If there has been one consistent complaint about the app, it is that in its attempt to block children from sensitive content the likes of cyberbullying, violence, drug, alcohol, profanity- and even content that introduces them to any kind of weapon- the app sends too many alerts to the parents. Even something like a text with the alcohol emoji can trigger the app. Thankfully, the sensitivity level can be adjusted based on the concern. This way, you can allow some information to be accessed if it is age-appropriate for your child.
The three options are strict, moderate and relaxed. On relaxed, alerts are triggered only by the most harmful content. For example, profanity might get a pass if it’s an older child. On strict, the app will alert you about pretty much any kind of triggering content.
Range of Apps
Other than looking through text messages and emails, Bark has access to all general content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Tiktok, etc. Even music apps such as Spotify are heavily monitored.
Now, while this might seem like an even deeper invasion of privacy, the app is capable of scanning Google Suite-related processors, too. Middle and high school kids might have to do various assignments on these editors, including group projects. Children have been known to send each other illicit content even over those docs.
On that note, it is best that you inform your kid about installing Bark on their phone instead of sneaking it in. A conversation where you explain the need for this app has to be initiated. Thankfully, Bark offers some wonderful pointers on it. Even better, when you do have the app set up and it alerts you about some harmful content, it provides you with advice from licensed child psychologists so you know how to deal with the situation.
Did you know, the app has a new version called the Bark Jr? This isn’t vastly different from the original app but has fewer options. For once, the pricing is $5/month, and a yearly subscription costs $49.
Your child can check-in, a screen limit can be placed, and websites can be filtered on Bark Jr. The original Bark app does this with many other features. However, for an extremely young child who is addicted to Youtube Kids and doesn’t have any social media presence, Bark Jr. is the better option. Once your child starts growing up and into social media, you can switch to Bark.
The bottom line in our Bark review is that they offer a unique monitoring product to help keep kids safe, with a track record of results. It’s affordable and works on most modern operating systems. While there are a few drawbacks, and it’s definitely not a standard parental control suite, it might be just what you’re looking for to keep tabs on your kids and keep them safe, without that task turning into a second job, or too directly invading your child’s privacy. With a 7-day free trial, you have nothing to lose in trying Bark, and safety and peace-of-mind to gain.
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Watch this Bark parental control software review to learn more about how to set up Bark App