Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Playing It Safe

Barbara Bensoussan

How can parents make sure their tech-savvy kids are safe in the online playgrounds that have become an integral part of their social culture? Shlomo Reichmann — who can’t sit still if a way to make the world better is within his power — believes he’s found a family-friendly solution that will alert to danger without compromising the child’s sacredly valued privacy.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What do you do with tech-savvy kids who seem to have been born holding a silver iPad, when children are asking for access to the Internet at ever-younger ages — and getting it even if their parents refuse? While children from Orthodox and chareidi homes generally don’t have independent Internet access (and most of those kids accept the idea that unchecked Internet access is a dangerous proposition), the target of his concern — and of the company he created — is the general public, whose children are allowed to go online, often unchecked. “It has become so much a part of modern life that parents can’t put their heads in the sand,” Reichmann says. “That would be like throwing children in the ocean without teaching them to swim. In homes where technology is freely accessed, children need to be introduced to it in a responsible way, and that means, at least at the beginning, having a means of understanding and connecting around issues in real time.” Reichmann is the cofounder of the start-up VISR, a product aimed at helping families navigate technology by flagging problematic communications kids are experiencing, thereby facilitating relevant and actionable communication between parents and kids. His app is able to identify instances of bullying, inappropriate content, late-night usage, foul language, possible mental health concerns, and about two dozen other types of worrisome exchanges. Parents receive alerts when these issues appear. So far, VISR is being used by several thousand users and has garnered attention in such publications as the Huffington Post, Be Web Smart, Global News, and CBC.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"