depression in young adults

In 2015, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 8% of teenagers attempt suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 24. The Washington Post noted that “more teenagers die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, pneumonia and influenza combined.” We can no longer hide from talking about teen depression in young adults.

More recently, the CDC issued a startling report that found the suicide rate hit a 40-year peak in 2015, and doubled between 2007 and 2015 among teen girls between 15 and 19 years old. While it’s unlikely any one social factor can account for the alarming increase, experts point to social isolation, substance abuse, exposure to violence, and cyberbullying as risk factors. However, the highest risk factor of all is a lack of parental support.

It can be hard to know what to do when you find out your child is depressed. We’ve put together this list of things parents can do to support their teen who is depressed. We also provide details on how to empower their teen to obtain professional help.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there are many resources that can help. If you believe your child or another person may be in immediate danger, call 911.

Address Depression In Young Adults with Adequate Support

What it means to provide your teen with adequate support may not be so obvious. Parents constantly struggle to find a balance between parenting and smothering. If we don’t parent enough, we risk not seeing the signs of teen depression. If we parent too much, our teens may push us away.

While it’s often a delicate balance, we’ve provided a list of what experts consider a good start. Finding a mental health professional that can help you plan for long term treatment is often very helpful (more on that below).

Empowering Your Teen to Get Professional Help

As a parent, providing support through your teen’s depression often means empowering them to seek professional help from a qualified mental health counselor. Involving a professional may seem embarrassing or unnecessary, but 70% of people who seek help improve. Their improvement can happen fast, in just weeks. By contrast, people with clinical depression who do not seek help may experience more severe symptoms over time, which can push them to become suicidal.

So why doesn’t everyone just get help? Many who do not seek help think they can just “snap out of it.” However, clinical depression is very different from just having the blues. Like any medical condition, clinical depression requires treatment for improvement.

Others avoid treatment because they’re not willing to take antidepressants. However, many modes of therapy do not make use of antidepressants and produce great outcomes without them.

There are many other reasons why people avoid treatment, but the best way to ensure your teen participates is to give them as much control as possible over their treatment plan and choice of provider. Youth often feel out of control of their lives, and being given a choice over how to treat their depression can help them overcome accompanying feelings of helplessness. Moreover, making that choice can help them take ownership over their situation, thus empowering them to participate.

Finding Treatment

In addition to seeking help for your teen, you might consider seeking professional help for yourself. Mental health counselors like psychologists and psychiatrists are simply experts in their respective fields. Consulting with an expert can provide you with coping skills given the stress you may be under, as well as, suggest ways to become a better support person for your teen.

To find a treatment provider, consider consulting the following resources:

It can be terrifying to think that your child is depressed or perhaps suicidal. However, the message here is that simply talking to your teen and providing encouragement to get help can be life saving when dealing with depression in young adults. Additionally, sign up for Bark. We monitor your teens social media, email, and phone sending you an alert if there are signs of depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.

At Bark we’re serious about helping parents protect kids online. One way to do this is to set up parental control for iPhones or iOS devices your kids use. Then you know what they can and cannot access on their devices. Below is a non-exhaustive, but fairly comprehensive, overview of what you can do to your child’s iOS device to set them up for a positive and responsible experience. We provide tips on the varying levels of restrictions so you can make the best decision based on your individual kids.

But that’s just the beginning, after getting phone restrictions in place check out Bark. Bark monitors your child’s email, social media, and text messages for cyberbullying, sexting, grooming, and even signs of depression or suicidal ideation. Then we alert you if there is a potential issue. No more combing through every message ever! Saving you time and providing a safety net for your kids too. #WinWin

Setting up parental controls on your kid’s iPhone or iPad is like setting up a security detail for the President. Different areas are put under different types of restrictions – some are on lockdown and some are set up for restricted access to trusted advisors only. You decide which ones are best for your kid. 

The Eagle Has Landed: A Passcode For Each Device

You’ve given your kid a new iPhone or iPad, but you haven’t given it to the stranger who finds it when they’ve lost it. Put a passcode on their iPhone that you and your child know, but others won’t. Go to Settings > Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode) > Tap Turn Passcode On > Enter a 4 digit code > Re-enter code to confirm.

 

Set up a unique identifier for each phone, do not use birthdays or simple number sequences, and avoid common passcodes and common swiping patterns. Do not use the same passcode as the one to their iCloud account.

The Eagle Has Flown The Nest And Is Now Lost: Set Up Find My iPhone

Ugh. Now the phone is lost. What are you going to do? Well, you’re going to be super proud of yourself for planning ahead and setting up key safety features, like Find My iPhone.

Go to Settings > iCloud > Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store (under your name) >iCloud and enable Find My iPhone. Download the Find My iPhone app by Apple on each device after enabling the Find My iPhone in iCloud Settings. The app will let you use any iOS device to find the lost phone, remotely lock it, or even erase all the data on it.

 

Tracking Device Activated: Find My Friends

Want to know if your kids are really at the mall like they said they were? There’s an app for that. Make sure Find My Friends app is downloaded on every iPhone. Open Find My Friends on your iOS device> Add > enter your kid’s email addresses, and tap Done. On your kid’s devices you will need to accept the request to share their location. Go to Settings > iCloud > Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store (under your name) > iCloud and enable Find My iPhone. Scroll down to Share My Location at the bottom of the screen and toggle on (green). Now you can see where they are on a map in the app or on iCloud.com.

 

Another great tool to know about (and use!) is the check-ins feature from Bark. With check-ins, parents can rely on a single-click location confirmation from their children to show that they’ve safely arrived at their destination.

Walkies Are A Go: Set Up Apple Family Sharing (It’s FREE!)

Give your child their own Apple ID and set them up under the Apple Family Sharing Plan. This is like giving each of your kids a code name and only sharing information across secure channels. The Apple Family Sharing plan allows you to control what apps and content your children can purchase and download. You can also share purchased content with each other and not buy duplicates. #WinWin! Check out Apple Family Sharing Plan for more information.  

 

Decide who the main account holder (aka Organizer) is going to be, then on their device go to Settings > iCloud > Set Up Family Sharing and follow the instructions. You can add another permissions approver later.

When you create accounts for your children, turn on the “Ask for Permission” for purchases. So, they have to, you know, ask for permission. Be sure to check out each app yourself, look at reviews, and double check ratings and potential risks on Common Sense Media.

Enter your children’s birthdays and Apple will tailor the services automatically for those under 13 for appropriate content. Since it will give them standard access for 13 and up, see below for more parental controls.

Do not give your child the password for their iCloud or Apple Store accounts, you will need to authenticate their iCloud account and approve their app purchases for them. Pro Tip: Do not use common household passwords either (e.g. the one for your Netflix account).

On each iOS device, sign into their iCloud account: Go to Settings > iCloud Settings > and tap Invitations to join their account to the Family Sharing Plan. All systems are a go.

Ground Control To Major Tom: Cellular Data Usage Controls

To Data or not to Data that is the question. The answer? You make the decisions. You can control and limit cellular data usage on your kid’s iPhone. Decide how much data your kid is allowed to have, which apps you want them to only use on the WiFi, and put your plan in place.

Go to Settings > Cellular and toggle off any app you do not want your kid using cellular data for. Toggle until it turns gray, not green. Now those apps will only work when on the WiFi (unless you barricade access to them completely).

 

Go to Settings > Notifications and then tap the systems you don’t want push notifications. Most of these notifications are not necessary and turning them off will also save you data.

 

Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Use Cellular Data and toggle off (until it is gray). This will stop automatic downloads while on cellular data and only allow downloads on the Wi-Fi. (Downloads that you approve of course!)

 

For younger kids, you may want to turn off cellular data completely so that they cannot access anything on their iPhones unless they are on the Wi-Fi. Go to Settings > Cellular (Data) and toggle off so that it is gray. Now your kid can’t use a personal hotspot or send text messages, but they can get onto the internet and check their email over the Wi-Fi unless you have other restrictions in place for those.

 

Setting Up Barricades: Get Your Settings In Order

Put some general order in place with a couple of barricades along the streets. While Restrictions will override general service configurations, it is good to go through those configurations before setting up your Restrictions. Besides the recommendations above there are a few more you may want to reconfigure as well. Go to Settings and then check out each of these major areas below.  

Bluetooth 

Think about disabling this as most kids don’t need it. The only thing it might prevent them from using are wireless headphones (and who wants to pay for those?), but it is also a big barrier to sharing inappropriate material from device to device.

Privacy

Choose which features you want to disallow access. Tap each line under the Privacy section to set up privacy modes for which apps can have access to that content. For example what apps do you want to have access to your child’s Contacts? Click on Contacts and make those choices. You can also click on Advertising to Limit Ad Tracking to set limits on how much data advertisers can get about your kid from Apple.

 

Email

Set up the email accounts that you want your child to have access to and get rid of the rest. You may want to set up a kid-safe email account for younger kids or only allow use of one of the email accounts that Bark is able to monitor.

Hearing Protection

Under the Music section in Settings, you can set a limit on how loud the device can get and then in Restrictions (below) disallow changes. This helps you limit potential hearing loss!

 

Game Center

There are a couple of settings in this section you will want to look at, disallowing Allow Invites, Nearby Players, and Friend Recommendations helps protect your kids from risky gaming interactions.

Top Level Security Clearance And Restricting Access

Now we’re into the minutiae, but thankfully it’s all in one place, so it shouldn’t take long, and it is worth it! This is like setting up the security detail, telling the agents who is going to do what, and restricting who is going to be in the inner circle.

First you have to enable Restrictions on each phone. To enable restrictions go to your Settings > General > Restrictions. Tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. Keep this passcode secure from your kids! Do not use the same one that your kids will be using to get into the phone and, like we discussed above, do not use birthdays or simple number sequences, and avoid common passcodes and common swiping patterns.

 

Now you can go down the list and click on any apps you don’t want your kids to access. For younger kids you may want to disallow access to Safari, Siri, and FaceTime so they cannot use those without you around. If you have already set up “Ask for Permission” (see above) you can allow iTunes, iBooks, Podcasts, Installing Apps, and In-App Purchase because they won’t be able to use these without your permission. Or if you want to disallow some or all of them click the toggle until they are grayed.

Be sure to toggle the Deleting Apps to gray so that you can control what apps stay on the phone. For example now that you‘ve taken the time and effort to download and setup Find My iPhone, Find My Friends and Bark, you don’t want them accidentally (or deliberately) deleting those apps!

 

Privacy Restrictions

Go to Settings > General > Restrictions. Go through the list and click Don’t Allow Changes for Location Services, Contacts, Share My Location, Bluetooth Sharing, AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook, and Advertising. Now the general barricades you’ve put in place won’t be able to be changed without your passcode.

Account Changes Restriction

Go to Settings > General > Restrictions. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Accounts > Don’t Allow Changes. Do this for Volume Limit, Cellular Data Restrictions, and Background App Refresh as well.

 

Age-Based Restrictions

For older children you may choose to make age-based restrictions instead of blanket restrictions. However, be aware that age-based restrictions are based on how something is rated if it is rated – and not everything gets rated.

Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Allowed Content and tap on Ratings For. Choose your Country or Region. Go back to the previous screen Allowed Content to make the rest of your choices. Tap each of the content types and choose which age you prefer for that particular iOS device. This is the highest rating that you are allowing, anything over that age will turn red.

 

Toggle Off AirDrop (on iPhone 6 and later)

Toggle off AirDrop so that your kid cannot receive inappropriate content from others via AirDrop. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > AirDrop and toggle off until grayed.

Explicit Language On Siri Restrictions

If you have decided to let your child use Siri and haven’t blocked her altogether you can still block her from using or displaying explicit language. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Siri > Explicit Language and toggle until it turns gray.

Explicit Sexual Content In iBooks Restrictions

You can choose to manually approve all iBook downloads or, if that feels like too much work or you want to give your teenager more responsibility and allow them to download iBooks, you can still restrict sexually explicit content downloads. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > iBooks > Sexually Explicit Content and toggle off until it is grayed.

Blacklist Websites In Restrictions

It is natural for kids to explore the internet and adult content, but their frontal cortex is not developed and often they take risks without understanding the real consequences of accessing certain sites. However, good news! You can block them. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Websites > Allowed Content and tap Limit Adult Content. Add each risky website URL under Never Allow and tap Done. Mobile websites may need to be blocked separately as they often have different URLs.

Sites to Think About Blacklisting

Dating Sites: Tinder, MeetMe, Match.com, etc. Yes, teens are using these sites too.

Porn Sites: Pornhub, Kink, Youjizz.com, etc. Porn sites are often riddled with malware, bad information, and anyone under the age of 18 in the US is not supposed to be on those sites.

Gambling Sites: Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, etc. The average starting age of people who have a gambling problem is 10. Read more about kids and the dangers of gambling here.

Anonymous Chatrooms: Omegle, Chatroulette, Kik, Whisper, Yik Yak, Sarahah, tbhtime, etc. Apps with the ability to have anonymous chats or content are a huge potential for risky contact and content (including exposure to genitals). Block.

Block Everything And Whitelist Clean Content

For younger kids you may want to block all websites and only allow access to certain sites you know are appropriate. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Websites > Allowed Content > and tap All Websites until it toggles to gray. Now add the website URLs you are allowing and tap Done.

It’s Play Time With War Games: Game Center Restrictions

Let’s face it mobile games can be a lot of fun! However, games can also provide a few risks. You can set up some restrictions to minimize these risks, however, some games offer internal features that cannot be disabled on the iPhone. It is important when giving permission to games that you go into those games and disable any unsafe features.

Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and scroll until you see Game Center at the bottom of the screen. Toggle Multiplayer Games, Adding Friends, and Screen Recording so that they are grayed and disallowed. You can always enable them and allow friends that you know in real life to connect with your children on their games and then disable afterward.

 

Finally…

We know, that is a lot of information to take in. But if you go through each section with your kid’s phone in front of you, the amount of time you spend setting them up to have a safer experience with their device, the less time you’ll spend in the future worrying… about device safety anyway. Plus, since you’re already in safety mode, set up an account with Bark and we’ll monitor their emails, social media messages, and text messages alerting you to potential issues there as well.

 

At Bark we’re serious about helping parents protect kids online. One of the ways to do this is to set up parental controls for Android devices your kids use. This way you know what they can and cannot access on their device. Below is a non-exhaustive, but fairly comprehensive, overview of what you can do to your child’s Android device to set them up for a positive and responsible experience. We provide tips (and screenshots!) on the varying levels of restrictions so you can make the best decision based on the maturity level of your individual kids. 

But that’s just the beginning, after getting phone restrictions in place check out Bark. Bark monitors your child’s email, social media, and text messages for cyberbullying, sexting, and grooming. Then we alert you if there is a potential issue. No more combing through every message ever! Saving you time and providing a safety net for your kids too. #WinWin!

Setting up controls on your kid’s Android device can feel like the wild wild west of parental controls. But we’re here to help. Below are instructions for a Samsung Galaxy S7 Android device, other Android devices may have slightly different click-through options.

For Kids Under 13 (Or Phone Sharing Parental Controls)

Put In Place A Passcode

You’ve given your kids a new Android device, but you haven’t given it to the stranger who finds it when they’ve lost it. Put a passcode on their device that you know and they know, but others won’t. Go to Settings > Lock Screen And Security > Screen Lock Type > Set Up A Passcode.

Set up a unique identifier for each device, but do not use birthdays or simple number sequences, and avoid common passcodes and common swiping patterns.

Parental Controls for Android

Go through each of the buttons on the Lock Screen And Security settings to further protect the device. For example, if you click on Secure Lock Settings you can have the phone lock immediately after it turns off, lock instantly with the power key, and set up an auto factory reset if the passcode is incorrectly entered 15 times.

LG Unlock Setting Info

HTC Unlock Setting Info

Pinning Apps Or Screens

For really young kids who use your Android phone to only access certain apps, you can lock that app to the screen. This also blocks to other apps, phone calls, and texting. But first, you have to enable this feature.

Go to Settings > Lock Screen And Security > Other Security Settings > Tap Pin Windows. Toggle the feature on, set up a pattern for unpinning, and select the best options for your situation.

Parental Controls for Android

To use open up an app and click the Recents button (the square on the bottom of the Android device that is not the home button). Then tap the Pin icon at the bottom right hand side of the pic of the app you want to pin and click Start. To Unpin, press and hold the Back and Recents buttons and draw your unlock pattern.

Parental Controls for Android

LG Pin App Info

HTC Pin Screen Info

Restricted Profiles

For young kids, consider getting them an Android tablet instead of a phone. They won’t be able to text or call anyone, but you can set up parental controls on a tablet by creating a restricted user account for them.  

Go to Settings > Users (some devices may require tapping on the General tab first) > Add User. Press OK to confirm you want to set up the new user account. Follow the prompts after tapping on Set Up Now. This is where you can choose which apps can be accessed by the restricted account. Some apps are automatically blocked, others require toggling to turn them off.

Some restricted profiles will have a Settings or gear icon which allows even more fine tuning of the restricted profile.

Since you can accesses both user profiles on the tablet by tapping on the user icon in the top right hand corner, make sure that your adult user profile has passcode protection your child doen’t know.

Linked Google Accounts

Recently Google started beta testing a new parental control option for parents with children who are under the age of 13. You can get an “invitation” to this new feature by clicking on Family Link. Once you set up a connected google account for your child, you can set in place content filters, manage screen time, and view activity reports on the apps your child is using. Read more about the new safety features on Family Link’s Tips for Families.

android parental controls

Restrict In-App Purchases

But what about all those coins and Pokeballs? If you want to restrict your child from accidentally (or purposefully) buying in-app items to play a game, there’s a way to do that.

Got to Google Play Store App > Menu > Settings > Require authentication for purchases. The Google Play Menu is the three horizontal bars in the top left hand corner.

Parental Controls for Android

You can choose for all purchases through Google Play on this device, Every 30 minutes, or Never. Enter your Google password. Now you can let your kids play their favorite game and worry less they are racking up a large credit card bill.

Parental Controls for Android

Parental Controls for Android Devices for Kids Who Use Their Own

Put In Place A Passcode

You’ve given your kids a new Android phone or tablet, but you haven’t given it to kid who finds it under a the bus seat where it was left. Put a passcode on their device that you and they know, but others won’t – and remind them not to share passcodes with friends. Go to Settings > Lock Screen And Security > Screen Lock Type > Set Up A Passcode.

Set up a unique identifier, but do not use birthdays or simple number sequences, and avoid common passcodes and common swiping patterns. Make sure this is not the same pin used for Parental Controls or other household known passcodes.

Parental Controls for Android

Go through each of the security buttons in the Security settings to further protect the device. 

LG Unlock Setting Info

HTC Unlock Setting Info

Google Play Store

Since Android devices vary slightly (some would say wildly) in their operating systems, some of your best parental control settings take place in the Google Play Store.

Go to Google Play Store > Menu > Settings. Now it’s time to turn Parental Controls on and follow the prompts.

Parental Controls for Android

You are going to need to set up a pin. Set up a unique identifier for each Google Play Account, but do not use birthdays or simple number sequences, and avoid common passcodes and common swiping patterns. Do not use the same passcode as the one to the phone or a household passcode they may already know.

Parental Controls for Android

Delete Apps

Below we are going to discuss how to set up Content Restrictions so that your child can’t download future apps or purchases outside of the rating level you have decided. However, that only affects future apps and not current apps already on the phone. So it’s time to explore, confirm, and delete apps as necessary.

Go to Google Play Store > Menu > My Apps & Games > Installed

Parental Controls for AndroidParental Controls for Android

This is a list of all of the installed apps on your child’s phone. Scroll through the list and look up any app you don’t know, check out the ratings, look at reviews and search for it on Common Sense Media. Uninstall any app you do not want your kid having on their phone.

It is natural for kids to explore different apps in the Google Play Store, but their frontal cortex is not completely developed yet, so they don’t understand the very real consequences of accessing and using certain apps.

Apps to Think About Deleting

Dating Apps: Tinder, Grindr, MeetMe, Match Dating, etc. Yes, teens are using these sites too.

Gambling Apps: Bovada Casino and Sports, SportsBetting, BetOnline Sports, etc. The average starting age of people who have a gambling problem is 10. Read more about kids and the risks of gambling here.

Anonymous Chatroom Apps: Omegle, Chatroulette, Kik, Whisper, Yik Yak, Sarahah, tbhtime etc. Apps with the ability to have anonymous chats or content (and some of them with strangers) are a huge potential for unsafe contact and content (pictures of genitalia for example). Delete.

Hidden Apps: Check out our piece on Hidden Apps, what these look like and why they are so risky. The Hidden Apps have special passcodes on them, so if you find one, talk to your child about why they are unsafe and not allowed, and then work with them to uninstall the app from the phone.

Set Content Restrictions

Now it is time to decide what you are or are not going to allow your child to have access to under Set Content Restrictions.

Go to Google Play Store > Menu > Settings > Parental Controls. Tap on each type of content and make decisions based on your knowledge of your child. The 5 content types include: Apps & Games, Movies, TV, Books, and Music.

Parental Controls for Android

Either click the circle next to the setting you want to “allow up to” for rating-based permissions. The ratings go from most restrict to least restrictive. For Books and Music check the box to restrict adult content. Click “OK” at the prompt and remember to Save the new setting for each content type. Go back to Home when you are done configuring the settings.

Parental Controls for Android

Now your kid can’t download an app that is rated above the level of your permissions setting. However, not all apps are rated, so it is a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your kids about what types of apps are allowed and why. Additionally, if they already have apps on their phones this setting will not affect those apps, only future downloads. See above for how to delete inappropriate apps.

Restrict Purchases & Downloads to Google Play

There are other places where you can purchase and download apps that are not Google Play. But don’t worry, you can also restrict an Android device so that it can only download from Google Play.

On the device (not in Google Play) go to Settings > Lock Screen And Security > Unknown Sources and toggle it to off (so that it is grayed).

Parental Controls for Android

Cellular Data Usage Controls

You can control and limit cellular data usage on your kid’s Android phone. Decide how much data your kid is allowed to use, when to alert them they’ve almost used it up, and put your plan in place.

Only Use On WiFi

If you are concerned younger kids won’t be able to understand data usage, you can put the Android on Wi-Fi use only. This will keep the phone from being able to use the Internet, email or other apps unless the phone is connected to the Wi-Fi.

Go to Settings > Data Usage > Click Mobile Data to Off (so that it is grayed). Click OK.

Parental Controls for Android

Data Usage Limit

If you want to give older kids more responsibility around data, you can choose to limit their data usage instead of turning it completely off. Go to Settings > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage > click Settings icon on top right hand corner. On the next screen toggle Limit Mobile Data Usage to ON. Click OK. Tab Data Usage Limit. Delete the default limit of 5.0 GB and Set Data Usage Limit for the number of GB you determine is best for your child.

Parental Controls for Android Parental Controls for Android

Data Usage Alerts

Help your kids stay within their usage limits by setting up an alert to let them know how much more they have available. Go to Settings > Data Usage > toggle Alert Me About Data Usage to ON. Click OK. Tap Alert Me About Data Usage. The default is an alert at 2.0 GB.

If you want to change the default number, click Settings icon on top right hand corner. Tap Data Usage Warning. Delete the default limit of 2.0 GB and set for the number of GB you determine is best to alert your child.

Parental Controls for AndroidParental Controls for Android

Finally…

We know, that is a lot of information to take in. But if you go through each section with your kid’s phone in front of you, the amount of time you spend setting them up to have a safer experience with their device, the less time you’ll spend in the future worrying… about device safety anyway. Plus, since you’re already in safety mode, set up an account with Bark and we’ll monitor their emails, social media messages, and text messages alerting you to potential issues there as well.

 

is slack safe for kids

What is Slack?

Slack is a messaging app for teams, peer groups, and families that exploded in popularity and now has over 6 million users. Users can create channels to message one or more parties. So, is Slack safe for kids?

Is Slack Safe?

Slack was intended for work collaboration. However, it is also used by other types of teams. Such as people who communicate about Pokemon Go gyms and places they have found rare Pokemon. It has become a glorified private group chat app. Group chats have the potential to be a place where cyberbullying takes place. Kids can gang up on one chat member making them feel ostracized. Screen shots can be taken and posted on other social sites adding to the feelings of isolation and lack of understanding or help. It’s also really easy to upload pictures and files to Slack, making it an easy app for sharing inappropriate content.

How to Monitor Slack?

The best way to monitor slack is to sign into Bark today and connect your child’s Slack account. Bark monitors private messages, images, files, private messages between multiple parties, and private channels on Slack. After signing up for Bark, you will receive alerts on potential issues without having to log-in and comb through every message yourself. Let our algorithms do the work for you. If Bark does find a problem, we alert you and will give you recommendations on next best steps.

Adding these new platforms to your Bark dashboard, not only helps you keep your kids safer online, but also creates an opportunity to go over online safety issues with your kids. It can be used time to give your kids a gentle reminder to not post mean comments or personal information on the internet.

Reddit Monitoring

What is Reddit?

Parents are asking: What is Reddit? Is Reddit safe for kids? Reddit is a social news aggregation, content rating, and discussion website. Now the 4th most popular website in the U.S., community members can submit content (i.e. submissions) which gets rated and garners replies and/or comments. Content submissions can contain text posts or links.

Is Reddit Safe?

So, now that we know a little more about Reddit, is Reddit safe for kids? Online forums like Reddit, used mostly by adults, can contain adult content. Additionally, the whole idea of Reddit is to upgrade or downgrade comments based on the worth of such comments. This can create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) on having the best comment or submission on the site.

How to Monitor Kids on Reddit?

Sign into Bark today and connect your child’s Reddit account. By doing this, you will receive alerts on potential issues without having to log-in to each platform and comb through every message yourself. Let our algorithms do the work for you. If Bark does find a problem, we alert you and will give you recommendations on next best steps. Bark monitors your child’s submissions, comments, and private messages on Reddit. This includes replies to their comments, which come in as private messages.

how to monitor snapchat

As teens continue to turn their backs on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, they’re signing up for Snapchat at an equally accelerated rate. Snapchat is a mobile app that allows people to message back and forth with pictures that “self-destruct” after a few seconds. Kids are obsessing over it, and unfortunately, they may be lulled into a false sense of security. Keep reading to find out more about how to monitor Snapchat.

We’ve written before about talking to your kids about Snapchat safety, today we’ll discuss why kids obsess over Snapchat.

Why Kids Obsess Over Snapchat

Snapchat gives teens two things that they believe are important in social apps.

Snapchat’s Self-Destruct Feature

Kids and parents alike are pleased that Snapchat introduced the self-destructing message. Your child can take a quick selfie, filter it, write a short message, and choose whether that message lives for one second or 10 seconds after it’s opened. In theory, it’s brilliant because it takes some of the risk out of sending photos across the internet. But there’s one thing that kids and parents tend to forget about – the ability for the recipient to take a near-instant screenshot.

Recipients can capture any image on their screen and keep it indefinitely. The self-destruct feature provides a false sense of security. As with the internet in general, once something is posted, messaged or shared (even on Snapchat) your child loses control of the message. It’s important that they are aware of this. 

why kids obsess over snapchat

There’s Even An Undelete Feature

Just like you can go to the recycle bin on your computer and restore files you’ve deleted in the past, it’s possible for Snapchat users to “undelete” photos. It isn’t necessarily easy, and it requires some technical know-how and a connection to a PC. Therefore, most kids (and their parents) don’t worry about it. However, predators study endlessly for this kind of information, and they’ll stop at nothing to get the photos they want. Remind your kids that they should always think before sending a Snap to a friend, once it leaves their hands they can’t control what happens next.

Should Parents Worry? How to Monitor Snapchat

When it comes to Snapchat, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that most kids seem to be using Snapchat appropriately. The bad news is that predators can and will infiltrate the social networks where teens tend to hang out, and some of them have the tools and knowledge to bypass Snapchat’s safety features. Furthermore, just because kids are generally using it appropriately doesn’t mean parents can be hands off. Talk to your kids about what they are Snapping and what they are viewing on Snapchat. Go through our 5 Steps to Reduce Risky Snapchat behaviors and sign up for Bark.

Research Snapchat! Today’s post is only a small portion of what is going on with the app, there is also a Discover feed that contains some inappropriate content and a new feature, SnapMap that puts your kids on the map, literally. Read about the app and any updates and talk to your teens about it.

It’s back-to-school time and that means meeting new people and snapping new friends. It’s a good time to sit down and revamp your technology contract and go over the appropriate and inappropriate uses for Snapchat. And if you want to discover how to monitor Snapchat, add your child’s Snapchat to Bark and we will monitor their public and private Stories, alerting you to any potentially risky behaviors. 

A photo of a child looking at a tablet screen

**This blog post was updated on August 30, 2021.**

When your child gets the opportunity to watch something at the end of a long day, what do they choose? We bet that instead of tuning into a TV show or picking out a movie on Netflix, they’d rather settle in for some YouTube videos. But the popular video-sharing platform isn’t all just video game walkthroughs and unboxing videos. YouTube has some great content that can help your child learn about important issues. We’ve gathered five of the best examples that explain what bullying looks like today and how they can help prevent it. The best part is that because they’re all free on YouTube, you can watch them together right on your kid’s favorite platform!

Anti-Bullying YouTube Videos to Watch With Your Kids

“Help Kids Learn How to Stop Bullying

Younger kids might not be quite ready for a more serious dive into bullying, its causes, and how to prevent it. This Captain McFinn short is the perfect introduction to the subject. Join colorful nautical pals as they navigate standing up to a fish who’s being mean to others.

“Silent”

Next up is “Silent,” an award-winning short film about a girl who is deaf. Made by high school freshman Lindsey Hunter, “Silent” focuses on the power of kindness and the importance of being an upstander — the opposite of a passive bystander. This video is a great conversation starter if you’d like to encourage your kid to become a leader at their school.

“Thirteen”

“Thirteen” was written and directed by Robert Randall for the Young Actors Project. The short film addresses bullying at the middle-school level by telling the story of a 13-year-old named Caroline. She struggles with fitting in and wants to learn how to “just be herself.” Pretty much every teen and tween feels insecure about something at some point. Because of this, “Thirteen” can help your family talk about the importance of celebrating other people’s differences.

“Protect Yourself Rules — Bullying”

“Protect Yourself Rules — Bullying” can help your kids learn about standing up for themselves and others in a positive way. It also provides tips for kids about how to help friends feel welcome and safe at school. It’s a great way to gently head into a conversation about bullying if you’ve been hesitant about broaching the subject.

“Stop Bullying: Special Speak Up Presentation”

Finally, check out one of the more classic YouTube videos on bullying. This Cartoon Network special teaches kids how to speak up if someone else is a victim of bullying. Actual kids talk about words that can be used to bully someone, strategies for stopping those who are bullying, and more.

What Parents and Guardians Should Know

Because some of these videos may be triggering for sensitive tweens and teens, we recommend that you watch them before sharing them with your children. This will help you decide which ones will be most appropriate for your own kid.

Even though these anti-bullying videos can be great tools for teaching your child, YouTube as a whole can present some potential dangers. Kids can experience hateful comments, stumble upon inappropriate content, or even be contacted by predators while using the platform, so be sure to keep a close eye on what they’re watching. 

Even though these anti-bullying videos can be great tools for teaching your child, YouTube as a whole can present some potential dangers. Kids can experience hateful comments, stumble upon inappropriate content, or even be contacted by predators while using the platform, so keeping a close eye on the videos they’re watching is important.

How Bark Can Help

We hope these YouTube videos helped your family understand what bullying looks like today and how to help prevent it. But dealing with bullying can be hard! And it happens a lot — in 2020, Bark found that 76% of tweens and 82% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness. Our award-winning service monitors your kid’s texts, emails, and 30+ social media platforms and apps for signs it may be happening. Bark can also alert you to other potential issues like depression, suicidal ideation, sexual content, and more.