Bark is a US-based parental control platform that helps you monitor your child’s online safety by tracking apps, browsers, and accounts used by them. If you are considering investing your time in a parental control app, then Bark is worth your consideration. As a dog barks to alert its owners about any intruder and keeps a watchful eye over you and your family, so does this parental control app. It informs you about dangerous activities or trends that may harm your children.
In this article, we review the parental control app Bark and whether you should consider using the platform to keep your children safe.
Bark has two plans that come with a seven-day free trial:
- Bark Premium
- Bark Jr.
The features available with each plan are given in the table below:
|Features||Bark Jr.||Bark Premium|
|Location updates and check-ins||No||Yes|
|Monitors texts and emails||No||Yes|
|Monitors more than 30 apps||No||Yes|
|Pre-approved apps and contact||Available on Bark Phone||Available on Bark Phone|
With plans starting at $49 per month, you can get a Bark Phone for your children that contain all of the monitoring aspects, including message removal permission and remote alarms.
To keep your child safe in this digital world, where cyberbullying is rampant along with the swiftly disappearing layer of privacy on social media apps, one can’t help but worry about the world in which their children are growing. You can protect your children as they are growing up in this virtual world by getting them a Bark Phone or taking a subscription to Bark Jr. or Premium.
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How does Bark function?
You might be wondering how an app can create a web of surveillance over your child’s various apps, social media accounts, contacts, and games; it is as easy to set up as it is to understand. Bark can simultaneously monitor your child’s texts, email, and activity of more than 30 apps. They provide you with various app options to monitor which ones your child uses.
As Bark monitors content, it sends any information about potential dangers or unsafe trends on social media that you should be aware of to keep your child safe to your email or text. It has been ideally designed algorithmically designed to pick up on cyberbullying, online predators, depression, suicidal thoughts, and sexual content, among other forms of harmful content.
Bark does this by connecting to your child’s apps and social media accounts, detecting harmful content, and alerting you via text or email. You can also get the following benefits from Bark:
- Location detection: With this feature, you can check where your child is at all times, whether they are at school, their first part-time job, or at their friends’ place. Bark alerts you when they arrive or leave any pre-set location. You can also receive directions to their checked-in location if you plan to pick them up from that place.
- Screen-time limits: You can download Bark’s iOS or Android app on your child’s device and then set screen-time limits for a regular school day, their free time, or during bedtime.
- Website blocking: You can block specific sites or apps that might contain sexual content or unsafe influence, and if your child attempts to access any blocked site, you will receive notification alerts.
Many such features on Bark can allow you to control the digital exposure your child receives from the internet, including apps to ensure a mentally healthy upbringing.
How to set up Bark?
You can set up Bark in a few effortless steps; Bark has a dashboard where you can monitor the sites and apps used by your children after you have set up and linked their accounts to your Bark profile. During sign-up, you will view the following parameters and apps that you can keep an eye on:
Step 1: From the given list of issues, you can check the issues that concern you, and you would like to monitor your child over.
Step 2: After this, fill in your child’s details, including their name and birthdate, to determine their age.
Step 3: When you have added the details of your first child, you can add the details of other children, if any, as well. If you are done, then click on Done adding children.
Step 4: After you add children, Bark will ask you about the devices used by your first child. Check all or any of the devices that your child uses, and then click on Next.
Step 5: You will be asked to add any email accounts your child uses. Tick on any applicable, and you can also go for None of these if your child does not use an email currently.
Step 6: Next, you will be asked to check all your child’s apps. Check on all that apply.
Step 7: After this, you will be shown an option of two browsers and asked if your child uses any.
If you have added another child, the same series of questions will now be asked again. These question series will be repeated depending on the number of children you have added.
After feeding the data to Bark, you will be asked for your contact information, including an email and a US-based phone number.
After this, you can review your account, where there will be a list of apps and websites accessed by your children. You can find all of this information in the Dashboard.
Alerts can also inform you of any recent harmful content or trend circulating on any social media app.
You can also head to Discover and find a lot of tutorials on how Bark can help you and helpful content.
Is Bark safe?
Bark is a safe place to let your child run free from predators, cyber threats, and privacy leaks. Their physical servers that store your and your child’s data are encrypted, and by being solely focused in the US, they make sure that their data remains inaccessible from any other country. Furthermore, their team is vetted with background checks to pick the safest individuals to help you and your child.
They comply with all US laws and privacy regulations, including the following among other rules:
- COPPA — Protects minors from deceptive marketing practices.
- FERPA — Gives rights to families over school records.
- CIPA — Requires schools to adopt internet safety policies.
- SOC 2 Type II — Evaluates the effectiveness of security systems
Sharing your data on Bark is immediately encrypted to prevent any privacy and data loss. Additionally, Bark uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to secure its database, which is also used by NASA, Comcast, Walt Disney Company, Pfizer, Unilever, and Apple. So you can rest assured that Bark will protect your data with high security and privacy regulations.
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