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General FAQ

  • 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, and more.
    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.
Issue Example
  • 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. To learn more about how Bark works for families, click here.
  • To get started, simply visit our sign up page or download our app for parents (iOS, Android), which enables you to connect and monitor your children’s accounts and devices once you log in.
  • We also have a few separate apps for children that go on their devices and work in the following ways:
  • 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.
  • When it comes to helping keep your child safe online, no other product on the market can compete with Bark’s world-class monitoring solution. Here are just a few of the ways we stand out:
  • Our technology
    Our award-winning artificial intelligence does more than flag simple keywords. Bark’s algorithm analyzes language in context and is trained to recognize the ever-evolving nuances of kid, tween, and teen slang.
  • Our coverage
    Bark covers 24+ of today’s most popular social media platforms, as well as texts, chat, email, YouTube, and files contained in Google Drive and OneDrive. And because we know that kids communicate with more than just words, we also monitor images, text within images, audio, and video.
  • Our impact
    Bark helps protect more than 4 million kids across the U.S. and has alerted parents to tens of millions of potential issues. In 2018 alone, we detected 1.2M+ instances of cyberbullying, 142,000+ instances of self-harm and/or suicidal ideation, and 99 child conversations with sexual predators. To date, we’ve also helped prevent 16 school shootings, and we offer free content monitoring and web filtering to all K-12 public and private schools in the U.S.
  • Our respect for privacy
    As kids, tweens, and teens grow into adults, we believe they need to learn how to live and thrive with technology — which is why we don’t give parents unfettered access to their kids’ online activities. Instead, Bark only alerts parents to potentially concerning situations. Kids can keep their privacy, and parents can save time by not having to scroll through every message. We also have strenuous safeguards in place to protect your family’s data.
  • Our history
    Bark was founded by a parent looking for a way to help keep his kids safe online while preserving their privacy. When he discovered that no such tool existed, he created one himself. We understand that parenting with technology is hard — after all, we’re the first generation of parents to raise kids with smartphones. Because of this, everything we do is guided by our perspective as parents trying to help protect kids in the digital age.
  • Our support
    From our team of dedicated customer support specialists to the helpful advice and recommended actions from child health and wellness experts that accompany alerts, we provide parents with guidance, kindness, and peace of mind.
  • 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.
  • Bark is offered on a month-to-month basis for $9/month, and it includes unlimited children for your family. A one-year subscription paid in advance is offered at a discounted $99. Sign up here.
  • We support the following social media, email, chat, and messaging platforms:

    • Snapchat
    • Facebook
    • Spotify
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Tumblr
    • Gmail
    • Google Hangouts Chat
    • Outlook / Hotmail
    • OneDrive
    • OneNote
    • Dropbox
    • Yahoo! Mail
    • Comcast Mail
    • AOL Mail
    • YouTube
    • Discord
    • Pinterest
    • GroupMe
    • Houseparty
    • Holla
    • VSCO
    • Lipsi
    • Messenger Kids
    • Flickr
    • WhatsApp
    • Kik
    • IOS Text Messaging / Photos / Videos / Web Browsing
    • Android Text Messaging / Photos / Videos / Web Browsing
    • Amazon Fire Tablet
    • Chrome web browsing (requires extension)
    • Chromebook
    • Ask.fm
    • Slack
    • Skype
    • Reddit
    • Kidzworld
    • TikTok
    • LiveMe

    Bark also alerts you about risky apps installed on your child's device. We routinely add additional platforms. If there is a certain platform you'd like us to support, let us know!
  • 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 them. 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.
FOSS Team
  • You’ll need a Windows or Mac computer to use Bark if your child has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. For Androids, you won’t need a computer at all.
  • 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.
  • Bark can see deleted texts on Androids. For iOS devices, Bark can see SOME deleted texts — it depends on how soon the phone is backed up after deletion.
  • We have two Android apps: one for parents to manage their account and one to be installed on the child's device.
  • 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.
  • No. In order to use Bark you DO NOT need to jailbreak your child's iOS device or root your child’s Android phone for our service. Doing so can damage your device AND void your manufacturers warranty.
  • We work hard, as a third-party service, to provide a program that keeps phones working properly, and not void warranties or terms of service.
  • 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.
  • Our algorithms are currently trained in English and Spanish. We are looking to add new languages in the near future.
  • As of right now, Bark is not currently available outside the United States.
  • 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 (“smithfamily123@gmail.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.
  • S mode is a security feature in Windows 10 that only allows users to download apps from the Microsoft Store. Unfortunately, the Bark Desktop App is not currently distributed on this platform.
  • There’s a solution, though! To install Bark, you’ll just need to switch out of S mode. Once you switch out of S mode, you won’t be able to turn it back on again. But Windows will still maintain all of its standard functionalities, and you’ll be able to download apps from marketplaces other than the Microsoft Store.
  • To switch out of S mode:
  • 1. On your PC running Windows 10 in S mode, open Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
  • 2. Find the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section, then select the Go to the Store link. (Note: Don't select the link under Upgrade your edition of Windows. That's a different process that will keep you in S mode.)
  • 3. From here, select the Get button. You’ll then be switched out of S mode and will be able to download apps from anywhere.