Billed as the “Smart Way to Keep Kids Safe Online”, Bark is a highly-rated, award-winning monitoring tool. A few of us Siouxland MMC Members have been trying it out, and would like to share our experiences with our audience.
“Bark” is designed to be like a watchdog. It may not stop an intruder, but it’ll bark loudly to alert others about a problem, so that problem can be dealt with.
Here’s what Bark is NOT.
- NOT a filter. Bark does not restrict any content that a device can access.
- NOT a time-restriction app. You cannot set up time limits or off-hours for your child’s device.
Since Bark does not prevent a child from accessing impure content on the Internet, we cannot recommend it as the only tool you should use on your phone.
However, it is one of the only monitoring apps we know about that can monitor Snapchat. And since Bark is logged into all your child’s social media accounts, it can monitor activity on those accounts no matter which device is used to access that account. It also alerts parents if they install new apps.
Additionally, Bark can identify cyber bullying, self-harm, drugs/alcohol, sexting, and other forms of risky behavior. A tool like Qustodio that’s purely a filter may miss these items, as they are often more subtle and difficult to detect.
We found that Bark does not slow down the devices it’s installed on. Like any filter, it takes some work to set up, as you’ll have to know the passwords to all social media accounts you’ll be monitoring.
Bark is $9/mo, for any number of devices.
To decide if Bark is a tool you’d like to use, you can read this review from SafeWise: https://www.safewise.com/blog/bark-parental-control-app-review/
Bark’s website also contains much information about it: https://www.bark.us/