uKnow.com Strives to Make the Online World Safer for Kids

July 25, 2011

9:00 am

According to a 2010 Harris Interactive/McAfee survey, fifty-one percent of teens say they have given out personal information online to someone they don’t know in the offline world. uKnow.com is looking to make the online space, where so many kids and teens spend their time, a safer place. The company announced last week that it raised $1 million from The Center for Innovative Technology and other angel investors.

uKnow.com plans to use the money to continue building out its robust parental intelligence platform and expand its marketing programs. The company powers leading online child safety sites, enabling parents to protect their kids against online predators, sexting and cyberbullying. The uKnowKids service, the first of its kind, offers to do more than merely show parents the messages their kids are sending and receiving; uKnowKids goes further by accruing the vast amount of social data available online and on mobile phones and translating it into a format that parents can easily and quickly understand.

“There has been a tremendous amount of activity in this market space in terms of customer interest as well as financial investments, which bodes well for our company’s future,” said Steve Woda, co-founder and CEO of uKnow.com. Woda hopes to build upon the success the company has already achieved, including numerous partnerships with leading child safety sites and sales of about 20,000 subscription months.

uKnow.com was formed in response to a real-life Internet predator incident that occurred with a co-founder’s child. When the young teen accepted a friend request on the Internet from someone he did not know–a friend of a friend– he was unaware that this friend was a child predator that had previously targeted and victimized several other kids he had met online. Thankfully, the child’s father discovered the situation and, with the help of police, intervened before anyone else was harmed.

The development and growth of uKnow.com reflects the serious need for its services in an increasingly online world. The uKnowKids service is currently available for $9.95 per month for one child and $19.95 per month for an unlimited number of children.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup.

She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, “Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership,” which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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