FAQ

What is Wing?

Wing is an app parents can use to help make sure their children and teenagers stay safe and happy online. The app uses secure AI technology to review their interactions on app-based accounts, like social media, email and text. Based on what it finds, Wing gives parents an insight into their children’s emotional wellbeing so they can have better conversations as a family. It doesn’t report back on all of the child’s conversations, but it will raise any potential causes for concern so parents can take action if they need to.

How does Wing work?

Wing uses secure AI and machine learning technology to scan the content that appears on your child’s online accounts. Using advanced statistical analysis models, it recognises emotions contained in words, phrases and images. It uses this information to build an ‘emotional landscape’, giving you an overview of how your child might be feeling.

Is Wing a social media spying app?

No. Unlike many other social media monitoring apps, Wing doesn’t let you spy on your child. It won’t reveal any interactions or conversations unless it spots a potential risk - like cyberbullying, or explicit messages. If this happens, the app will let you know automatically. Otherwise, your child’s interactions are kept private. All you’ll see is a general overview of the type of emotional content their exposed to through their online interactions.

What makes Wing different from other social media monitoring apps?

Most other apps focus on 24/7 surveillance, and they report back on everything a child exchanges online. When we created Wing, we wanted a solution that allows children to enjoy their independence, but that also gave them a safety net.

Wing uses AI to assess the emotions attached to the content children share online. It uses this information to display an overview of the emotions expressed in interactions. If it spots something parents might need to know about - like an explicit image, or a violent message - it will alert them straightaway. Otherwise, it won’t reveal the content of a child’s interactions.

Can Wing prevent online bullying?

Wing is designed to recognise specific threats that might appear in your child’s online interactions, including cyberbullying. If the app detects a message that might mean your child is being bullied, you’ll be alerted straightaway. The app won’t reveal who sent the message, but it will reveal its content - so you can intervene if you need to.

As well as cyberbullying, Wing can recognise other threats to your child’s emotional wellbeing, including violent and explicit messages.

Should parents monitor their children’s social media accounts?

We think this is a decision that parents and their children should make together. Every family is different, and every child’s circumstances are too. In our view, Wing offers the ideal compromise - allowing children the freedom to carry on making the connections that are important to them, while giving parents the peace of mind that they’re staying safe and happy.

The number of young people experiencing mental health issues is increasing, and social media is thought to play a key role in this increase. While Wing can’t prevent these issues from developing, it can help to encourage more effective communication between parents and children about the issues they face online. It can also help to alert parents to potential causes for concern - like cyberbullying - which could be affecting their child’s mental health.

Are there other apps parents can use to monitor their children’s social media accounts?

Unlike Wing, other apps that track social media activity tend to allow parents to closely monitor every part of their children’s lives online, including revealing their messages, posts and conversations. In our opinion, this has a huge impact on children’s independence, and can lead to resentment.

Many parents worry about how to keep their children safe online, but they also want to respect their privacy and show that they trust them. Wing gives these parents an ideal solution, acting as a safety net for their children and offering peace of mind as a result.

What happens if Wing detects a threat to my child?

If Wing detects a threat, you’ll be notified in the app. In the ‘Threats’ section of the app, you’ll be able to see the content that triggered the threat.

Which countries does Wing work in?

At the moment, Wing is available in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. We’re planning to make Wing available in other countries in the future.

Can Wing understand images and videos?

We're working on it. Our technology can analyse images and video content in a similar way to how we look at text. Our machine learning database can assess the content of images and videos and determine whether it poses a threat to your child’s wellbeing. We're hoping to integrate this as soon as possible.

How much does Wing cost?

You can try Wing for free for 7 days. After that, it costs £6.99 per month to protect up to 5 children. There’s no contract, so you can end your subscription whenever you like.

Which social media platforms and apps is Wing compatible with?

Wing can connect to:

Gmail Outlook Yahoo AOL Instagram Twitter Snapchat YouTube Kik WhatsApp TikTok Google Drive Dropbox Pinterest Slack Reddit Tumblr Flickr Facebook

We regularly add to the platforms and apps that Wing can connect to. If you have any suggestions, please email us at support@cogenis.com.

Why can’t Wing monitor all apps and activity on my child’s phone?

Some apps have security measures in place that won’t legally allow third-party apps like ours to interact with them.

New platforms and apps are being created all the time, so there will be some that we don’t yet connect to. But we’re always updating the list of apps Wing can work with. If you have any suggestions, please email us at support@cogenis.com.

What devices is Wing compatible with?

Wing is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices, which account for most smartphones and tablets. To set up Wing on an iOS device, you’ll also need access to a Windows or Apple computer.

Does my child need to know that Wing is installed on their device?

To set up Wing, you’ll either need your child’s social media login details, or access to your child’s device. Since a big part of the reason we created Wing was to help families have better conversations, we’d encourage parents to talk to their children about setting up Wing. We think it’s important that children are aware that the app is set up on their phone, and that everyone understands how it works to help them stay safe online. Using Wing in this way can help to build trust, helping to protect children while protecting their independence too.

Can my child uninstall Wing from their device?

Yes. But, if this happens, we’ll alert you.

What if my child has more than one device?

Right now, Wing can only be used on one device per child. If you think this is affecting the results you get from the app, please email us at support@cogenis.com.

What if I have more than 5 children I need to protect?

Please email support@cogenis.com and we’ll see what we can do to help protect your family.

How do I cancel my Wing subscription?

Go to the Settings page in the app and click ‘Your subscription’.

How do I uninstall Wing?

On most devices, just press and hold the app icon and choose the option to uninstall. If this doesn’t work, check your device manual for how to uninstall apps.

What data does Wing collect and what does it do with that data?

Wing collects message data via text. It collects this data from the online accounts your child uses, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Wing assesses the content and checks whether it contains any causes for concern. If it does, it will keep the data and share the content with the parent. If it doesn’t, it deletes the data.

Can Wing employees see my child’s messages or social media activity?

No. Our team can’t see any of your child’s messages or social media activity.

How accurate are Wing’s reports?

We can't guarantee that Wing is able to monitor 100% of the online activity that your child takes part in. But we've developed Wing to analyse the data that's available to give a rounded view of your child's wellbeing.

Also, Wing's AI engine is not always right - it can misclassify threats or the emotions associated with certain content. We continuously update our AI engine with the aim of improving its classification accuracy.

My child’s report is showing no activity - what does this mean?

There might be a few reasons. Your child might not have been active on social media for a little while, so there’s limited data for the app to analyse. Or the app might have been uninstalled from your child’s device. If this is the case, you’ll have received an alert from us.

If you think that there might be another issue, please email us at support@cogenis.com.

Can the Wing support team provide personal help with addressing concerning content or ‘cyberthreats’ in my child’s interactions?

Whilst we try to help parents by providing as many online resources as possible, unfortunately we are not able to provide personal support for individual cases of concern.

If you are worried about your child’s wellbeing, it is a good idea to contact your GP and ask for an emergency appointment. If you think that your child is at immediate risk, you can call 999 or find your nearest A&E here. There are also a number of organisations who can provide further support:

Support For Children

UK

Childline is a free, private and confidential service where children under the age of 19 can talk to a counsellor about their concerns. To talk to someone, call 0800 1111 or head to their website to chat to someone online.

The Mix provides essential support for young people under the age of 25. Their free helpline can be reached on 0808 808 4994 or by texting ‘THEMIX’ to 85258. Head to their website for further resources and details of The Mix Counselling Service which they also provide.

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Text ‘YM’ to 85258 to access the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support.

Papyrus is a charity focusing on the prevention of young suicide. HOPELINEUK is their confidential support and advice service for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide may also call for advice. You can call 0800 068 4141, text 07860039967, or email pat@papyrus-uk.org for support.

Ireland

Childline Ireland can be reached for free by calling 1800 66 66 66 or via text on 50101.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) operates Teenline, a national active listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18 in Ireland. Teenline can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 1800 833 634.

International

Head to Child Helpline International for organisations in your country who may be able to help.

Support For Parents

We know that at times being a parent can be tough, so we want to provide you with as many helpful resources as possible to help make things a little easier. Below are some further organisations who may be able to help:

Think U Know and Internet Matters provide advice and information on how to keep your child safe online, as well as how to handle threats from the online world.

Young Minds offer an A-Z guide for parents that provides advice on how to support your child through a variety of difficult life events including the exam season or times of significant change, as well as advice for supporting children with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.

Papyrus provides resources for supporting your child through life-threatening situations such as self-harm and/or suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Family Lives is a charity dedicated to helping parents deal with the changing nature of family life. They offer a free confidential helpline service. In the UK, get in touch with them by calling 0808 800 2222.

Parentline can be contacted on 1890 927 277 in Ireland. They provide a completely confidential helpline for parents and guardians and offer support, guidance and information on all aspects of being a parent.

As a parent, it is also important that you look after your own mental wellbeing for the benefit of both you and your children. It is important to remember that there are many organisations that exist to provide you with the support that you need, no matter what you may be going through:

For free, urgent support for any issue (no matter how big or small it may seem), contact the Samaritans from anywhere in the UK or Ireland on 116 123, or via email at jo@samaritans.org for a response within 24hrs.

See here for an NHS A-Z of mental health charities, organisations and support groups that can offer expert advice.

How does Wing retrieve data?

Wing collects data from Apple mobile devices in two distinct ways.

Directly from the Social Media Platform:

If your child uses Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you can connect via an API (Application Programming Interface) to receive data that your child posts to those platforms. In order to do this, you will need access to their usernames and passwords.

  • Data that's available via API: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

From your child’s device:

In order to access all of Wing’s features, you will need to complete a full backup of your child’s device. This is a one-time setup that will allow Wing to monitor your child’s online interactions, including private incoming and outgoing messages. Once the initial setup is done then subsequent backups are conducted wirelessly every 24 hours.

  • Data that's available via backup: WhatsApp, SMS, Instagram (Direct Messages), Tik Tok, YouTube, Email, House Party, Kik.