The Internet can be incredibly helpful to people both young and old, and it has opened up doors previously thought impossible. While it can be used for work and research, it can also be used to keep in touch with friends and family as well as access our favorite content through sites like Youtube.
It’s hard to imagine a world before the Internet, and it’s all most kids have ever known. Young people tend to spend a lot of time online, but they can also sadly be exposed to the darker sides of the internet. It can seem impossible to control what our kids are exposed to, and that’s where apps like Bark come in.
In this review, we will cover why apps like Bark are so useful, what it offers, and what you can expect from it. We will do so by covering some of the key benefits, plans that are available, and even some drawbacks to the service to show you whether it’s right for you and your family.
- Bark App is an app that allows parents to monitor and control what their children access on the internet.
- The app will monitor web usage and send alerts when any harmful content is detected. It can also be used to block certain harmful sites and apps.
- Bark will monitor emails, social media, documents, web browsers, and more.
- You have two options when it comes to the app: Bark Premium which has all features and Bark Jr which lacks a few features but could be ideal for younger children.
What Is Bark App?
The concept behind Bark App is to give you as a parent more control over what your child will be exposed to. Sometimes you may want to just keep your child away from the internet entirely, but this isn’t really realistic these days with how much of our lives are online.
Your child will probably be online sooner or later, so with the Bark app you can at least limit what they may access or be exposed to. You will be able to customize what is blocked and what will trigger alerts.
How Bark’s Parental Controls Help Protect Your Children
Bark’s parental controls allow you to monitor pretty much all facets of your child’s online activity. It will scan for sensitive content such as sexual content, predatory behavior and even cyberbullying.
It can seem impossible to completely protect children from the dangers of the internet, but we have looked at how it is possible in a past article.
There are more features that we will cover shortly, but basically, you will have more control. Without an app like Bark, you could be blissfully unaware of what your child is seeing and doing online when you’re not watching.
Sometimes they can be exposed to harmful content or behavior through no fault of their own, and kids may not have the life skills needed to deal with this in a proper way. Children are more susceptible to predatory behavior and harmful content, so Bark allows you to protect them without making your child feel like they’re being limited or lorded over.
We have previously looked at 5 of the benefits of using an app like Bark to monitor your child’s devices if you would like more info on the subject.
Bark App Review
Key Features And Benefits
- Monitor Content – With the Bark App, you will be able to monitor for instances of inappropriate content along with threats from predators and cyberbullies. Being alerted to these threats allows you to deal with them before it’s too late.
- Manage Screen Time – If left to their own devices, kids can spend the majority of their time staring at a screen. While a reasonable amount of screen time isn’t unhealthy, too much can lead to problems such as eye issues as well as preventing kids from learning social skills or pursuing real-world interests. Bark App allows you to set screen time limits so that your children won’t spend all their time on electronic gadgets.
- Filter Websites – You can set filters for certain websites or categories of websites to prevent your child from accessing them. These can be customized to fit with what you would want to prevent your specific child from viewing or accessing.
- Location Alerts – Keeping tabs on your kids can be stressful, so you can set location alerts to let you know when your kids have left or arrived at a location.
- App Monitoring – Bark App can monitor over 30 of the most popular apps to detect anything harmful that your child may be exposed to.
- Unlimited Access – The Bark App covers an unlimited number of kids, keeping the price low for even large families.
- Gain Insights – You can gain information and insights into your child’s internet activity as well as recommendations from child psychologists. This can help you to see if there are any problem areas or harmful habits your child is partaking in.
What Does Bark App Monitor?
- Email Hosts – Bark will monitor all email correspondence to detect anything harmful that may be contained within.
- Social Media Apps – It’s only a matter of time before your child will want to join social media apps. These apps can be great but also expose your child to people with ill intent. Bark can monitor activity on some of the most popular apps such as Youtube, Facebook, and Discord among many others. For more information on how to monitor social media usage, we have created this guide on the subject.
- Document Sharing Apps – Document-sharing apps can be great for school or work, but they can also be used to spread harmful material. Bark will monitor document-sharing apps to look out for such material.
- Web Browsers – Web browsers will be your child’s main gateway to the internet, and they can be used to search for and access all sorts of things you don’t want your child exposed to like adult content, piracy, online casinos, malware, or other potentially harmful and dangerous websites. That’s why Bark will also monitor web browser usage.
How And When Bark Alerts Parents
Bark will alert you when potential instances of bullying, predatory behavior, or sexual content are detected. You can then act on it accordingly.
Bark Plans And Pricing
Some apps and services can overwhelm you with a myriad of different tiers and options, but Bark has kept things simple with their two plans that you can see on this page.
These two tiers include Bark Premium which costs $14 per month. Bark Jr on the other hand costs $5 per month, but naturally is more limited.
A little later in the review, we will cover the differences between these tiers so that you can decide which would be the best for your child.
Customer Service And Support
If you run into any issues or need help with anything relating to the app, you can contact Bark directly via the options on this support page. This is great, as it means you won’t be on your own if anything does pop up.
Pros And Cons
- More Control – The app allows you to control what your child can access and is exposed to.
- Comprehensive monitoring – You will have monitoring for pretty much all facets of your child’s online activity such as apps, messaging, and web browsing.
- Alerts – Getting alerts when any harmful content is detected is hugely helpful, as it can help you to take action.
- Unlimited Coverage – It’s really great that one account can cover all kids in your family, as it keeps costs down.
- Some Kids Can Bypass Bark – While Bark has been designed to protect your child, it is possible that more tech-savvy kids may be able to bypass the app’s protections. That’s why you should still take the time to monitor your child’s internet usage in person from time to time.
- Some Limits – Bark covers a wide range of internet usage, but there are some instances such as online gaming activity that aren’t monitored.
Bark Premium Vs Bark Jr
As we mentioned before, Bark has two tiers, Premium and Jr. Premium is definitely the most feature-rich of the two tiers. With premium, you will receive features such as screen time limits, website filtering, location alerts, text and app monitoring, and alerts for cyberbullying, sexual content or predatory behavior.
This makes Premium ideal for older kids and pre-teens, as it covers most of the common internet uses that kids of this age will be exposed to.
The Jr tier has all of these features except for the monitoring of text and apps and alerts for cyberbullying and predatory behavior. As the name implies, this is intended for younger kids that won’t be using social media, messaging, or apps that much.
It could also be helpful for kids who don’t use the internet much for apps and messaging.
If you would like more information on Bark Jr in particular, Bark has created this video overview on Bark Jr to give you a better idea of what it has to offer.
Bark App Reviews What Customers Are Saying
If you’re wondering whether Bark is actually helpful in real-life scenarios, the many positive reviews left by real parents should help to convince you. Bark has a review page compiled that showcases dozens of parents talking about how much Bark has helped them keep their children safe.
The App also has an impressive 4.1 out of 5-star rating on the iTunes app store, so it’s not a case of Bark cherry-picking positive reviews to make themselves look good.
Conclusion And Where To Buy
Protecting your kids online can be a tricky thing indeed. On the one hand, no one wants their child to be exposed to mature content they’re not ready for or harmful treatment from cyber bullies, predators, and other online users. These can all be incredibly detrimental, and kids can be exposed to it even if you’re vigilant.
On the other hand, you don’t want your child to feel like they have no privacy or freedom with you watching over their shoulder at all times.
The Bark app provides a good middle ground here, as it allows you to monitor your child without limiting them too much. Overall, we would highly recommend the Bark app to any parents who want to have more control over keeping their kids safer online.
If you would like to sign up for Bark Premium or Jr, you can do so on this website. A free trial is also available if you would like to try it out before committing.
How Much Does Bark App Cost?
Bark Premium costs $14 per month, whereas the more limited Jr tier costs $5 per month.
How To Install Bark App On Phone
The Bark App can be installed via your favorite app store.
How To Unblock An App On Bark
The apps and services that are blocked can be controlled via your profile on the Bark App.
How To Set Up Screen Time On iOS?
Controlling screen time on iOS is very simple to do from the app. Bark has created a useful video showing you how to do it step by step.
Can Bark Block Apps?
Bark can be used to block apps of your choice.
Can Bark See Apps You Download?
Depending on the tier, Bark will monitor apps you download and use, provided they are compatible with Bark.
Can Bark App Detect Sexting?
Bark will detect instances of sexting and sexual content in messaging, apps, and browsers. You will then be alerted to it so you can act on it.
Is Bark App Worth It?
We definitely think that Bark App is well worth it if you want to have more control over what your child is exposed to.