunn on +44 (0)20 7608 4646.

About AdaptiveMobile:
AdaptiveMobile is a business funded by Intel and Doughty Hanson in the emerging mobile security software space. The company's focus is on mobile customer protection. It covers all security threats to mobile operators, corporates and consumers including mobile viruses and malware, inappropriate content and unsolicited communications. Their software works across all bearers, all technologies and all media.

AdaptiveMobile's approach is the only truly effective method of ensuring protection against unauthorised, illegal and harmful material. In today's social and business environment, the obligations to protect subscribers increase at every opportunity.

The mobile industry is increasingly recognising the need to protect users in order to build revenues, loyalty and the value of the network. Whether to protect vulnerable users such as children with mobiles for family contact or to support corporates fulfil their duty-of-care to employees, operators are increasingly accepting a service responsibility to subscribers.

AdaptiveMobile's customers include some of the world's largest and most advanced mobile operators and service providers. Additionally, leading solution providers to the security industry are embedding Adaptive products in their offerings to provide comprehensive security capabilities.

Founded in 2003, AdaptiveMobile is headquartered in Dublin with offices in the North America, Europe, South Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific. More information is available at www.AdaptiveMobile.com.

Press contact:
Elena Dunn
Skywrite Communications
Tel: +44 (0)207 608 4646
Email: adaptivemobile@skywritecomms.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 6th June 2007