Do you ever wish you could just constantly look over your teen’s shoulder while they are on their phones? I am all about helping them learn to manage themselves so when they become adults they will have a great understanding of technology pitfalls so they can avoid them, but I really need to know that they are acting appropriately online while they are still young. The best way is to monitor your child’s social media.
As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, I’m a huge fan of layers of protection. I have several different tools I use on a regular basis to monitor and control my children’s devices. As they get older I open up access a little bit more if they have proven to do well with the current restrictions.
Now that my daughter is 14 and has social media, I have added Bark to my toolbox to help monitor and report on those accounts. Bark does work on iOS, but it works better on Android.
Apps Bark can monitor on each platform
As you can see, there are a TON of social media accounts Bark can manage, and more! You simply need to plug in which accounts your child uses and you are off to the races.
You will get notifications on your phone and on your email, based on the settings you have added of any issues discovered in your child’s account. I will say, it is a little on the sensitive side, which I would much rather than the opposite.
For example, my daughter is SUPER into Pokemon. She loves watching videos of Pokemon battles and loves role-playing with her friends about Pokemon battles. She is frequently flagged for “violence” with Bark.
My daughter also draws frequently, and her art is always uploaded automatically from her tablet to Dropbox. I am constantly amazed at how well Bark can pick out parts of a drawing that could be construed as violent (like Ash holding a sword being flagged).
Bark also picks up on slang and will flag LMAO as profanity (as it should). However, you can add things to Bark to ease up the reporting or even to make it broader.
Layers of Protection
Since I also use Boomerang Parental Control I can actually see my daughter’s entire text conversations with everyone. I’m not sure if you know this, but teens text a. lot. So, when I only want to know when something has been flagged I can check out Bark, but if I want to dig further into the conversation to get more context I open up Boomerang.
Using the two together allows me to keep track of what is going on, without having to keep a constant eye on it 24 hours a day! Bark has the added bonus of tracking conversations in other apps as well, so I can see who she is DM’ing on Instagram and who she is messaging through Facebook or YouTube.
Bark will also give me reports on her top contacts and the top places it found issues. Additionally, it will also report on recently installed apps and a chart that will display activity vs issues found. So out of 1024 activities monitored, Bark found issues with 37 items of my daughters for a given week.
Bark is a great addition to your parental control arsenal to help monitor your child’s Social Media accounts. The service is typically $99/year, but you can get 20% off your subscription by clicking here! I am not being paid to write this review of the service. Honestly, I really do love and use it personally (and I paid the full price for the service!). I may get a commission if you sign up too.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com