A Queensland startup is helping keep kids safe from online predators with a new internet monitoring device.
A Queensland startup is helping keep kids safe from online predators with a new internet monitoring device. scyther5

Startup keeping kids safe from online predators

EVER watched your grandchild playing on their computer and become increasing frightened about who they are interacting with on the internet?

There's good reason to be worried - The Australian reported that Australian Federal Police recorded a 54 per cent rise in reports of online child exploitation in 2015, with a record 5617 cases directly involving Australians.

But a Queensland-based startup business is helping ease your concern and protect children from cyber bullying and online predators.  

"It was Christmas in 2013 and Steve's niece and nephew were given iPads for Christmas," KoalaSafe's Adam Mills said of co-founder Steve Pack.

"His sister was constantly fighting with her children about putting the iPad down and getting off the computer. (She) was desperate for a solution.

"Steve called me about an idea - something that would control all of the devices in the house. We realised there was nothing quite like this and we were eager to find a solution that would turn off the internet with a touch of a button."

The KoalaSafe team found the solution be developing a small device that creates a second wireless network that enables parents, grandparents or guardians to set time limits, manage access and track internet usage across all devices.

The product is gaining international recognition with 250 Target stores throughout the US to sell the internet monitoring device.

KoalaSafe's success has been hailed as a major win for the Queensland Government and its Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program.

"KoalaSafe is continuing to build their business from their Cairns base and this US Target deal is a significant achievement for them," Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said.

"The Hot DesQ program is designed to attract high calibre international and interstate startups to locate to Queensland for at least six months.

"We're doing this by offering them up to $100,000 funding to grow their startup, while also sharing their expertise and connections to help build a vibrant entrepreneurial culture across the state."

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