Digital Parenting with eKAVACH

Today, kids have access to mobiles, laptops and tablets from a very early age. They stay connected with the digital world not only for education, but also for entertainment, gaming and social networking. Internet is loaded with content that is informative and educational for the children. But, it also has content that can get them into trouble. They can access some nasty websites deliberately or accidentally, through social media they may come in contact with dangerous strangers or may go through cyber-bullying too. Also there could be some more unknown risks which may harm children. As parents, it is very important for us to be vigilant of our children’s online activities and safeguard their interests.

Today, Parental Control apps that can be installed on smartphones and mobile devices are becoming more and more common. I came across, eKAVACH which is an advanced digital parenting app. I am checking out the eKavach app as a part of an activity at BlogAdda

I downloaded the eKAVACH Parent app and asked KG to download the Child app, but we realized that eKAVACH is currently available for use across Apple and Android platforms only and KG uses a BlackBerry phone. So, asked my sister to download the eKAVACH Child app and she added the name of the child as Aman. (This is a fictitious name)

Once the accounts were created on both the phones. We started exploring it.

 Screenshot_2015-04-04-16-09-19In the settings there are 4 sub categories viz·

  • Application
  • Internet
  • Notifications
  • My Family Time


On selecting the Applications, a list of various Applications viz AntiVirus, Dictionary, Facebook, Messenger, CamScanner, Whatsapp and other System Applications which are installed on the Child device, appear. A parent can Allow/Block these apps and also set specific time during which these apps can be accessed. 2
 3The Internet has 3 sub categories:·

  • Categories
  • Site Filtering
  • Internet Timings
The Internet Categories has 32 parenting appropriate web categories. There are age appropriate permissions on these categories.These categories are labeled as Adult, Aggressive, Arts, Automotive, Criminal Activities Dynamic, Family and Parenting, Fashion, Hobbies and Interests, Lifestyle, Malicious, Religion, Uncategorized etc. A parent can Allow/Block appropriate internet categories.4
 5In Site Filtering, parents can specifically enter the website that they want to allow or block.
Site Filtering also has a list of all websites accessed by the child  segregated by time stamp viz Today/ Yesterday/ Last 7 days. For example, the sites shown in the pic were accessed by my sister for the testing of this app. Parents can block specific sites accessed by the child from this feature. 6
 7In Internet Timings, parents can monitor day-wise and hour-wise internet usage. May be we dont want them to access internet at late night or when at school etc.
My Family Time is a feature that allows the parent to set the wake-up, lunch, dinner and sleep time for the child. Once set, internet and application access will not be available for that time. This allows a child to take a break from the device. 8

Apart from these features, there is a Child’s Device Heartbeat which enables the parents to ensure that the child is within their reach. On specific intervals , say every half an hour or every hour, the eKAVACH  Child will send a ‘heartbeat’ to the parent device along with the location.

After exploring the app, the next step was to test the app.

My sister searched for ‘Adult Jokes/Risque Pics’, and I immediately got a message that a blocked category, Miscellaneous/Dynamic was accessed.  But it allowed my sister to access the content, both on the web as well as in Images. Though when she typed the word ‘Porn’, it said, ‘Cant load search results’.

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 So, it is not actually fool proof and may be some aspects of it need to be ironed out. Or may be the parents can block the specific site when they get an alert about it. But beyond a doubt, an app like this is a big step towards safeguarding our children from the threats of the cyber world.

My sister who was acting as a Child in this app testing, raised a point about this app invading a child’s privacy and that it may foster a sense of mistrust between the parent and the child.

I believe, the idea is not to invade the privacy of the child but it is to monitor for red-flags that only adults with years of experience can recognize. By appropriately monitoring and blocking sites that could pose a threat, we can ensure that our child never falls in the trap of ugly and dark problems that internet can put them into.  With apps like eKAVACH , we can recognize the threat and take timely corrective actions.