On Our Radar: Bark Monitoring
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
At TBG Solutions, we work to keep children and students safe online, and we love discovering apps and services that help with that mission. Bark Monitoring service is on our radar currently, and it is something that we highly recommend to parents and schools.
What do you do to keep your children and students safe online? Do you grab their phone away and scroll through their text messages? Do you prevent them from using the internet entirely? Both of these options are extreme and quite invasive. They are both bound to create resentment and feelings of a lack of privacy, and they are actually more likely to make your children want to hide things from you. We live in a world that is ever evolving technologically, and we are torn between allowing our children to become independent adults and protecting them. Bark Monitoring service allows parents to walk this fine line, protecting their children in a non-invasive way.
Bark monitors twenty-four of the most common apps teenagers are using today- Ask.fm, Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, GroupMe, Android phones, iOS texting, Instagram, KidzWorld, Kik, Musical.ly, Pinterest, Reddit, Slack, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, What’s App, and YouTube. While its coverage of most of these apps is complete, Snapchat and Instagram have been more selective about what they allow Bark to monitor.
Bark works in three main steps. It monitors social media, text messages, and emails. If it detects a negative pattern, an instance of cyberbullying, inappropriate photos, or anything else that seems concerning, it alerts the parents’ phone. This allows you to monitor not only the things your child is sending but also what they are receiving. You can detect cyberbullying before it really becomes a problem. Parents have been able to detect suicidal tendencies in their child before it is too late. Parents can know what is going on with their child, and the technology is non-invasive. You can be a refuge for your child instead of the big, mean ogre who takes away their fun. And it’s only $9 a month, no matter how many devices you are monitoring.
Bark is not just for parents, however. Bark also has a school edition that monitors the Google accounts in a single school or an entire district for free with a three-minute setup and free technical support. In an analysis of the Fall 2017 semester, Bark detected 2 bomb/shooting threats, 2,451 students involved in cyberbullying, 124 accounts of students using school accounts to buy, sell, or discuss drugs, 300 children discussing self-harm, cutting, and suicidal thoughts, and 492 instances of nudity or explicit content. We never really think to monitor school accounts, but clearly, there is a need.
Bark monitoring service is a promising development in the world of cyber-security. Its mission meshes well with the protective mission of TBG Solutions. We believe that this is a valuable resource that all schools and parents should utilize. If you are interested in this unique tool, go to https://www.bark.us.