What is the Bark Monitoring Solution?
In their words, “Bark is an online safety solution powered by advanced algorithms that proactively alerts parents to potential dangers, including cyberbullying, sexting, drug use, internet predators, depression and suicidal thoughts – and provides expert recommendations on how to talk about issues as a family.”
There are parental control solutions that control WHAT kids see. These include filters like Mobicip or Covenant Eyes which both prevent pornography from being viewed. BARK is different because it tells parents HOW their kids are using popular apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and others.
That’s right – it’s an app that let’s you know what’s going on INSIDE Snapchat and Instagram. Kik and Twitter. And, that’s worth gold.
Disclosure: Some of the links within this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We constantly test products to make sure we only recommend solutions that we trust with our own families.
What Makes Bark Different from Other Solutions?
Other than the obvious value that comes from knowing the words, comments, and pictures being used and shared in popular apps, it also advocates for a collaborative approach to technology usage between parents and kids.
At Protect Young Eyes, we love this. We are not advocates of the “bubble-wrap” approach to parenting in the digital age. Instead, parents who are observant, engaged, and informed, often have kids who learn to use technology responsibly. These three steps explain their value nicely:
- Sign-up: Parents work with their child to connect text messaging, social networks, and email accounts.
- Get Alerts: Bark’s technology monitors their child’s accounts 24/7/365, and sends parents text/email alerts to potentially risky activity.
- Take Positive Action: Parents get recommended actions and ways to talk about issues as a family.
Remember, parental controls don’t ever take the place of parents. Bark agrees.
Is Bark Easy to Install? What’s the Cost?
Bark is available for both iOS (iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone) and Android devices, and can be found in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Stores, respectively. From there, it’s a simple app install, follow the prompts, and connect your child’s accounts.
The cost is $9/month or $99 if paid annually. So, basically, three trips to the gas station to protect your child from digital risk. We believe the pricing is very reasonable.
So, does your child love social media? We think Bark is a great solution for the parent who wants to teach their child how to use technology well.
Related Post: What’s the Right Age to Give My Kid Social Media?
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Chris McKenna, Founder: A man with never ending energy when it comes to fighting for the safety and protection of children. Chris practices his internet safety tips on his four amazing children and is regularly featured on news, radio, and podcasts for his research. His 2019 US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony was the catalyst for draft legislation and on-going discussion that could radically change online child protection laws and earned PYE the NCOSE Dignity Defense Alert Award in 2020. The PYE team has performed over 1,300 presentations at schools, churches, and nonprofits and was featured in the Childhood 2.0 movie. When not leading PYE, Chris is the Digital Marketing Manager for Covenant Eyes. Other loves include running, spreadsheets, nature, and candy.