Bark Blog Logo
after school app

After School App: Should Parents Worry?

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Social Media Monitoring

Social media is an umbrella term for a large number of websites and apps that connect users with other people. One such offering is After School, an app for high school students promising to connect with other students at school. Is monitoring After School app necessary?

What is After School App?

After School is a social media app that promises to connect students with other kids at their high school. It allows them to make posts, make plans for activities with another student, or in times of crisis, talk anonymously with a crisis counselor.

Users must verify their identity and that they attend the school they’re trying to join. Parents and other adults are not able to join the app.

Is It Safe?

After School promises that all posts are moderated. They say that posts undergo moderation by both a technical and human review before being posted. Additionally, supposedly, another such review happens if a user reports a post. It also requires users to confirm their identity and that they attend the school they want to join before joining.

In theory, these restrictions should protect your child from both online predators and bullies. As we all know, mistakes can happen, which means it’s possible for a post to slip past or perhaps a predator to find a way around the verification process. A predator may perhaps use a real student’s info they’ve found online or in real life.

There is no information provided by the app’s website about what the verification process includes, or the moderation process on the posts.

Can Online Predators Join?

In theory, it should be hard to do so. After School requires users to verify their identity and their attendance at the school in question before joining. However, it does not go into detail about what the verification process includes.

If it’s merely a matter of taking a picture of a school ID, for example, it wouldn’t be difficult for a predator with access to a student to get the ID, take the picture, and get around the verification process.

Is Monitoring After School Necessary?

The app does not allow parents to join, so the only way you would be able to know what your child shares on the app is to physically access the app through their phone.

However, After School does say that you can set parental controls in the Google Play Store or on Apple devices to prevent your child from downloading the app. Within the app itself, it claims to have custom controls to monitor or restrict use, and that you can password-protect the app settings or the app itself to prevent your child from changing those settings.

It does not go into detail about what those custom controls are. Additionally, your teen may be able to bypass a password that you’ve set up. Especially if it is one the family uses for other accounts.

Is It Worth the Risk?

After School has some potential benefits.

With the ability to talk to a crisis counselor, if your child feels desperate and doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you yet, it gives them access to a trained, qualified adult who can guide them.

The “Would You” section of the app allows them to make plans to see a movie, volunteer or participate in other activities with another student, potentially expanding your child’s circle of friendship. The ability to post anonymously might make your child more willing to be open and vulnerable and make more friends.

On the other hand, anonymity can also lead to riskier behavior. They may share information that you wouldn’t want them to share such as information that is too personal. Anonymity can also lead to cyberbullying or exposure to inappropriate content.

The promises of security and safety exist on the After School app, but in many ways, are rather vague and lacking reassurance. Additionally, they do not provide 3rd party monitoring apps access to their API. One of the best monitoring techniques is talking to your kids about their app usage. Just like in real life find out who they hang out with online, talk about how they met that person, and what their discussions center around.

For comprehensive specialty protection for your tween or teen from the latest risk on cyberbullying, sexual content, and online sexual predators, sign up for Bark monitoring.

What Does DM Mean? How Kids Use Instagram in 2019

**This post was updated on June 15, 2020, to include the addition of new features on Instagram.** While there’s a wide assortment of how-to articles on the web — including ours! — that teach you how to set parental controls, we wanted to discuss in detail just how...

Motivational Videos to Share With Your Teen

The teen years are filled with immense growth--physically, intellectually, and emotionally. This is also a time full of confusion, for you and your kids. However, with some encouragement and motivation, you can help your tween or teen better deal with all that life...

Instagram Comments: How Kids Use Instagram in 2019

Learn about the latest Instagram updates here.Welcome to the second post in our epic Instagram series! We’ll be concentrating on the uses and dangers of Instagram comments on this popular social media app. If you didn’t catch our previous post, welcome! We’re aiming...

Is Discord Safe? Blocking and Monitoring Options

*Article first published October 13, 2016* Discord is a free voice and text chat for gamers that works on desktops and phones. But is Discord safe? With the phone app gamers can keep up with chats and messages even when they are not playing the game. Discord allows...

Here’s What Most Parents Don’t Know About Snapchat

**This blog post was updated on April 12, 2021. ** Note: This post contains images that some viewers may find offensive. Tweens and teens flock to Snapchat to keep up with friends, create content, and see what’s new with the celebrities and brands they follow. There...
Try Bark for Free

Category

Bark App Updates

Bark for Schools

Child & Teen Depression

Company News

Culture & Media

Cyberbullying

Digital Citizenship

Internet Safety Tips

Parenting Hacks

School Safety

Social Media Monitoring

Teen Suicide Prevention