Family Guardian – New possibilities for parents and kids with smartphones

Read Our Press Release About the Launch of NQ Family Guardian

Kids want smartphones.  Parents are worried.  We want our kids to have phones, but we have some real concerns about web surfing, texting, excessive phone time, safety and bullying.

NQ Mobile’s Family Guardian has all the solutions for peace of mind when your children own smartphones.  Just released today, Family Guardian promises to be the prized app for families with smartphones.  It offers layers of control and is flexible enough to let a child’s phone privileges grow as the child matures.

How does Family Guardian keep your smartphone using kids safe?  It allows you to easily set and change limits on everything.  Here are some of the functions you can either Block or Allow on the app:

  • Browser  – block inappropriate websites
  • App Filter – Decide which apps your kids can access
  • Contact Filter – Block spam and harassing calls or texts
  • Schedules – You decide when your kids phones are unlocked
  • Monitors – Keep track of your kids’ locations, calls, messages, browsing history, downloads and photos
  • Geo-Fence – Create a safe zone for you kids that will notify you when they step outside of it
  • Check-in – Get check-in messages from your kids, or track their location
  • Panic Alarm – If your kids have an emergency, they can push a button that will alert you to their location

Since research shows that 58% of kids aged 13-17 own smartphones, Family Guardian offers a friendly, unobtrusive way to manage their smartphone activities.  Parents can be more comfortable about children and their smartphones when they have a measure of control over their activities.

Try out Family Guardian free for 30 days.  For lots of great tips, FAQs and helpful information for parents, teachers and kids, visit our Mobile Family website

Winners! NQ Mobile’s BlogHer 2012 Contest

How excited are we? For starters, at NQ Mobile our amazing new app called Family Guardian for Android, is now out in the world, ready to keep thousands of kids safer than ever. And our website, Guard Your Mobile Family, is live and active as of today.

Even more exciting – our BlogHer 2012 blogging contest was a huge success.  We invited all bloggers to enter who could share their expertise, experience and good humor with their special views on kids, families and smartphone safety, with a prize of cash and a blogging contract with NQ Mobile.

Lots of wonderful people joined us at our BlogHer 2012 booth in New York last month. They tried out our beta version of Family Guardian, and talked to us about it on camera. Their stories are available on YouTube.

Three Winners

As the strongest entries in our contest, we chose Jo White, Kerry Duff and TerriAnn van Gosliga to share their wisdom with our NQ readers. We love their perspectives on kids and mobile safety, and look forward to having their wonderful insights posted on our Guard Your Mobile Family site throughout the year. Meet these amazing bloggers:

Joe White:  Jo is a PhD student studying technology, media, and society at the University of Colorado, and is mom to four kids, aged 12-21. Her popular blog,, looks at all the challenges of being a Chief Everything Officer in a busy tech-savvy family.

Kerry Duff: Kerry is the creator of, a lifestyle blog. This mother of four loves to travel, cook, and take photos of everything. Kerry relies heavily on technology to make her life easier, and welcomes the challenges of navigating her children through their experiences online.

TerriAnn van Gosliga: TerriAnn is a mom of one tween girl, whom she homeschools. TerriAnn blogs daily at, a lifestyle blog that helps other families decide about places to go, things to do, and products to try.

We at NQ Mobile are happy to welcome Jo, Kerry and TerriAnn!  Please help us make our new mom-bloggers feel right at home by Tweeting us, posting on our Facebook page, reading and “liking” their posts, and sharing your own ideas and opinions about their observations.  Have a look at our richly informative Guard Your Mobile Family site for tips, ideas and guidance for smartphone-owning parents, kids and teachers. And don’t forget to check out our winners’ personal blog sites, as well.


We at NQ Mobile aren’t the only ones working to raise public awareness about mobile security. The federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been looking into mobile security issues, and they’re not particularly pleased with what they’ve found.

The GAO agency recognizes that mobile malware has, primarily, a couple different means of infiltrating our phones and tablets. One is through taking advantage of design flaws or gaps in the devices’ operating system and the use of downloaded apps. The other is through simple inattention on the part of us, the users.

However, is it lack of attention, or just a matter of simply not being aware? We’re bombarded with so much information every day —  it’s interesting to wonder how many people actually take the time to educate themselves before turning on their new smartphones.  After all, once you’ve had one, you pretty much know what you’re doing, right?

We need to know

The sad truth is that too many people are still not aware of the need for mobile security on their smartphones.  As the GAO mentions, NQ’s Consumer Study(conducted with NCSA) showed that a large percentage of smartphone owners don’t know enough about mobile security to even be aware of whether or not they need it. The rate of mobile malware incidents reportedly soared a whopping 185% in ten short months. Smartphones have flooded the market, and you probably either have one or know someone who does.

Let’s review some of the standard safety practices for good mobile security:

  • Implement a strong password and let the phone lock down after a short period of idleness.
  • Use different passwords for different functions, especially financial transactions.
  • Always have a powerful security app downloaded to protect you from malware before it can even reach your mobile device.
  • Be sure to have a strong loss and theft system set up in your phone. If you lose your phone or give it away, wipe it clean of all data first.
  • Don’t respond to free app offers or to text messages or voicemails from anyone you don’t know.
  • Learn to read permission screens on apps so you don’t give away more than necessary.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi hot spots when possible.
  • Don’t overshare.  Stop and think before you post personal information.
  • Keep your phone clean of anything you don’t absolutely need to store on it, or at least keep private stuff safe in an impenetrable app.
  • Update your system regularly.

These are just some of the safety tips we need to remember. Being good mobile citizens, we want to prevent the spread of malware in every way we can. Let’s take responsibility for our mobile habits and keep cyber thieves from lining their pockets with our hard-earned money.

Has your phone been invaded or compromised by malware?  Share your stories with us on our blog or on our Facebook page.   Or send us a message on Twitter.  We’d love to hear from you.

Waiting in Line for an iPhone 5 — Crazy, or Cool?

Check out today’s entertaining poll by CNETasking people if they’d wait in line for a new iPhone!  There’s even an option to check “I’m in an iPhone line right now.” It’s astonishing to check out the news today and see how many folks are so in love with the idea of getting new iPhone 5, they’re willing to sleep on the street for it.

NQ Mobile iPhone 5 fans in Dallas

People lined up for blocks

In an Oakland mall, one woman laments that there are no cases available for this innovative device yet. The LA Times reports a party atmosphere as the Apple die-hards join together in anticipation, in major cities across the U.S.  CNN reports that rather than waiting in lines that trailed for blocks, at least one person in Atlanta camped out at 5 p.m. on Thursday to begin the long wait for the 8:00 store opening.  But it’s not just here.

Global Apple fans

Throngs of shoppers lined up outside Apple stores in Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; London; Paris; and Munich, Germany, among other cities where the phone went on sale hours ago. Dozens had been waiting outside Apple’s flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue since Monday. “

It’s a party all over the world.  Steve Jobs would be proud. Our mobile culture is in full swing, and if any company can make that point, it’s Apple.  Not everyone’s an iPhone fan, and Android fans are ignoring all the fuss.  But, it’s no small event to sell ten million phones in a weekend.

Go for it

Our advice? If you want one, go get one! Just be sure to protect your new device with NQ VAULT for uber-privacy on your mobile phone, whether it’s your Android, your old iPhone, or the new iPhone 5.  It allows you to secure your photos and videos in a safe place that only you can access. After installing this free app, party on, fankids.

Tell us about it

Join our discussion on Facebook and Twitter – did you get a new iPhone 5 today?  Are you planning to get one?  Did you wait in a line, or are you ordering online?  Or, did you pass on this one? Talk to us – we’d love to hear from you.

NQ Joins Apple Lines in Dallas

It’s impossible to go a day without hearing some news about the demand for the latest iPhone 5s–and what die-hard fans are willing to do to be the first to get one. At our Dallas headquarters, we were intrigued by news that several people set up camp outside the Knox Street Apple store in Dallas at 5am on Monday morning to beat the crowds. Considering the phone wouldn’t be sold until today, that’s quite an endeavor. Unfortunately for them, by Tuesday evening, they were asked to leave the area by Dallas Police.

The NQ Mobile staff headed down to the Knox Street store this morning to see what all the fuss was about. Sure enough, a long line of people were there, waiting for their new gadgets. The line was around the block…and beyond! We chatted with them about their new devices and gave away free parade codes for NQ Mobile Vault, which protects your privacy by hiding the stuff you don’t want people to see.

While we were chatting with folks on line, we made sure they knew about NQ Mobile Vault, our free iOS app (yep, it works for the new iPhone 5s), which allows you to protect your private info by hiding texts and videos. Enjoy your new device and make sure you have Vault to keep your private stuff private.

Mobile Learning in the Classroom

Can the smartphone prove to be as valuable a learning tool as  the PC? Apparently there are a lot of kids who are voluntarily using their smartphones to enhance their education, and the number is growing.

Kids like the personal quality of learning through their mobile devices, whether it’s through tweeting about topics that interest them, using social networking for projects or online videos to help with reports and homework.  eSchool News reports that kids are creating presentations, trying out virtual experiments and playing educational games in school with their mobile devices.

How can teachers use this incredible technology to support learning in the classroom? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Assign group projects that require students to communicate on Facebook to share what they’re discovering in their assigned area of the project.
  • Ask students to do research on a topic that’s related to one of the subjects at school as a way to deepen the class’s knowledge. For example, if a literature class is focused on Shakespeare, a student might do a research project on the earliest theater designs or costumes.  A science teacher might assign an in-depth search of the current state of honey bees and a social studies teacher might ask students to report the changing relationship between two countries.
  • Ask students to create a YouTube video explaining how to do something that interests them. The students should use the video to teach something, such as studying for a test, preparing a meal or playing basketball.  This exercise helps kids learn how to teach, how to communicate, and provides a great outlet for personal expression.
  • Designate a classroom session wherein students can search for answers to subject-related questions on their devices.  Be sure to let the students and parents know in advance about your plan so parental controls can be set accordingly.  Arrange a sharing plan for students who don’t own mobile devices.

If you’re a teacher, you may already be using some of these techniques to add tiers of learning in your class. If you’re a parent, you might want to suggest some ideas to your children’s teachers, or let your kids suggest them.  Mobile technology isn’t going away — some people think it will eventually take the place of PCs entirely. Let’s get a jump on it and find ways for our kids to benefit from these powerful tools.

Don’t forget to have a powerful security app downloaded on all your family’s phones, and be sure to look into NQ Mobile’s new Family Guardian to get involved in your favorite students’ mobile safety.

Have your students done school projects using their mobile phones or pads? Do you have ideas about how a teacher might benefit from incorporating smartphones into the curriculum? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on our blog or our Facebook page.