Last Updated: July 3, 2021
- Alerts: Yes
- Free trial: Yes, 7 days
- Free plan: No
- Ease of use: 4.6/5
- GPS location: Yes
- Customer support: 3/5
- Monitoring capabilities: 4/5
- Social media and web categories: 30+
Parents looking to monitor and customize their kids’ internet activities.
- Website filtering
- Compatible with most devices
- Monitors apps, emails, and texts
- Subscription plans can be used for an unlimited number of children
- Sends many alerts
- Limited customer support
- Better suited for Android devices
What is Bark?
Bark is a child monitoring app that tracks social media usage, texts, emails, and Google searches on your child’s mobile devices. It can monitor 30+ social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok, and sends you alerts when detecting any suspicious content or activity.
Bark was designed to increase your kids’ online safety. It checks for signs of cyberbullying, drug use, suicidal thoughts, depression, and inappropriate sexual content. This social media tracking app is compatible with Android, iOS, and Kindle devices. It can also be used for monitoring macOS and Windows.
Bark Monitoring Features
The Bark app comes with some impressive features, including:
One of the features that makes Bark widely popular amongst parents is its extensive monitoring abilities. The Bark parental control app lets you monitor your children’s interactions online and covers 30+ social media networks.
This phone monitoring app is also useful for keeping an eye on Whatsapp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and texts. Bark looks out for things like cyberbullying, sexual content, depression, violence, profanity, and a host of other inappropriate online behavior.
When testing the app, we noticed that its monitoring feature is highly sensitized. It even alerts you on things like slangs, swearing, and questionable emojis. While this is an excellent option for parents looking to keep a very close eye on their children, the constant alerts can be annoying.
Luckily, the Bark child monitoring app gives you the option to adjust the sensitivity. It comes with three options: relaxed, moderate, and strict.
Please note that Bark’s monitoring capabilities vary depending on the mobile device or operating system. For example, it can monitor TikTok and Snapchat on Android devices, while that’s not possible on iPhone.
Screen Time Management
Bark lets you set internet rules regarding what your children can view online. This is one of the most loved features in many Bark app reviews, especially by parents with younger kids.
The app’s screen time management feature is extensive. It allows you to limit the amount of time spent on the internet via a cellular connection or WiFi.
You can also set up web filtering to protect kids and ensure their internet safety. Web filtering gives you the option to block specific websites or website categories. You can block inappropriate content like pornography, gambling, and online gaming.
In addition to these, the screen time management lets you schedule your kids’ bedtime and school time for weekdays and weekends. You can also schedule free time, which is a dedicated time for your kids to use social media.
Bark comes with an active forum of parents who use the content-control software to monitor and protect kids. From reading other Bark app reviews, it is evident that many parents appreciate this feature.
This forum allows parents to discuss common parenting issues and keep up to date with new slang or inappropriate websites. The great thing about this forum is that it is organized according to your children’s age to make sure you find relevant advice.
Bark Advanced Features
In addition to its basic features, Bark also offers a couple of useful advanced tools, including:
One of the app’s most recent updates includes the check-in feature, which allows you to check on your child when they’re not nearby. Via the app, you can ask your child (whose device is connected to your account) to check-in. Bark then notifies them and requests a response.
This feature eliminates the need for lengthy texts with your child just to find out where they are. However, it does not function as a GPS tracker.
Sometimes, your kids can try to hide inappropriate interactions by communicating via emails instead. This is where the Bark software email monitoring comes in.
Not only does Bark monitor social media, but it also monitors email activities. This feature allows the app to scan through emails and Google Docs and alerts you of suspicious or problematic activities.
Blocking and Filtering
The Bark app for kids offers a screen management feature that gives you control over how and when your kids use the internet. The blocking and filtering function falls under this feature.
This function allows you to block any app or website that you do not want your kids to access. Additionally, you can pause your child’s internet connection entirely on both Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Many Bark reviews show that the software doesn’t work in the same way as other parental control apps. It takes on a much more holistic approach. Where other apps make use of filtering and blocking technologies, the phone monitoring app makes use of proprietary machine-learning algorithms.
Interface and Ease of Use
Downloading and installing Bark is a very straightforward process. It’s important to note that you need to provide payment details before downloading the app, which some authors of Bark reviews have found inconvenient.
Once downloaded, the app lets you connect your kids’ social media accounts. If you have multiple kids with more than one social media account, this process can be quite lengthy. However, it’s easy to do and doesn’t require any extra tech expertise.
When everything is set up, the Bark child monitoring app runs automatically in the background. When you open the app, you can monitor your kids’ texts, social media, and emails without any hassle.
The app’s dashboard is user-intuitive and allows you to use any function, including filtering, blocking, screen management, and check-ins. You can also access the parents’ forum using your phone or desktop.
Bark has a live chat option on its app for customer support. However, just because there is a live chat option doesn’t mean their reps are available 24/7. They are available during business hours only. But even then, it may take a couple of hours for them to respond.
Alternatively, you can send an email, and they will get back to you within a couple of days.
If you use this app to track kids and don’t live in the United States, you may face issues reaching the live chat customer support at a convenient hour due to time zone differences.
Bark offers two subscription plans: Bark Premium and Bark Jr. Both subscription plans can be used on an unlimited number of children. There is no free version of the app, but there is a seven-day Bark free trial for the Premium plan.
- Bark Premium ($14.00/month or $99/year): Monitors texts, emails, 30+ apps, sends out alerts, enables screen time management, allows for filtering and blocking websites, and lets you use location check-ins.
- Bark Jr ($5.00/month or $49/year): Manage screen times, allows for location check-ins, and lets you filter websites your kids can visit.
Bark App Reviews – Verdict
If you’re a parent looking for a way to monitor your child’s internet activities, then the Bark app is a great option. But like with any other software, it has its upsides and its downsides.
It’s a shame that the Bark internet safety app has variations in monitoring capabilities on different devices. The app can monitor a more extensive spread of social media platforms on Android than on other operating systems. This makes it difficult for parents to monitor online activities on iPhones or computers effectively.
Another issue is Bark’s customer support. You won’t get round-the-clock support, and their live chat will be hard to reach if you live in a non-US time zone.
Finally, it is hard to ignore the price of the Bark premium subscription. A lot of families may find it too expensive for a parental control app.
On the bright side, we love that the app encourages open conversations with your kids. To set the app up, you need your kids’ social media accounts’ login details. This means you have to speak to your kids about the importance of monitoring the content they are exposed to online.
In addition to this, the check-in feature is one that is also positively discussed across other Bark reviews. While it doesn’t act as a GPS tracker, it lets you check on your kids’ location with their permission.
Finally, the parents’ forum makes Bark stand out from its competition like NetNanny or Qustodio. Via this forum, you can learn many helpful things, such as scheduling your kids’ internet time, how to filter their web content so that it is not age-inappropriate, how to block inappropriate content, and new parenting tips and tricks.
Bark is a social media, email, and text monitoring app that lets you keep an eye on your kids’ online activities and interactions. It connects with 30+ social media platforms and carefully watches Google searches, posts, and videos. When it spots any suspicious activity, it sends you an alert along with recommendations on how to discuss the issue with your child.
Yes, it is legit. The Bark kids app is one of the leading internet control apps for parents in the US. With over 3 million kids being monitored with the app, it is safe to say that parents trust it.
Bark Premium costs $14/month or $99/year, and the Bark Jr plan costs $5/month or $49/year.
No, Bark is unable to see Snapchat pictures. But it can monitor Snapchat DM text chats on Android devices.
Yes, Bark can see deleted texts on Android devices. It can access some of those texts on iOS, but not all. Many Bark app reviews show that the difference in capability between different operating systems is one of the platform’s downsides.
Yes, Bark allows you to block any of your child’s apps or websites temporarily. Alternatively, you can also choose to use the filter option.