Norton launching Safety Minder app for Android to “keep kids safe on mobile phones”

Norton, the folks behind the famous antivirus software, is launching today an Android app meant to keep kids safe from malicious content on their smartphones.

It allows parents to apply what they call “House Rules” and filters, and can be applied from the Norton Online Family web portal on a PC or Mac. According to the press release,

The application provides web monitoring and blocking features for free, allowing parents to see what sites their kids are visiting and block content they feel is inappropriate. Applied through their Norton Online Family account, parents can use the same set of web filtering settings for the child’s PC and apply them to the child’s Android phone. The service tracks up to seven days of content for free, and up to 90 days for those with a paid Norton Online Family Premier account.

This monitoring consists of websites, text messages and app usage, though the Premium paid service which monitors the latter is not currently available in Canada. As it stands, the service allows parents to keep track of the “open web,” which may make them more comfortable purchasing their kids a smartphone in the first place.

To sign up for the free service, which monitors seven days of web filtering and monitoring, head to onlinefamily.norton.com and click on “House Rules.” Then head to the Android Marketplace and install Norton Safety Minder: Mobile Edition. The app requires Android 2.2 or higher to use.