BeSt – safe web browser for children

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BeSt – safe web browser for children: Keep your child safe online with BeSt safe browser!

Warsaw, PolandPoland
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Established
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In 2012 the Nobody’s Children Foundation launched BeSt – an innovative application which combines a web browser, search engine and parental control tool. It is based on a catalogue of child-friendly websites which contains over two hundreds of websites catalogued according to age and themes.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if BeSt browser could protect children against all the negative influence that can come from the internet, giving the access only to positi
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Research indicates that 2/3 of Polish kindergarten’s children use the Internet. Very often they do it unsupervised, which allows them to enter websites containing harmful content like pornography, or violence, especially that this harmful content is easily accessible online and there is basically no protection prevailing children from entering such websites. Exposure for such content has very negative effect on child’s development.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

BeSt browser enables children to search and surf only those websites that are appropriate for their age. Thanks to BeSt, parents and guardians have access to a control panel which allows them to change settings related to the time spent online and to the history of websites browsed. The application is based on previously created catalogue of safe websites for children which is constantly monitored and enriched by child education specialists form Nobody’s Children Foundation and CERT Orange. The application is being constantly developed, lately versions for mobile phone and tablets was prepared in cooperation with Orange Polska. Application is free to download from the website, parents can allow access to websites they consider valuable.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Using the Internet has undaubtfully many advantages. However being online we are exposed to many threats, especially if it comes to children. Easy access to all the content on the Internet means also that children without supervision have access a part from the good and educative content, to inappropriate one. Especially that it is extremely easy to get in touch with such content without looking for it. Very often on online services dedicated to children there are direct links to other materials which are accessible on websites for adults. For example such situation we can observe on Youtube – often websites for children direct to cartoons on Youtube where children easily can browse among all the content accessible there.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Thanks to BeSt browser in almost 5000 houses children can use Internet in a safe way. Parents can leave their children without supervision, provided that the BeSt app is on, what gives them a sense of independence on the Internet, children can decide what pages to enter, can choose their favorite ones and surf safely. Parents can be sure that their little ones won’t be exposed to inappropriate content, will not engage in dangerous contacts online or won’t fall a victim of cyberbullying. Moreover, as smart phones and tablets become more and more popular among children and almost all of them have unlimited access to the Internet, there is a BeSt browser version for mobile devices. Thanks to the cooperation with Orange Polska we hope that the app will be installed by default in smart phones and tablets sold by Orange in Poland. Parents would only have to activate BeSt application.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Thanks to cooperation with business partner – Orange we hope that downloads of BeSt web browser will increase significantly. As the browser is free of charge and easy to use we hope that after getting with the information about it to parents and caretakers they will install it on each computer or mobile device that their child use. Also as we are a part and closely cooperate with INSAFE (network gathering organizations from 31 countries whose mission is empower children to use the internet safely) we hope that all of 31 countries adapt BeSt web browser in their countries.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

BeSt was made on non-profit basis by PlikCenter company. Its basis, BeSt safe websites catalogue, was financed from EU founds (Safer Internet programme) with contribution from Orange Foundation, main partner of the project. As the application is available for download free of charge, we don’t plan to have any profit from it, but firm cooperation with project’s partner will ensure resources for further promotion, actualization and distribution.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many organizations, above all INSAFE (part of EU Safer Internet project) that take cake of the quality of content for children online. For over 3 years INSAFE is organizing „Best content for children award” where most valuable websites for children from 31 countries are rewarded.There is also POSCON international initiative that gathers creators of valuable content for the youngest Internet users and developing a set of rules that anyone who want to make websites for children should obey.
Team

Founding Story

The idea appeared while creating one of the first services dedicated for children by Nobody’s Children Foundation - sieciaki.pl. This website, that after improvements end up being a simulated social networking site for children, with the purpose of teaching them how to use such portals in a safe way. In the meantime of working on it, NCF’s team realized that having one safe website for children it is just a start but won’t solve the problem of providing safety online to the little ones. They need a safe, closed environment until they get familiar with online world and learn how to behave safe on the Internet and by that time there was no such solutions on Polish market. So the idea of safe web browser for children appeared.

Team

Team working on BeSt application and its improvements consist of 2 persons working part. There is a coordinator of the project who has a vest experience in creating safe and educative content for children and the assistant who are developing the browser as well as improving and monitoring catalogue of safe websites for children. The assistant for several years worked assessing creators of websites for children how to make them safer.