According to StopitNow a web-portal focussed on the prevention of child abuse (http://www.stopitnow.org) it is estimated that 29% of women and 14% of men were sexually abused as a child. Furthermore, just in 2006, 78,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the United States. Many of these abuses are linked with children using social networks, online chats or the internet in general. Bearing this in mind, our suggestion is to provide software that can cover most used and emerging technologies that sexual offenders may use as means to find and contact their victims.
Our product aims to provide a better, innovative and more complete approach to protect children from interacting with sexual offenders than the conventional software currently available in the market.
ChildGuardian is software for mobile phones and PCs using a state-of-the-art infrastructure as well as providing a number of unique services compared to other products on the market. It will use a database architecture with an integrated artificial neural network (ANN), which allows our product to learn and detect specific text and number variations. Parents can set the software to prevent the transmission of private phone numbers or addresses and to notify them in the form of instant messages or text messages if such an attempt has been made in real-time. Products like the web-watcher or NetNanny do not provide the option of sending texts to parents nor do they allow their parents to react quickly on incidents. ChildGuardian allows parents to benefit from receiving updates and real-time notifications on any incidents.
Besides conventional website and text blocking technologies, ChildGuardian will use ANNs to monitor social website chats. If a specific number of attempts has been made and the trained ANN recognises this, ChildGuardian will then block the entire chat option. It will also dispatch a notification message and update the web-interface of ChildGuardian. With having a web-interface available parents can access this website to monitor keystrokes, incoming and outgoing files as well as having a summary display of all suspicious activities on their hand. Moreover ChildGuardian provides a mobile application which allows parents to access the web-interface at anytime and anywhere to quickly react to threats and to protect their children.
Furthermore, our product will have a pedagogic side which will consist of tutorials for parents and children providing them with guidance on best practice to make them aware of security threats. The production costs of ChildGuardian are very low as free and open source software can be used to manufacture it. Additionally, developing ChildGuardian in Java will also guarantee platform independency, which means that our product can be used on any operating system available.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Type of entry:teamTeam members:Luis Rodrigues (PhD candidate in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) (Team leader)
Frank Soboczenski (PhD candidate in Computer Science)
Pedro Riberio (MEng in Computer Systems & Software Engineering)
Software used for this entry:LaTeX, Visio, MS Word, Eclipse, Dropbox, PHP, Android SDK, OmniGraffle, MySQL, SNNS, FBML