Bark is an app that monitors your child’s texts, chats, emails, and 24+ social media platforms for
serious issues like cyberbullying, adult content, sexual predators, profanity, suicidal ideation,
Parents receive text/email alerts only when something problematic occurs online — you won’t receive
full access to everything on your child’s phone. This saves you countless hours of reading every
social interaction your child has (say goodbye to spot-checking!) while allowing you to build trust
and an open line of communication with your child.
Bark uses advanced machine learning and statistical analysis techniques to recognize potential
problems. Simple keyword analysis is not sufficient to detect the majority of issues, which is why
Bark is so good at determining when something serious is happening. For example, Bark knows the
difference between saying “This homework makes me wanna die” versus “I am thinking about suicide.”
Our algorithm also keeps up with the latest in teen slang.
Bark is usually compatible with most other parental control products. However, if you’re using Bark
for iOS monitoring (iPhone, iPad, iPod), programs like Verizon Family Base or Norton Family can
interfere with iOS monitoring. Otherwise, Bark serves as an excellent complement to any screen time
management platform (like Google Family Link and Apple Screen Time, for instance) to provide the most
complete coverage for your children online.
Bark stands apart from other products that claim to help keep children safe online by alerting
parents to not only serious issues but also potentially life-threatening situations. We’ve had
multiple parents write in to tell us that Bark alerted them to texts in which their kids expressed
suicidal thoughts. We’ve also helped parents discover that their kids were talking to sexual
predators, enabling them to intervene in time. Check out our 2018 stats here.
Kids are generally very receptive to Bark because we are able to help protect them online without a
parent having to invade their privacy — they know that parents won’t have access to every single chat
or text they send. Here’s how to talk to your child about Bark.
We're able to monitor more than one Instagram account! All you need is the username/email address associated with the account and
password. It’s very common for children to have multiple public/private Instagram accounts, sometimes
called “Finstas” or "Rinstas."
In 2013, the FTC updated the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) to bring laws originally
enacted in 1998 in line with the ever-changing internet. The original COPPA laws were created to help
ensure that digital brands weren’t taking advantage of new marketing channels to target kids under 13.
With the power of the internet and innovation, they were able to easily collect personal information
from kids, track their behavior online and ultimately tailor more personalized marketing campaigns to
In short, if you add a child under the age of 13, we're not legally allowed to monitor their accounts
unless we have verifiable parental consent in the form of a credit card added to your account.
No parent, child, or software tool is ever perfect. It is possible that something could be missed, or
that you'll get an occasional alert from us when no actual issue exists. We are a tool to help families
stay safe, not a replacement for an active, engaged parent.
Absolutely. We use SSL encryption on the website to present data to you and your children. All
analyzed data is stored within an encrypted database, including backups. At Bark, security is
paramount. You can rest easy knowing you and your children's data is secure. Details
can be found at bark.us/security.
We love referrals! We'll give you a $50 Amazon gift card for each friend you refer. Just check your
account when you login for your unique referral code, and share it via email, on social media, and
wherever else you choose!
Parents with iOS devices can join the Bark community and manage their account from their devices by downloading Bark Connect
from the App Store. The app allows you to manage your account, review potential issues,
add children, and connect accounts, update your notification settings, and more!
Generally speaking, Apple has more stringent security and privacy restrictions than other phones.
For this reason, setup is slightly different for iOS. Bark analyzes text messages, photos, videos,
and more through iOS backups of your child's device.
To ensure Bark is able to monitor your child's iOS device, please follow the iOS connection
instructions. After you initially set up your child’s iOS monitoring, the Bark desktop app will back
up your child’s iOS device to your computer automatically and upload to Bark for analysis.
We have two Android apps: one for parents to manage their account and one to be installed on the
To sign up or manage your account, parents can download the Bark - Monitor. Detect. Alert. app
from the Google Play store. The app allows you to manage your account, review potential issues, add children,
and connect accounts, update your notification settings, and more! **This app should ONLY be installed
on the parent's device**
Bark for Kids should be installed on the child's Android device for Bark to monitor
SMS/MMS messages, contacts, and the list of installed apps on the device.
Androids are much easier than iPhones to monitor thoroughly, which is why we generally recommend Androids
as the best first phone for kids.
Reviewing all of your child's activities can be time-consuming as a parent, in addition to causing
your child to feel like they're constantly being watched. We've seen many examples of children
creating alternate profiles on social media to get around more traditional, manual monitoring.
Our hope is that Bark can reduce this friction, allowing your children to feel free to express
themselves online in a safe and responsible way while also giving you peace of mind that there’s
a safety net.
We are currently focused on supporting platforms on which children directly send and receive
messages (social networks, messaging apps, and email). Bark does monitor browser history on iOS and
Android devices along with browsing on Chrome using the Bark for Chrome extension.
Bark analyzes both images and video associated with a message and stored on a device. They're analyzed for nudity,
violence, and other inappropriate content, including layered text added after the fact.
Yes, Bark works when you have an iPhone and your child has an Android device (or vice versa).
Managing a Bark account as a parent is independent of the monitoring we do for the child's connected
accounts. Parents can use the Bark Parent iOS app,
Bark Parent Android app,
or the Bark website to
manage their account.
To monitor a child's Android device, use the Bark for Kids Android
app. To monitor a child's iOS device, download and install Bark's Desktop
app. No additional app is needed or installed on the child’s iOS device.
While it is possible to set up Bark without your child's knowledge (assuming you have log-in
information for their social and email accounts), we highly encourage you to discuss your usage
of Bark with your child. Talking to your child about alerts when they arise provides a good
opportunity to have hard conversations about serious topics.
If your child uninstalls the Bark for Kids app, you will be alerted. You can set a parental passcode
to prevent uninstalling the app without your consent by downloading a third-party app that locks apps
from uninstallation unless you type in a password.
If the child changes their passwords to their email or social media accounts and Bark stops
monitoring, the parent will receive an alert instructing to check the connection and update passwords.
Absolutely! Monitoring for dual households is easier when families use Android devices, as most
activities are monitored at the app level and there are no complications with backups. As a result,
Android devices provide more reliable continuous coverage. But iPhone users can still monitor online
activities between houses with little trouble.
Apple’s stringent security requirements make it harder to monitor iPhone backups, but Bark has a
solution. iPhone families can download the Bark Desktop app for Mac or PC on a computer in both houses,
allowing iOS devices to back up normally in both households. Then, by creating a shared email address
(“email@example.com”) for their Bark account, both parents will be able to get alerts as soon
as the backups are synced. For more information, check out
our blog post
or reach out to us with any questions you might have.
We also recommend that dual-household families enable notifications for both parents via their own
email account or device. That way, both households will receive alerts regardless of what devices
their kids are using. Click here to enable notifications.
You’ll have the full trial period to decide if you’d like to continue with Bark and become a paid
subscriber. Even though we require a credit card for COPPA verification, we won’t charge it until
1). Your 7-day trial is over AND 2). You’ve connected at least one account.