Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine HO15

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New Platform Monitor s Children's Social Networ k SHORTCUTS AT LARGE 74 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • H O L I D A Y 2 0 1 5 W hen Carmel resident Jason Henderson was a child, his parents had a rule. If his friends were visiting, Henderson had to keep his room door open. His parents knew who was around, and they could periodically glance down the hall to make sure that no one was getting into trouble. Henderson likens Pryvy, a platform that lets parents approve their youngsters' text, phone, email and social network contacts, to that look down the hall. "Pryvy really allows a parent to go in and make a quick check," says the software engineer, businessman and father of four who developed the four free apps. "When children put their faces behind a screen, we don't know what's happening. This gets parents back into the game." Henderson created Pryvy after trying several parental control pro- grams that failed to meet his family's needs. His apps offer the same func- tionality as traditional communication tools and social media platforms, but with features tailored to specific age groups. Young children, for exam- ple, can use a push-to-talk button to connect directly with grandparents or older siblings. Older users can share photos and updates with friends, teammates and family members through Pryvy's social networking app. And, because everything funnels through a family account, parents approve who can be part of their children's network. While the Pryvy platform focuses on modern technologies, Henderson believes the apps work best when paired with old-school parenting tech- niques. Blocking an email or denying a stranger's friend request is only one part of the process. It's also about teaching children to think before hitting the send button. "Pryvy allows parents to foster dialogue. You can say, 'Hey, let's have that discussion. Here's why you don't want to do this,'" he says. "The number one prevention tool is the same tool that parents have had for years. It's about talking to your children." To learn more about Pr yvy, or to download the free text, email, phone and social sharing apps, go to —Renee Brincks Carmel software engineer Jason Henderson (pictured with business development intern, Mallery Maguire) created a computer platform called Pryvy for parents to watch their children's social networking. Four apps allow different age groups to do different tasks. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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