Telstra’s Safe Social Tool and The Accel

Spoke with Karl about some new tools that are designed to help parents keep an eye on kids. It's called the Telstra Safe Social tool. What does it do? Features include

New "iSpy" technology will give parents an insight into their children' Facebook activity. Parents are alerted with an SMS text or email about bad behaviours. It can:

  • The safety tool scans social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Myspace on any device (computer, phone, tablet)
  • SMS and email alerts can be sent as soon as it detects:
  • Abusive or offensive words,
  • Inappropriate content
  • Monitor friend requests from strangers.
  • The content danger list is updated daily by creators.
  • Kids activity can also be monitored via a screen "dashboard" or with daily or weekly reports. It's a Cloud-based technology which allows kids to prove themselves trustworthy.
  • Aimed at catching out bullies and predators before damage is done.
  • Creators liken it to having a parent in the room. Creaters hope it instigates parents and children to talk about web dangers.

I see a couple of problems with this service. First of all, you have to ask you kid for their user names and passwords in order for it to work. How many kids will be willing to do this? And if you force them to give you their details – ie, “No more computer until you cough up detes” – what is to stop them starting a dummy account?

It is also costing you $10 a month to use. Why not buy a security software solution from the likes of Trend Micro, Nortons or similar provider, for about $150 which not only covers parental control but has a whole slew of other features, too?

Another item we talked about was the accelerometer, which monitors the driving/movements of the car. It collects data on things like:

  • Braking
  • Speeding
  • Cornering
  • Changing lanes.
  • Anything to do with movement.

If any of these movements are detected/deemed to be severe or erratic it sounds a beep – the more severe movement the more beeps. It could be beeping for several reasons, and the number of beeps means different things, such as:

  • One beep - Eco Event: just a little heavy on the gas or brakes. Take more care - heavy braking or over acceleration adds to operating costs.
  • Two beeps – Aggressive driving: Ease up. No need to rush. It's more expensive and means accidents will happen.
  • Three beeps – Unsafe driving: Slow down immediately. Give more room to other motorists. Start paying attention.
  • Four beeps – Dangerous driving: You are at risk. If this is happening on your journeys, you are placing yourself, your passengers and other motorists at serious risk.
  • Five beeps – Sustained dangerous driving: Extreme risk event. This should be a wake up call to look at your driving and adjust immediately. It's not cool, it's deadly and

It has a GPS tracker that transmits the information collected by the Accelerometer back to a password protected website.

This information is presented to parents/family and shows if car has been driven safely, where the car has been driven and how, and gives a full rundown of driving habits.