On Thursday night, DC-based startup uKnow hosted a new product launch and mixer at Uber Offices in Dupont Circle. uKnow’s mission is to help families protect their personal data and information from being misused to invade their privacy, impact their reputation, steal their identity, or threaten their safety. Their flagship product was uKnowKids, the world’s first parental intelligence system for the parents of digital kids.
It’s impossible for parents to have eyeballs on their kids 24/7, and with kids having more and more access to social networking, uKnow realized there was a huge market for parents who want to understand what their kids are up to on their computers and mobile devices. uKnowKids is a product that tracks a child’s digital footprint with the aim of protecting them from potential predators, cyberbullies, and other dangers they might encounter online.
The first iteration of uKnowKids was a huge success, but like most great ideas, there was still plenty of room for improvement. These improvements and several new features were revealed Thursday night with the launch of uKnowKids 2.0. Parents loved the original version, but their main comment was that it wasn’t fast enough. That is now fixed–2.0 is much much faster. The new version also includes the following features:
- Big Picture View – parents can now see all of their child’s online activity at once
- Social Scan – can locate secret accounts that kids may set up without permission
- Family Locator – ability to track a child’s location through their smartphones
- Geofences – alerts can be sent to parents when a child enters or leaves a preset area
- Ability to data mine messages and texts for keywords that could be harmful
Steve Woda, founder and CEO of uKnow also unveiled two new products will be launching in early 2014–uKnowFamily and uKnowID. uKnowFamily allows families to locate, connect, and chat with each other. It also enables the user to customize the level of privacy for different family members. In other words, while you may want to know what your kid is up to at 10pm on a Friday, the same level of interest does not apply to your uncle. uKnowFamily also provides a feature that will quickly and easily alert family members in an emergency.
uKnowID is a privacy and identity management product for individuals and the entire family. It monitors credit, public records, and social media while also providing a holistic view of their online presence. It will alert users of compromising photos and other pieces of information that may damage reputation. It also gives users actionable steps that they can take to protect their privacy and prevent misuse of their online identity and personal information. Admittedly, as a child-free individual, this is the product that has me the most intrigued.
Woda finished his announcement with some words about the future of uKnow. They have goals to reach one million users and to have zero points of failure. However, the bigger picture is about protecting kids, families, and individuals. Other companies are seeing the value in their products, and uKnow is playing a large part in making the digital world, and the real world, a safer place.