Santa Barbara, CA, April 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virtual World Computing, developer of the Cocoon online privacy solution, has partnered with child safety advocate Marc Klaas of The KlaasKids Foundation to develop CocoonKids for KlaasKids. After months of testing by parents and child safety advocates, this free online tool will be released in beta on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, and available at www.getcocoon.com/kids.
Marc Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed nearly 20 years ago, explains, "When we started the KlaasKids Foundation in 1994, the Internet wasn't a major factor, but today it is the new frontier for child safety. I thought this partnership was a wonderful opportunity to create a product that protects children from the many threats that exist today on the Internet." (Video of Marc Klaas explaining the need for tools to protect kids online is available at: http://blog.getcocoon.com/2012/11/08/cocoon-for-klaaskids/.)
Studies show that children today are online more than ever and at increasing risk of being illegally tracked and having their personal data and identities stolen. This does not apply only to teens. A recent study by Common Sense Media found that 22 percent of 5 to 8-year-olds use computers once a day, and more than a third of children under the age of 8 have used a mobile device - either cell phones or tablets - to watch movies, play games, and use apps. Personal data being collected on children is widely available.
According to Jeff Bermant, founder and CEO of Virtual World Computing, "We are pleased to be able to partner with Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation to develop a product that is so needed in today's world. With Cocoon users in over 100 countries, we have an opportunity to protect children in the US and worldwide by blocking a child's identity to online marketers and predators. We block the IP address and their location. We protect them inside of a cocoon."
CocoonKids for KlaasKids will be the only tool on the market that prevents children from being tracked, and not only gives parents a free tool to manage their kids' website visits, but also protects their family's personal information on their computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone, or other personal devices.
CocoonKids for KlaasKids product features:
- Tracking Protection: Children will only be able to visit parent-approved sites and the sites will not be able to track them
- Secure Browsing: Since the computer never touches the Internet (because it is shielded by the Cocoon app in the Cloud), computers and iOS devices are safe from viruses, malware, and spyware
- Whitelist: A whitelist of recommended age-appropriate sites developed by parents, including national parenting bloggers, will be available as part of the service
- Custom Accounts: Every child has a different age, interests, and education level, so each account can be customized to allow access to the sites that are age appropriate and match their interests
- Block Browsers: Includes instructions on how to remove other browsers from computers, so kids will always browse safely
About Cocoon and CocoonKids:
Cocoon is a free, all-in-one plugin developed by Virtual World Computing of Santa Barbara, California. In addition to its iOS app called GetCocoon, Cocoon offers versions for Firefox and Internet Explorer. Cocoon's core business model is built on trust, and its mission is to put users in control of their Internet experience by ensuring that their computer and personal information are secure and protected from malicious attacks, unwanted spam, and invasions of privacy.
CocoonKids was developed in partnership with The KlaasKids Foundation to provide an easy and safe way to manage a family's Internet experience and protect the online identity of children. CocoonKids for KlaasKids was developed with the help of parenting experts and national bloggers who comprise Cocoon's Mom Advisory Board, including Amanda of Parenting by Dummies, Roo of Nice Girl Notes, Angie of Seven Clown Circus, Shell of Things I Can't Say, Leticia of Tech Savvy Mama, and Beth of Mommy on a Shoestring.