Learn more about Bark's additional features that provide you and your family support beyond the vital alerts and help you in managing your children's online activities. You can also review the nitty gritty of what we monitor for each social media platform.
- Check-Ins - Have your children check-in with the click of a button and see where they are on a map. No more back-and-forth via texting. Amazing!
- Companion Kids Apps - In addition to the check-in feature, your children can also connect their social media accounts to Bark from this app. Don’t have their passwords? No problem! They can do it all from their phones themselves. Wooo! Less hassle, more free time! #winwin
- Notification Preferences - Control what types of alerts you receive and where you get them (email or texting). Add a second person and spread the ability to read alerts on potential issues across parents and caregivers.
- Risky Apps - Bark has a growing list of apps we’ve deemed to be high risk for online issues. These are apps where we have not yet been given permission to connect with the app API and are unable to monitor. However, we do let you know when one is detected on your child’s device. #beintheknow
- Word Cloud - On your Bark dashboard, click on "View Analytics Details" and see a colorful display of recent words your child has used the most in the last two weeks.
- Top 5 Contacts - Parents can view a child's top five contacts (for the last seven days or the last month) for all messages or just potential issues.
Nitty Gritty Details of Monitoring
Below we detail exactly what we are able to monitor on the different social media sites. The amount of information we are able to monitor is dependant on each particular app’s available API information. This is a fancy way of saying, what the apps want to keep secret, they can.
We work hard, as a third-party service, to provide a program that keeps phones working properly, and not void warranties or terms of service. So, you do not (we repeat, do NOT) need to jailbreak your child’s iOS device or root your child’s Android phone for our service. This does mean, unfortunately, we do not get all the things. But we get as much as we possibly can, and our algorithms analyze ALL of it while only sending you the messages that need your attention.
What exactly do we monitor? Well… here is a list of the platforms we cover, what we monitor, and why it’s important to look at that information.
iOS: Text messages, iMessage, photos, videos, and browsing history. Includes deleted text messages. Bark monitors child's iOS device location if check-ins are enabled. See iOS connection instructions.
Android: Text messages, photos, videos, browsing history, Snapchat private messages, Instagram direct messages and searches, YouTube views and searches, Musical.ly chats, WhatsApp messages, and Kik messages. Includes deleted text messages. Bark monitors child's Android device location if check-ins are enabled. See Android connection instructions.
Amazon Fire Tablets: Photos, videos, and installed apps, Snapchat private messages, Instagram direct messages and searches, YouTube views and searches, Musical.ly chats, WhatsApp messages, and Kik messages.
Browsing history is one of the features we added because engaged parents, like yourself, asked us for it. Why is this helpful? Because while we do not block your kids from going onto pornography sites, we do alert you when they do. You will get an alert with potential issues when our algorithm detects searches on PornHub and other websites for searches like: free porn videos, private sex tapes, etc. Now that you are alerted to the sexual activity they are looking at, you can have a talk with them about healthy sexual curiosity and healthy sexual behaviors.
Photos and Videos: Bark monitors these as well as images that have text overlay on them. Our algorithms can parse out the text overlay and analyze it along with the picture for any potential abuses.
Snapchat: Bark is able to scan public and private Snapchat stories. We can also monitor Snapchat private messages (chat) on Android and Amazon devices. But because Snapchat doesn't allow external access to private messages, we cannot monitor those on iOS devices (and neither can any other monitoring service!). We're continually working to be able to monitor Snapchat on iOS.
Twitter: Bark monitors your child's Twitter accounts posting, replies, and even direct messages.
Instagram: Bark monitors the images/videos your child posts and comments on those posts. Bark can also monitor Instagram direct messages and searches on connected Android and Amazon devices. Instagram does not allow external access to private messages on iOS.
Facebook: Bark monitors what is posted on your child's wall.
Reddit: Bark monitors your child's submissions, comments, and private messages. This includes replies to their comments, which come in as private messages.
Be where the teens are at and monitor their most used social media apps. Think of Snapchat and Twitter like a commander shouting “fire at will” in the back of their underdeveloped frontal lobe, this is where the un-curated life of your child lives. On these two sites kids do not feel the need to be pretty or even always kind - to themselves and others. Get alerts when they post something on their Story or Wall that is mean and hurtful so you can help them with that issue and bring mindfulness back to what they post, even on their un-curated corner of the internet. On the other hand Instagram and Facebook posts are far more carefully created and thoughtfully shared, but that doesn’t mean everyone response with comments that are as much thoughtful.
GroupMe: Bark monitors your child's group messages and private messages, including images and media associated with each.
WhatsApp: For iOS users bark can monitor your child's chats and chat attachments (if available).
Kik: For iOS users bark can monitor your child's chats and chat attachments (if available).
Slack: Bark monitors private messages, private messages between multiple parties, and Private channels.
Groupchats, GCs, Group Messaging, GMs, meme sharing strings of text messages, these are a few of your kid’s favorite things. They can also be filled with questionable content and sometimes people your kid doesn’t even know in real life. Groupchats can be rife with strife, full of mean messages where kids policing each other isn’t enough, and kids have a hard time leaving a group chat without getting called out on it. As one article put it, “Group messages are like the mafia - once you’re in, you’re in.” Get alerts on potential issues in group chats, chatting apps, etc. and help your kid make wise decisions like yes, leaving the group message, creating a code of conduct for the group message, encouraging positive behavior in groupchats, and finding out who everyone is in the group messaging - no assumptions!
Pinterest: Bark monitors the child's profile, the images and descriptions that they pin.
Flickr: Bark monitors the photos your child posts and the comments on those photos.
Tumblr: Bark monitors answers, chats, links, photos, photo posts, quotes and blog posts on Tumblr.
Do we monitor photos and videos? Short answer - Yes, absolutely. Long answer, this includes images that have text overlay on them. Our algorithms can parse out the text overlay and analyzes that along with the picture for any potential abuses. It’s really kind of amazing what technology can do and how it can help you keep your kids safer online.
Confused? Imagine your kid takes a picture of their face (aka a selfie) and then writes in text on top of the image “I hate myself,” and posts it to their Tumblr. Bark algorithms would analyze the photo, which is innocuous, but also that text overlay, not so innocuous, and alerts you to potential depression also providing recommended actions on how to talk to your child about depression along with other resources where you can seek help if the situations warrants it.
Ask.Fm: Bark monitors the questions/comments your child asks and the answers they receive, as well as, the questions/comments they are asked and the answers they post.
Email: Bark monitors Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Comcast Mail, AOL Mail and iCloud Mail both the emails they send and the emails they receive.
Google+: Bark monitors the child's posts and the comments on those posts.
YouTube: Bark monitors the videos your child posts, comments made to those videos, and new videos posted to your child's user and channel subscriptions. Bark can also monitor YouTube views and searches only on connected Android or Amazon devices. For non-Android and non-Amazon device users, YouTube does have content blocking abilities under their parental controls and settings. You can check out this YouTube support link for more information.