Protecting Children Online

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I find advice about online bullying?

See our Links Page.

How does KnowDiss differ from other solutions?

All the other products that we know of suffer from one or more of the following deficiencies:

  • They only work when Facebook is accessed from a specific computer or mobile device.
  • They are based around a firewall, and hence only work when Facebook is accessed from a computer on a specific home or school network.
  • The monitoring software runs on a parent's home PC (assuming they even have one), so it's not working when the machine is turned off. This also has security implications, as your home PC and network are not as secure as our servers.

Does Knowdiss work with mobile devices?

Yes. It doesn't matter how your child accesses the internet. KnowDiss communicates directly with Facebook computers to read messages at source, even if no-one is logged into the account.

Alerts are sent via email and can be read by whatever means you prefer.

Is KnowDiss compatible with Macs, or Linux?

Yes. Everything is done via your web browser and email. There is no software to download or install, either for parents or children, so there are no compatibility issues.

Will it detect all bullying messages?

Because language is constantly evolving, and children use a lot of names and slang which may be unique to their region, no technology can pick up 100% of threatening messages. The KnowDiss dictionaries and algorithms are continuously refined and updated; the service aims to capture 75% to 90% of abusive messages.

KnowDiss uses intelligent language analysis to identify threatening words in context. For example, the use of swear words is not in itself sufficient to trigger an alert - it depends on how they're used.


How do parents register?

Parents or other monitors must register on this website here, giving an email address that is known to their child. They then need to ask the child to register for the KnowDiss App on Facebook and to give permission for alerts to be sent to that email address. At this point, the free trial commences.

The whole process - parent and child both registered - typically takes 2 or 3 minutes.

What happens after the free trial period

KnowDiss is currently available for 3 months free of charge (per child). At the end of that period we will send an email inviting you to continue using the service at a cost of £1 per month. There is no obligation, and we don't take payment details up front.

How do children register?

Children need to join the KnowDiss App on Facebook. They are then asked for the email addresses of any monitors (e.g. parents) who are to receive alerts. That's it.

If the monitor has not already registered, they are sent an email invitation.

More details can be found here.

Is my KnowDiss password safe?

Yes. We encrypt your password so well that even we can't get it back. When you log back in, we have to encrypt the password you enter, and then compare this with the encrypted version we stored previously. It's called one-way encryption and all websites should use it, though sadly many do not.

Accessing FacebookTM Data

Do you require Facebook passwords?

No. Asking children to give us their passwords does not help to engender safe and sensible use of the internet. They should be encouraged never to divulge a password except when logging into the service it actually belongs to.

With the owners permission, Facebook gives us access to some aspects of their account, but not the unbridled access that having the password would provide.

Any service that stores your password in order to access some other service is a potential security risk.

Why does Facebook let KnowDiss read children's messages?

They don't. The account holder (i.e the child) does, and they can change their mind and stop us at any time.

When a user joins the KnowDiss app on Facebook, they have to grant us permission to read their feed - permission which they can revoke through their Facebook privacy settings.

What do you do with Facebook profile information?

We don't even bother to obtain it, other than name and gender. We will never read things such as phone numbers or email addresses; we have no use for them.

What do you do with all the information you collect?

We only collect from Facebook the data that we need to provide an effective service. Once our system has analysed this data, it gets thrown away.

We do feed words and phrases back into our abuse detection system in order to improve its effectiveness, but we do not maintain records of which account they came from.

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