Rated 4 Kids
Rated 4 Kids
Quickly and effectively protect every child on every Internet-connected device in your home.
Quickly and effectively protect every child on every Internet-connected device in your home. Read more
About this project
Movies have ratings: G, PG, PG-13 and R. Parents rely on these ratings to know what's appropriate for their children to watch. Video games, music and TV have ratings, too.
But what about the Internet... who's rating all that content? The short answer: nobody, because the Internet is just too big. Until now, that is.
Meet Rated 4 Kids, the world's first kid-safe Internet, powered by parents. Our mission is to enable parents to rate every piece of online content -- every video, every image, every song, every web page, every social media post, every link.
How? Just like fighting email spam, we'll harness the power of the crowd, plus the power of the cloud. Our vision is that one day, every child on every device on the planet will access *only* Internet content that has been rated and approved by parents worldwide. Join us!
Why? You are essential in building a community, as well as the hardware and software for this system. We need your help to create the software for the in-home-device and the cloud. We’re excited that for the first time parents like you, all over the globe, will be able to choose what your kids see online, and make your voice heard by rating that content.
What is Rated 4 Kids?
Rated 4 Kids is about protecting children. More specifically, it’s about preserving their innocence. Today’s kids grow up faster than ever, with more access to information than could be imagined by the previous generation. As parents, we know children will become adults soon enough. All the more reason to let kids be kids while they can! Our children should not have to fend for themselves in an online world that can be both overwhelming and pitiless. Parents need tools to empower their ability to make choices, and to defend the precious innocence of their children from the dark side of the Internet.
Rated 4 Kids is a much-needed solution to a complex problem: our children are not safe when they go online. Today, there’s just no practical way for parents to filter Internet content, protect their kids from online predators or effectively monitor their children’s online use. Hardware alone can’t do it. Software alone can’t do it. Algorithms and apps can’t do it. What we need is a way for parents to come together, using a cloud-based system that is integrated with hardware and software, to create a safer Internet for our children.
We are developing a hardware-software-crowd community system to make this vision a reality. We need your help to raise the funds to design and write the code that will integrate with our device, allowing parents like you all over the globe to rate content.
When it comes to managing family Internet usage, there really are no services that can guarantee parents an adequate amount of control over the way their children are using their devices. Rated 4 Kids was created to help parents regain control over the way their children spend their screen time. It’s a system that is user-friendly and easy to implement in the home. It doesn’t force parents to rely on the inadequate safety settings built into most search engines and devices. Because these automatic safety settings rely primarily on machine intelligence, there are always errors: things are screened out unnecessarily, or inappropriate content may simply bypass the filters. Even when the filters work correctly, most parents don’t want a third-party organization choosing what is appropriate for their kids.
There are other services on the market that help parents monitor and control family screen time, but if you’ve used them, you know that none offer as comprehensive a service as Rated 4 Kids. Here's a look at the options you'll enjoy when using Rated 4 Kids.
Why do I need it?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you worry about your child innocently finding pornography online?
- Are you concerned with the content and ease of access to online videos, 99% of which are unrated?
- Do your kids have multiple devices that access the Internet (PCs, laptops, Mac, iPod, iPad, Kindle, XBOX, Wii, PlayStation, Roku, Apple TV, etc.)?
- Would you like to block access to certain applications or websites, or certain “Channels” on YouTube?
- Would you like to know how much time your children spend online, and what they see there?
- Would you like to set up an “online curfew” for your kids, so the Internet is turned off automatically for them every night, or during certain times of day (i.e. certain apps or devices are unavailable during homework time)?
- Would you like the option to get reports/alerts when your children may have been exposed to questionable content?
- Are you concerned about violent video games, especially online interactions with other players?
- Do you worry about cyber-bullying, sexting or online stalkers (adults pretending to be kids)?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Rated 4 Kids is the solution.
The Rated 4 Kids system is unique in that it relies on the ratings set by you and by other parents using the Rated 4 Kids system. This means that content filtering is based on human reasoning and decisions - and you decide what is appropriate for your kids.
Set Your Own Ratings: Rated 4 Kids lets you set a different filter level for each child’s device. There are a couple ways to rate content.The quickest way is to choose an overall rating, based on the age of your child. If you want more control, you can choose ratings based on several different indices, for example: violence, profanity, or sexuality. Each of these ratings will let you choose on a scale, for example one through 10.
As parents, we want to be the ones to judge what's OK for our kids to look at online. Most of us do NOT want a corporation or a machine making the decisions about what is appropriate for our children. With Rated 4 Kids, parents will finally get to set their own ratings that determine what their children are able to view online.
Rely on Other Parents for Backup: Of course, you can't very well set a rating for every YouTube video or Instagram post your child may access! When you use the Rated 4 Kids system, you can rely on the intelligent ratings of all of the other Rated 4 Kids users in the world. When a device in your home accesses content that you haven't rated, it treats the website based on its estimation of how you would rate the site based on your past ratings and on the ratings of other Rated 4 Kids users.
Different Settings for Different Users: When you configure your Rated 4 Kids gateway, you can create different settings for different users in your household. That way your 14-year-old doesn't have the same restrictions on her computer as your 8-year-old has on his tablet. You can also have different settings on different devices that belong to the same user so that if, for example, you know your 14-year-old has a bad habit of Facebooking during homework, you can disable Facebook on his phone during the hours he is supposed to be studying.
Limit Screen Time: According to a report by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, kids and teens spend an average of 8 to 12 hours per day in front of screens. While kids need to be able to use their devices for communication, homework, and some entertainment, most parents want to have a say in how much time is spent in front of their screens. Rated 4 Kids allows you to place time limitations on different devices as well as place a total time limit on all devices. For example, you could limit your child to 4 hours of screen time, and after spending three hours on their computer, they’d only have one hour for their Xbox.
Monitor Apps and Websites: Most parental control systems only allow you to monitor the website content that your kids see online. The Rated 4 Kids system also allows you to place limitations on the way your kids use Internet-dependent apps like messenger apps, social media apps, and certain games. This allows you a much more thorough filter for helping your kids stay safe online.
Manage and Control All Devices in a Simple Dashboard: One of the most important aspects of the Rated 4 Kids system is that it resists interference from your tech-savvy teens! You can have sole access to your system's configuration, or you can opt to share it with someone else at your discretion.
Access a User Forum with Questions: Whether you have questions about the way your system works or you just want to chat with other parents about certain websites or how they use their systems, you can use the Rated 4 Kids user forum to engage with other users.
The Rated 4 Kids system acts as gateway between your devices and the Internet so that nothing is able to reach your family's devices without first being screened.
When your Rated 4 Kids system arrives, setting it up is easy. It comes with a touch screen, so that configuration can be done right on the device. It will also search your home for devices so that your setup is faster and easier. Once it’s plugged in and set up, you may also make changes from your computer or mobile device.
You can make choices about which of your household devices will be monitored, whether or not different devices will have curfews, and whether you will allow popular websites and social media apps (e.g. Facebook or YouTube). Depending on the type of device and how aggressively you want the Rated 4 Kids system to analyze content, there may be some configurations to make on your devices. Once you have configured your system, it will automatically begin monitoring those devices that are connected to it. If at any time you change your mind about how you would like your settings to work, changes are a tap or a click away.
When a person in your household tries to access a website or use an app that requires the Internet, their device has to “talk” to the Rated 4 Kids system first. If the request is for inappropriate content or for a website that is outside of a curfew, then that user will be notified that they aren’t able to view some or all of the content.
For more information about Rated 4 Kids, see our website. www.rated4kids.com
Risks and challenges
Similar to many Kickstarter projects, we face risks and challenges in bringing this first-of-its-kind technology to market. The primary risks for us include:
1. Software Development & Engineering:
To achieve the level of simplicity in user experience, plus allow hundreds of thousands of devices and multi-millions of users to simultaneously connect to the cloud, we have to design a robust infrastructure and code several very complex systems. We have taken two key steps to ensure our success. 1) We have modeled and tested the infrastructure, software systems, device prototypes, and communication protocols, and 2) we have assembled a team of leaders from software, high-tech, and manufacturing who have “been there, done that.” In the past year, we have also tested many, many filtering systems and software applications and interviewed many users to ensure we fully comprehend what works, what doesn’t, and why.
2. Supply Chain & Logistics:
Often, Kickstarter campaigns can encounter problems when taking their prototypes to production. This includes issues finding suppliers and materials for mass-production. Solid planning and execution is absolutely essential to overcoming such risks. Fortunately, the suppliers and materials for our device are already in place, using standard electronic components found in any touch-screen device. We take our jobs very seriously and have multiple suppliers that can deliver our high quality standards. Now that our plan is in place, we simply need the resources to make the vision a reality.
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