Bark Review (2020): The Parental Control App to Have A Peace of Mind

Bark Review Parental Control App Feature Image

At a glance, the Bark app is a simple to use application that comes with many parental tools that can allow you to understand how your kid is developing in the virtual landscape. This app lets you analyze and monitor substance and drug misuse, phone number text messages and SMS sent and received, posts for bullying, sexting, depression, suicidal plans, and more. Bark app review will let you know that the application alerts you straight away when it views flag text, posts, photos, or emails.

Along with all those alerts, Bark.com also suggests ways you can engage your kids in being more productive based on the kind of phone behaviour that was flagged. Just recently, Bark.com has added screen time and a web filtering feature. 

Bark is a longtime favourite service for many parents especially for social media monitoring. You are able to track multiple kids and teenagers on the activity that they are doing on their devices. Bark itself has impressed many parents with its monitoring alerts across 24 different social media system. Many people appreciate the adjustable sensitivity settings and how it encourages parents to have communication between them and their children about internet and Wi-Fi safety.

Bark Review: Keeping Your Kids Safe

Once you have downloaded the application from the app store and set up your account (email address and phone numbers needed), it will prompt you to link the app to your kid’s account. To do this, you’ll have to enter your child’s name and their birth year. 

As soon as you have done that, you’ll be taken to Bark parental control’s dashboard. To start tracking your kid’s phone, either you or your child has to enter their username, along with the password for every social media account the kids have. When an account is linked, you can see it appearing on the dashboard too. 

Whenever the parental control app detects a threat or a potential issue, the user will be sent out a notification or an email on the smartphone which has the Bark parental control app. This allows you to check the messages and SMS (even email) that were exchanged. It will also provide you with security details of the date and time of the text conversations and photos. It also categorizes these content under profanity, cyberbullying, depression, sexually explicit content, and everything else that keeps your kids from potential predators. After all, your kids’ safety from violence is paramount to you as parents and family. 

In this Bark review, we will see what features and service it offers for their customers as a company.

Bark Features and Limitations

Bark.com comes with several features of interest where families may find it addressing their concerns. 

Identifying risky behavior is one of the robust features that Bark.com provides its users with. As a parent, you may be a concern with whether if your kids are planning for an after-college party or talking to a friend about suicide. Bark catches all this information about their kid’s risky behavior. 

It will also notify you when your child texts their friends in code, even when it is a stand-in for profanity and another language. 

It also tracks social media accounts, texts, email conversations, and activities. Through the Bark parental control app, parents can track and monitor what their kids are doing on their social media accounts – for example on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Twitter, websites, Line, and other Internet platforms and activity. This includes other streaming services when it comes to content monitoring Bark. 

Furthermore, Bark works on both Android and iOS devices and allows you to go through their text messaging apps, social networks, and social media account, videos, photos, and alert you about their concerning interactions. You can even monitor your child’s email by linking their email account to your’s too. 

If you are a concerned parent about keeping your kids safe, then you can relax a little more about their security and safety. As because Bark operates 24/7 and 356 days a year. It indicates any signs and access of online predators, self harm, adult content (pornography), drug use, cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, and many more. That way you are able to limit your kid’s screen time and social media account usage via this Bark Parental Control app. This check in feature has been proven useful for a majority of parents too (aftermarket research). 

Its app alerts lets you receive automatic alerts whenever there is a potential problem detected. As parents, you can check the alert on the Bark online portal and get the content details on the devices. 

At the same time, it allows you to check in on your children’s devices screen time. If they peruse the website outside of their social media platforms, then a web filter over their most visited sites. It makes monitoring your children and the comment a whole lot easier. 

With the Web Filter feature, you can block any negative websites or turn off the internet connection for the device entirely to prevent your children from accessing the internet past their bedtime (from your profile).

The Monitoring Features

A majority of parental control filters shield and protect children from sensitive content by restricting access. However, Bark’s safety differences come from transparency. A majority of their founders and board members are parents and psychologists (and by other professionals and companies in the market) who have designed this parental control app to encourage open conversations. Unlike some online filters that rely on keywords and key phrases, Bark App uses advanced machine learning, algorithms, and artificial intelligence to scream social media, text and message, email, and others in similar kind. 

Parents will receive alerts via email or text when Bark finds any suspicious activity. Here are some of filtering snippets and resources that Bark screens for:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexual Content
  • Drug and alcohol-related content
  • Violence
  • Depression
  • Self-harm or suicidal content
  • Profanity in their comments (even in passing comment)
  • Inappropriate behavior or content
  • Risky app or site usage
  • Changes in account activity
  • Weapons

Apparently Google Docs is one of the more widely-used platforms by young individuals to connect with their friends. While parents seem to be aware of the dangers of Facebook, YouTube, and other social media, they may have overlooked Google Docs as a potential source of cyberbullying. 

Check-In Feature

Bark app does not offer website blocking or the capability to set limits on screen time. However, it does have a check-in feature. As soon as you are connected, you can ask your child to check-in and Bark will notify them and request and response. 

We came to find out that a location, check-in does not give you location information like your kids’ GPS trackers do. However, it can relieve some concern when your child is not with you or are away from family. Its check-in feature is pretty basic, so if you wish to communicate directly with your child on their mobile device, call them by their number instead. After all, monitoring your kids is a responsible parent’s job.

Privacy and Parental Controls

Consumers who install a parental control app on their kid’s device without letting them know will have to be aware that Bark discourages this deeply.  Bark has reminded people to have a frank communication with your kids about why you are using it, and what they can expect from the course of its usage. 

To make things work, experts agree that some of the best ways you can make sure of your children’s safety on the internet is to encourage communication. Limiting strict control features and expanding monitoring, the Bark team puts those critical interactions about staying safe online in the parent’s hands. 

Bark’s parental alerts does include content and comments from strangers your child interacts with. However, the notifications are only snippets of conversations. These alerts strike a balance between respecting the privacy of others and safe-guarding your kids (like school shootings and putting time limits on gaming, to reduce problems). It’s pretty much your choice as an adult to get to the bottom of talking to your kids to find solutions for disagreements after all. It’s good to take the lead in the house and talk to your kids about consent on this subject by setting the standard. 

Open and honest communication with everyone in your family about internet safety for kids is important and critical, so not to break any trust. Some kids will always scream about their “rights” in nearly any aspects of their lives. While blocking access and restricting social media may be necessary for younger children, it is not a long-term solution for teaching your young ones how to stay safe online – as you may lose their trust in the future. 

Bark.com is ideal for tweens and teenagers management, as they venture into social media because it does not intrude too much on their privacy. Easy install process, good customer service ratings, and unlimited access for your entire family and all their devices make Bark’s slightly higher price tag totally worth it.  

Pros and Cons

After having a quick review of the parental app, we can say the same thing for Bark like how we have for other parental control software, products or company. 

Pros

  • You get to monitor your children across 24 social media platforms (and the history)
  • You get alerts for text messages and emails
  • Compatible with most devices, including Android and iPhone
  • Tips to help parents start many honest conversations with their children. Open communication and transparency is the best policy.

Cons

  • No Apple iOS app
  • Little to no site blocking
  • Little to no screen time controls on smartphones 
  • Its price is not worth your money or investment

Its minimal personalization option is Bark’s biggest drawback – that it can only catch severe profanity and threats. As a parent, that is something that can be deterred to monitoring their online behaviors. It does have a profanity filter, which allows you to turn it off or back on. This means as a parent, you will have to look for and monitor everything that can be risky or pose as threats for them on their own. Bark allows you to monitor either everything, anyone, or nothing at all. It’s the same for inappropriate and bad behavior, illicit content, and changes in activity. 

Furthermore, the ambiguous end of the trial package may be an issue for some groups of parents. Bark app has a dashboard that shows you the number of days remaining in the free trial. It later n asks you for credit card details even for the free trial option, to which some people may have concerns with privacy issues. It doesn’t reflect if the subscription will get canceled once you’ve decided to, or if you will get notifications once the deadline approaches. 

After taking a look at each pro and cons review of the Bark app, you may be thinking of getting better alternatives with a better system and experience. You will worry about your children and their safety when they go to school, college, or for a party. You will be worried about the potential dangers your son and daughter may be in when they are in the company of strangers. 

You may not be sure where you kids are or what they are up to. You may be concerned that predators are lurking everywhere and can be dangerous for your kids. They are vulnerable to what the world can do to them – bullish texting and comments from fellow students and friends, catfishing, porn, and other harmful platforms. 

Bark App Installation

One of the challenges parental control apps have is that their installation process can be tricky, especially when you’re not tech-savvy. For devices such as Chromebooks and computers, it takes between 20 to 30 minutes to connect 1 child’s social media accounts and email accounts to Bark (after testing). If you have several kids, then that amount of time will obviously increase. 

The installation process may get funny with iOS devices. The complexity of the experience isn’t Bark’s fault, because Apple doesn’t always play nice with other platforms and apps. You will have to connect your iPhone or other iOS devices directly to your laptop or computers and use Bark’s desktop app to finish the process. The download process can take up to anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to complete. 

Plans and Pricing

As a parental control app, Bark software isn’t exactly the most expensive. It may cost a bit more than other parental control apps, however it also does a lot more than its competitors (eg. : Net Nanny for example). Some parents think that it’s really worth the money. After all, a majority of users are happy with what Bark offers compared to what other alternative that are available to them. 

That being said, we’d recommend that you try it out by perusing its 7-days free trial offer first before you opt-in for a monthly or yearly plan. When you log into your account, you will see a countdown of days left in your trial. You will get the chance to cancel anytime before the trial ends to avoid any unnecessary automatic billing. 

If the trial leads you to decide that Bark is the right software for your family compared to any other alternative, then by all means take it up. We’d recommend choosing the yearly subscription as its pricing offers more than what you can ask for for many reasons that are their own. 

Our Verdict

The conclusion is that Bark is a great parental app for parents who finds themselves in situations where they are unable to find solution to track their kids effectively. Bark will provide that opportunity for such parents in such occasion to see what their kids are up to online. It even helps parents close the distance in making their kids environment a safer one. 

Parents get to set boundaries for their children who are in conflicting situations, help them make better choices, decision and schedules, when they are at work or are out for businesses. In some way you can say such parental app works as replacement options in tracking their kids, giving parents the freedom to do more things in success. After all, it is what those applications and technology are for.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) some parents may have about Bark.com.

Will Bark slow down my computer or my kid’s devices?

Installing the Bark Parental Control app may slow your devices down for a bit. However, the difference is minimal. Neither you nor your children will notice the speed differences for regular use (like for surfing social networks and social media accounts, call service, location tracking (or track locations in general), reading articles, etc). However, the speed difference will be obvious when you, your kids, or a family member is gaming.

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