Developer: Mobicip LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
Mobicip Safe Browser - Access to the Internet proves useful in so many different situations, especially mobile access. For kids, mobile Internet access can prove both a learning and entertainment tool, but unfortunately, unrestricted access to the Internet is a dangerous prospect for kids.
As a parent, I know the struggle that comes from trying to balance technology and personal safety. For those parents who are concerned about their child having access to the Internet with their own iPod touch or iPhone, Mobicip Safe Browser from Mobicip is a solution that can be used in place of the default Safari browser.
Rather than just limiting Internet access all together, this safe browsing app is designed to filter content based on age appropriate levels pre-selected by parents. Real-time content filtering and encrypted traffic for public Wi-Fi privacy results in browsing restrictions and safety similar to those placed on school and library computers. Mobicip Safe Browser doesn’t burden the load on the device and it doesn’t cause any noticeable delays in surfing.
Parents simply download Mobicip Safe Browser from the app store onto the device and then register on the Mobicip website. Once an account is created (which does not require more than an email address and password), parent can choose to filter content based on elementary, middle, and high school levels.
The real question for most parents is going to be “does Mobicip Safe Browser work?” and the short answer is “yes.”
First of all, parents should know that set up is quick and easy — even for those who might be technologically challenged. Once set up is finished and the browser launches, the “home page” displays pre-selected, pre-approved bookmarks to useful sites like Wikipedia, HowStuffWorks, and Britannica Mobile iPhone Edition.
Searching within Mobicip Safe Browser will yield only results that are deemed appropriate and in-line with the age level selected by the parent. For example, when using the elementary school age restrictions, MySpace will not load at all. Switching to middle school will load the MySpace home page but restricts searches within the site itself. Mobicip Safe Browser does a good job of filtering inappropriate searches and will simply display a message to kids that access to the page is denied.
For the most part, Mobicip Safe Browser is stable, though periodically I received a message that it couldn’t connect to the internet even when Safari could. The search function within Mobicip is basically the same as searching with Safari and uses the Google search engine. To maintain restricted Internet access and assure Mobicip Safe Browser is the only available browser, parents will need to remember to visit the “settings” menu on the device and disable Safari prior to use. Complete instructions are included on the Mobicip website.
Keep in mind that access to some websites in Mobicip Safe Browser, especially popular ones like You Tube and MySpace, will be restricted depending on the age appropriateness selected. The level of access a child has is, and should be, solely based on parental preferences. I found that because of the restrictions imposed on the elementary school level, my elementary school aged child only became frustrated with denial of what would be a normal and acceptable search on our home computer. However, readjusting the settings in Mobicip Safe Browser to middle school solved our specific search problem.
Regardless of your own house rules, Mobicip Safe Browser provides a way to customize restriction options according to your preference while still ensuring safe Internet browsing for kids. If you have been hesitating to give your child access to an iDevice because of internet capabilities, definitely check out Mobicip as it will probably alleviate many of the concerns you have. While not guaranteed to work in every instance, for every person, as a free app with the capabilities it has, Mobicip Safe Browser is a solid solution to browsing safety concerns.