PHOENIX, Ariz. — SurfBalance, a new app for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices, is available now at the Apple iTunes store. SurfBalance combines a fun, full-screen mobile Web browser with unique features that go beyond traditional Web site filtering to guide young Web users to develop better Web usage habits. SurfBalance lets parents guide, limit and verify their kids’ Web use, even if they are connecting to the Web through mobile hotspots that typically do not limit Web site access.
With kids out of school, Web browsing from mobile devices increases. A fall 2008 study “Parental Controls and Online Child Protection” by The Progress & Freedom Foundation (www.PFF.org) noted that “…it is essential that parents take steps to mentor and monitor their children as they enter the world of cyberspace. In addition, industry should empower parents with more and better tools to help them do that job.”
SurfBalance guides young Web users by providing a catalog, which parents can modify easily, of more than 1,000 kid-friendly sites. The app tracks and displays total usage and usage by category. This feature helps kids understand how they spend time on the Web and helps them find appropriate sites. When viewing allowed Web sites, SurfBalance provides full-screen mode to create a more immersive Web experience.
SurfBalance provides category level filtering, individual site level controls, and daily and weekly Web time browsing limits to limit Web travels. Parents can choose from three different site category filter levels to match the maturity of the users. When users try to visit a blocked site, they can request permission to view the blocked site. Parents can review these site visit requests and decide whether to allow access to the site or continue blocking. Parents can also choose to limit the maximum browsing time by day and week.
Parents can receive daily or weekly email reports detailing total Web usage time, browsing activity by category, and a list of Web sites where kids visit the most, along with links to review the sites directly from the report.
SurfBalance is available today in the App Store for $14.99 and is compatible with all iPhone and iPod Touch devices running OS 2.2 through the new OS 3.0 versions.
More information can be found at http://www.surfbalance.com or at the Apple App Store.