Bark is a new smartphone app that aims to help parents keep an eye on what their children do online and prevent them from various dangers on the internet. The app is available for download from the Google Play Store free of charge and looks for children’s online behavior and alerts parents whenever it notices anything related to cyberbullying, sexting, drugs, and depression signs like suicidal thoughts.
To make use of Bark, parents need to create an account and link their child’s social accounts with it. It supports over 20 platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Kik messenger, and Google+. Since social networks are not the only online destinations children visit, parents can also link email accounts as well as SMS apps with the service. Once this part is done, Bark’s watchdog engine starts analyzing child’s activity which happens all the time every day. It looks for signs of any of the aforementioned online dangers and as it claims to go through around ten million messages across 21 platforms each month, the app is likely to be successful in intercepting those signs. The good thing is that the app’s engine also looks for the context of the conversation to decide if a particular part of the conversation is actually something serious or it’s just a way of expression in an effort to minimize false positives. One good example of this situation is the common usage of phrases like “kill myself” and “kill yourself” which usually don’t mean that children are actually talking about killing themselves or someone else, Bark Technologies says. Parents can choose to receive SMS and email alerts notifying them of any alarming behavior of their children.
For those who might be thinking about the security of their child’s data, Bark claims to offer SSL encryption for showing data to both parents and kids. It mentions that both data and their backups are stored in an encrypted form. The service supports a week-long free trial for new users and is available as a subscription-based solution priced at $9 per month or $99 per year. Users can download the Bark Android app by following the Google Play Store link below.