• Ashley Seguin

MSpy vs. Bark Monitoring



Interestingly, this blog did not start out comparing two child-monitoring software options. It started out by researching Snapchat. I wanted something new and fresh, since I wrote a rather popular and inclusive Snapchat blog last year. My research led me to a YouTube video, in which parents were doing a Snapchat experiment with their children and using mSpy to monitor their activity. Again, we have blogged in the past about monitoring services like Bark Monitoring. So, I decided to compare them.


MSpy:


The parents in the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg-LhgZLB8M) used mSpy to monitor their children’s online interactions. At first glance, mSpy seemed like the most magical gift of a monitoring service. Parents can install the software on their children’s phones, and it runs in the background. Your child will not be able to tell you are monitoring them, which means you will get a true glimpse into what your child does on his phone. MSpy allows access to various apps, text messages, Snapchats, emails, and photos, among other things. There is a catch though. For Apple users, it only works on Jailbroken phones. Jailbreaking a phone voids the warranty and any upgrades. Android users are required to root the phone to install the software. It is also illegal to install a monitoring service on any phone you do not own. Finally, mSpy costs about $30 a month for premium, which is the only plan that allows access to all of the wonderful features. It also only allows one device at a time, though Premium offers an unlimited number of changes of device without purchasing the license again.


Bark Monitoring:


As stated earlier, I did a blog on Bark Monitoring last May. For the full review, see the link: https://www.markseguin.com/blog/on-our-radar-bark-monitoring. Today, we are just comparing it to mSpy. Both do virtually the same thing. One difference though, is that while mSpy allows the parent to see everything, Bark handles that part and only allows parents to see flagged material. Also, if a child posts an inappropriate photo, Bark will delete it from the server and flag the parents but not show the picture. Bark will monitor 24 different apps, including Snapchat, for keywords, inappropriate pictures, and cyberbullying, among other things. It does take some control away from the parent, but it can also be installed on your child’s phone without jailbreaking or rooting it. Oh, and another perk, Bark is $9/month, no matter how many devices you are monitoring.


One more major difference between mSpy and Bark is the stance of the company on the secrecy of the monitoring. While mSpy boasts that it allows parents to monito their children without them knowing, Bark promotes the idea that monitoring should be done as a safety precaution. As a parent, you should have the tough conversations with your children. They need to know that if they want to continue using a smartphone, they must allow you to monitor them. These services have aroused questions of child privacy and child free speech violations. However, frankly, your child’s brain is undeveloped, and knowing that a parent is watching may just keep them from doing something really stupid or life-threatening. At a certain point, it all comes down to what is more important to the parent.

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© 2018 by Mark Seguin and TBG Solutions Inc.