Bark - Parental Controls

4.1 (23.3K)
19.5 MB
Age rating
Current version
Bark Technologies, Inc.
Last update
9 months ago
Version OS
12.0 or later
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User Reviews for Bark - Parental Controls

4.15 out of 5
23.3K Ratings
4 years ago, Beccamob
Almost a great app but hard to use if you have IOS
As a parent this app is wonderful for me to learn what my kids post without constantly having to take their phone and it end up bring a big fight every time. It only notifies me if something bad according to their program catches something. Honestly most of the time it wasn’t anything that concerned me so I just ignored it anyway. There has been a few time things have came up and I was glad I found out. Basically if I didn’t get notification I knew everything was ok. But I found out since I have an iPhone not everything is being monitored and I have to plug my kids phone into the computer and have it backed up before it catches anything. I then find out that months ago my daughter was talking to adults without my knowledge and they were trying to send her inappropriate stuff. She was too scared to come to me about it (because of course they were nice at first and lied about their age) so she just tried to ignore them. I should have been notified a long time ago. It shouldn’t be this hard. If this doesn’t get fixed I will be deleting because I can’t pay for something that doesn’t work so I can protect my kids.
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2 years ago, Emily aka AB's mom
Beware: your child can simply delete this
It is completely useless for older children who know how to delete an app. I wasn’t sure if it was possible for my daughter to delete it, so I tried to see if I could delete it off her phone and sure enough I was able to. I did not get any notification until 30 minutes later. When I looked at the notification, all it said was my child’s account needs attention or something vague like that. This is the same as all other notifications such as when the VPN is being spotty, so I had no idea it was complete removed from my daughter’s phone. Thankfully I do not have any concerns about my daughter’s mental health, but in theory 30 minutes is ample time for a child to delete the app, look up how to commit suicide, and commit the act. Similarly, 30 mins is ample time to look up that photo or video or whatever that they’re dying to see that Bark would have blocked. This is a major issue and I no longer see the utility of this app for a tech-savvy pre-teen. I understand that Bark’s suggestion to circumvent this issue is to use Apple Screen Time to put parental controls on deleting apps, but the entire purpose of purchasing an app such as Bark is because of the very well known unreliability of Apple’s Screen Time. I should not purchase an app subscription and be told to rely on an external app in order for it to do its job. Very disappointed.
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2 years ago, lilsNothappy
The best monitoring app I’ve tried
This is honestly the best monitoring app I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a few. Yes, iPhones are tricky and you have to install iTunes on a laptop and go through a whole set up. But after the initial install it has managed itself. Every now and then my laptop will unsync with the wifi and I have to link it again, but as soon as I do, I can see my daughter’s phone being backed up into iTunes. My recommendation is to go read the Bark Kids reviews. They’re comedy gold. They are so angry with this app doing what it was designed for. If only they understood that the app actually helps maintain a sense of privacy because it only alerts when there’s something wrong so parents don’t have to physically take the phone and read through all the typical teenage angst and rants. My advice: never freak at the alerts, open and read the content before approaching your child. I once got a suicide alert and what I read broke my heart. A friend’s mother had attempted suicide and the friend was sharing with my child. I had time to process how I wanted to approach this subject with my child (we had never talked about suicide) and we had a great talk. I purchased the annual membership right away.
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4 years ago, Cfont79
Bc I can’t trust other kids..
My 13 yr old daughter was asked for nudes by a 13 yr old boy. I had to find this boy’s father and tell him what had happened. I trust my daughter to do the right things and in this instance she swore him out (we were actually proud of her for that) and told him no. I do not trust other kids to not send her things that she doesn’t even want, or pictures of them nude, which btw a child can be prosecuted for having child pornography on their phone even if it’s their boyfriend or girlfriend. The teenagers scoring this low are either doing things they are not suppose to do, or their parents have not explained to them that it’s the lack of trust in other kids and their parents. Let’s face it, not all parents take the time to actually teach their kids right from wrong or have the tough conversations with them.. I know my parents didn’t. For the parents reading this review, it would be a good idea to learn about new tech and apps and look them up before allowing your kids to have them.. ex: Snapchat was literally created to send pornographic images between adults.. and it deletes the pics unless the other person saves. Your kid might not be sending nudes, but it doesn’t mean someone isn’t sending it to your kid.
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1 year ago, 3tarbo
Storage problems
We got the bark app because my daughter was getting over 350 texts a day and didn’t do her school work for the entire month of October. I honestly think it was contributing to depression. We love what the app does combined with iPhone Screen Time/Downtime. I can shut off everything in less than a second. She is much happier and school is much better. And she hardly is able to use Tiktok, Snapchat, etc. We are having so much trouble with storage - I mean 350 texts a day for a couple of weeks it has to go through. And it goes through them again and again even though we have reviewed and deleted . Weird vids and bizarre photos that the teens think is funny. It’s a ton of space. We got an external drive and thought we pointed files to it. But it doesn’t seem to be working. Now we can’t find “troubleshooting” to try to fix where the files are going. And the home computer gets angry and slow because we can’t get the bark files pointed to the drive. We are NOT going to buy their storage when we have plenty. We keep contacting help but I think they are sick of us. It seems they want to wring more money out of us. I would totally give it 5 stars if the program had a few more options to get us to troubleshooting easier and making the storage easier to manage.
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4 years ago, picklestraw
This app helps to keep my kids safe!
I feel so much better to know there is someone helping to keep my kids and their friends safe. I am a therapist and work with mental health issues every day. I believe I have a very open and honest relationship with my teen. I believe she has more insight into mental illness and many of the dangers that are out there. So having this app has nothing to do with me not trusting her or not having an open healthy relationship and honest communication - its another way for parents to help navigate this tough world. Whether it’s my child or one of her friends thats struggling with depression or self injurious behavior or a very sick individual slowly but surely attempting to groom my child - I want that chance to be able to intervene and make aware the potential dangers. To discuss what occurred or what options there are to deal with the situation and talk it out. Beyond having the app - I had the opportunity to speak for about an hour with one of the Bark support team members and he was super helpful. All of my questions were answered and he never rushed through anything. He was kind and patient and very knowledgeable. So far I have not found anything that I would change! Thanks Bark!
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12 months ago, Fishchick72
Do not use this
(The fact that every single point in their comment to my review is lies is just more proof that you should not do business with this company). This is a very dishonest company. I did not know they still owned the phone. And then when the location feature wasn’t working they wouldn’t help, just kept passing the buck saying it was Google that we needed to contact. I could not even get an actual person at a Google to help me, it’s computer generated stuff that was I credibly unhelpful. When I told Bark I either needed the location feature to work or else I needed to disconnect the phone they insisted location isn’t really very important. Sorry, but they don’t get to decide for me what is & isn’t important. When I tried to ask for help in their Facebook group they blocked me. When I demanded that they turn off the phone they turned it off, but refuses to return the unused portion for the month. We hadn’t even used it for one week yet they kept the amount paid for the whole month. And then we had to return the phone (because apparently they still own it even though they don’t tell you that anywhere until you terminate service) & even though we hadn’t even used the phone they looked & said the screen was scratched & they charged us $59 for that lie. The whole thing is such a scam & they are so dishonest & sleazy. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY.
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3 years ago, sutherland678
16 y/o pov, kills relationships
hi i have some very strict parents (mostly my mom) who decided to put this on my phone a couple of years ago as soon as i got it. i’m 16 now almost 17 and my mom isn’t letting me get it off anytime soon. in fact, this app has made me walk on eggshells around both of them and has pretty much destroyed my relationship with them. i feel comfortable telling my parents absolutely nothing, as they are looking to be more involved in my personal life. they do not trust me to tel them if there are serious problems in my life, and downloading this app only shows the lack of trust u have to ur kids. idk about other people, but respectfully, i hate what it’s done to me. i’ve had to buy a second phone just to text my friends in privacy. i’ve seen the comments and reviews of the developers saying “we only show certain things to monitor privacy”, but it’s not exactly true. the thing uses key words so if someone typed ANYTHING remotely concerning at all, the app sends about 10 texts from that conversation to ur parents. look, all im trying to say is i highly don’t recommend this app. it has destroyed any trust i’ve originally had with my parents, it shows their lack of trust in me, and it leads me to find other, more extreme ways of finding privacy. i would hate to get to this point with my kids i pray every day that i don’t. i hope y’all found this helpful
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4 years ago, the app critict
teenage point of view when our parents we’re younger they got to have fun not get tracked have freedom and learn as they grow the responsibilities of maturing. As a kid, 15 years old i believe this app goes against everything a childhood should be apart of. I promise you if you actualt sit down and have a conversation with you child you can creat a much more meaningful influence on there decisions instead of downloading an app where there nervous about everything they do and if there parents are reading what goes on with there friends. Growing up is going through ups and downs with kids. Having them learn what is right and what’s wrong. If you just put and app like this on a kids phone i promise there going to figure out ways to get around it or override it. your not helping them be safer you just loosing there trust and make them learn different ways to talk to there friends with out being monitored through everything they do. I beg you not to get thing for your kids and look into different solutions. This will juts destroy your trust you once had with you kid. Kids deserve to have privacy just like you did when you were a kid. i know the world is different and you have to learn how society as changed it but it doesn’t mean you have to intervene into the live that is a kid and it’s friends. it’s not going to make a good difference for them only for u. and it’s juts gonna loose each other’s trust forever.
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3 years ago, peastoch
This app is ridiculous.
Y’all ever wonder why our kids try to hide things from us? It’s because of things like this! Things that report to you what your child is doing ruins trust in the family. Our children will want to hide more things from us with this app than ever. A phone is an incentive and is a reliever for our children. If you feel the need to monitor your child’s actions then one, they are not mature enough to have a phone or social media, two, you’re not doing a good job explaining responsibilities to your child in order for them to mature. I’ve seen country amounts of children get outted to their parents about their sexuality BECAUSE of this app! It really does upset me that children did not have to time to explain their sexuality to their parents and have an actual moment to explain because of this app. As a parent I would never NEVER in courage for this app to be put on a child’s phone. If you feel the need to monitor their phone, WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO unless something extreme has come up, then you sit down with them and simply say, “Hey I just want to monitor your phone for a little bit if you have an sensitive things that you talk about to your friends with then just let me know and I won’t read through it.” ITS JUST THAT SIMPLE!! I’ve seen many LGBTQ+ youth members have their lives torn apart by this app! This is a ridiculous thing to make!
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1 year ago, ududjjs
i got this app at 15 i’m now 16 it’s ruined my family
i got in trouble for having inappropriate content on my iphone at 15 in june of 2022 in turn i got grounded for 6 months then this app was installed. at first it was smooth and didn’t seem to bother me. But as i got older and my teenage problems grew this app stunted my family’s growth. This app gives no space of privacy or independence from parent it even stalks your notes app where i personally write in a dairy and my parent was able to see this. My life’s been in shambles and i blame this app my parents don’t trust me and they feel the sense of security is in this app, i even started paying for my own phone so i could get rid of the app but they won’t budge i’ve been kicked out and we’ve had huge arguments and this app sometimes is at the root of the problem all because my family refuses to see me as my own person with my own privacy and boundaries. if your kid is under the age of 14 then this app is for you so you can keep your child safe but anything above that age is just down right disrespectful to there space. i’m only rating this app one star not for the hate of the devs or anything like that but for the sheer way that these “boundaries” and “protection” that parents put on there kids is a crippling feature to home life and beyond and you will have no trust with your child
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2 years ago, BaggyPantsDevil
This is How SkyNet Begins
We were initially happy with the app as it showed us some of the content our son was seeing and prevented him from staying on his phone late at night. Unfortunately, it become more problematic as time went on. Any software update meant I had to manually reset everything in the app and in iOS. This happened several times a week and was definitely a burden. The phone then began to lose functionality. Texting and calling was sporadic, googling anything was impossible, Find a Phone didn’t work, the phone couldn’t be synched or backed up, the Wi-Fi connection would get blocked and we ended up getting overage charges because of it. Worse still, trying to remove the app is a challenge. It does not want to go (hence the SkyNet reference). I can’t fully delete it and it won’t let me reset the phone either. It blocks any attempt to reset the password or connect to the internet. I’ve had to reach out to Apple to see if they can remotely change the password. It will take several days if it can even be done And, this is after I cancelled the service and removed my son’s phone from monitoring. Yup, it continues to block most access to the phone even after I’ve asked it to stop. In a few years, this app will likely kill us all. My recommendation, steer clear of this and hope there’s a John Conner out there.
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9 months ago, Kee919
App Okay, Phone not so Much
I had the Bark Phone for about 8 months and used it for about 2 before it locked us out and there was no way to get it unlocked. I tried tech support but you have to go through a bot and then you finally get a real person and can only get help through email, there’s no number to call that I could find? I went back and forth and finally decided to just return it since I was paying $60 a month for something we were not able to use. I was sent a return label and I failed to return it in time and was charged $125. Completely understand as that was my fault. I reached out again to find out if I returned it if I could get a refund for the $125 or was the phone just mine to keep now since we essentially paid for it. I was sent a new label and told to return the phone for a refund of the fee. I did within 2 days. They received the phone and sent another email saying that it was damaged and they were charging me $59 for damages???!!! The phone sat on a dresser for 6 months, not being used and had no physical damages and other than it being locked and us not being able to use it, it was in good condition. I replied asking for details on the “damage “ and I’ll see if they send any. If not, I’ll be disputing the charge! I also have not received a refund of the $125 so now I’m out over $200!
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4 years ago, cherrypsycho
Older Teen Perspective
I honestly wish this was something I had to keep me safe when I was younger, I’m 18 now and most of the 1 star rating are from young, easily to manipulate teens who haven’t seen the bad thing in the world that will hurt them. This app is wonderful and helps parents know what’s happening so they can know what they may need to discuss with their kids. This app help protect children from bullying, death threats, child grooming, and pedos, which none of these younger teens most likely don’t understand what that’s like. I this app will help not only your kid but parents too! Parents will know that a grown man who’s 43 is talking to their 11 year old and is asking for inappropriate things. There have been cases of children meeting online friends and are found dead or kidnapped! There are sick and twisted people out there and this app protects children from them. Thank you for making such an amazing app! You younger teens can be upset that you’re being monitored but your gonna be thankful that your parents helped you not be manipulated by a stranger. The internet is very dangerous and do not trust online strangers no matter what.
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2 years ago, AppReviewerAnonymous
Parents I STRONGLY support and recommend
As a parent of three daughters, I was suspecting that my girls were getting into some shady activities behind parents' closed doors. This led me to uncover some serious sexual activity. Follow your heart, don't let your feelings lead you astray. Act now to prevent your child from becoming a victim of a sick person. Thank you for helping me uncover things I wasn't aware of, Bark. My support for parents and this app is 100%. It has my highest recommendation. I am truly grateful our girls have faith and trust in their parents. Our main concern Is to make sure that our kids are safe and protected and this app has allowed me to do exactly that. Other "kids" giving such negative attitude reviews on this app shows and proves that they don't have any trust in their parents to begin with, and they are just being malicious and irresponsible. My opinion, 100%. As a parent, I have never been a fan of any social media app, because most of them have nothing but sick minded, perverted people on them... This is why kids are becoming victims of sex trafficking or being attacked by online predators these days.
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4 years ago, bsubekwbd
Not great for everything
This app only teaches kids how to hide, it teaches them not to trust their parents. I know from experience putting all these excessive limits on kids teaches them to not use their phones and use other more dangerous methods to do whatever they want. It destroys any trust between parents and children. I understand you were once children but the world is so different now. This isn’t helping anyone, all it does it control your kids. And as soon as they leave or no longer have eyes on them 24/7 they’ll go and do all the things you tried to avoid. This app is so problematic for so many reasons. Parents I hope you realize this isn’t the way to help your kids, this will only cause them to hate or resent you. They will be bullied at school for having the app, people wont want to talk or text them because they know you’re watching. Forget protecting them from bullying online, it’s awful in the real world. And you can’t control them there. I’m begging you as a parent don’t do this to them. Imaging everything that’s on your phone becoming visible to your parents, you’d never use your phone again. This is extremely invasive and horrible to do to children. They will learn nothing from this, and they will only find more dangerous ways to do things. I wouldn’t wish this app on my worst enemy.
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4 years ago, Dylan Hb.
The app is actually great!
I know kids don’t like apps where parents can spy on them, however this app doesn’t just let your parents read all your private chats. This app only picks up “alerts”. Alerts work by picking gaps of dangerous texts by categorizing them into areas such as “depression”, “suicidal thoughts”, “violence”, “sexual content”, etc. I am a kid writing this, and my parents have used this on me and my sister. As a 15 year old, you would believe myself to be mad at this, but this app is supposed to help you and your parents. To let you see what you yourself are doing, and letting your parents help you through any problems you have. My parents agreed not to read any texts without my permission. This tactic of approaching matters helped me to be a lot more honest with my parents and I had more trust in them. Instead of snooping and forcing their way into my private life, my parents let me bring it to them. Overall, I think this app is really helpful. I know kids will automatically believe their parents are spying on them, but that’s just not the case. Kudos to the maker of this app!
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1 year ago, SSwinford19
Absolutely recommend!
I am that parent that believes a child doesn’t need a phone. BUT a situation happened to us that was very scary. My 10yr old had an after school activity and it was set up by the teacher that parents would pick the kids up on the west side of the building. When I got there, my 10yr old wasn’t there. We spent 10 minutes looking for my child. Come to find out her and a friend didn’t follow instructions and exited on the east side of the building. I found her safely across the street from the school. Only to discover her crying because while she was waiting for me, a man drove up to her, rolled down his window and tried to talk to her. After that, I never wanted to feel that helpless feeling and her to feel so unsafe. So we discovered bark! Since she isn’t ready to have full access that a cellphone allows, we’re able to modify settings but still be able to get in touch with her if there’s ever any type of miscommunication or anything. The app is extremely user friendly!!!
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3 years ago, hailllleyyyyyhay
Not a good app
Downloading this app and making your kids put it on their phone will only make them sneak around more. You should be able to trust your kids to do the right thing and if you can’t, then something isn’t going right when your parenting. I get it tells if something inappropriate is happening then you want to be alerting, but you should trust your child to come and let you know. This app violates privacy and if you lets say cuss and your child mimics you, it will alert you over a word that it finds inappropriate. It’s ridiculous how many of you can’t trust your children enough and if you can’t, then you should have never given them phones or allowed them to have social media. There are plenty of other good apps that let you watch your child’s behavior without violating every ounce of privacy they have. It will be your fault if you child ends up sneaking around or feeling like they are walking on eggshells around you because all you do is keep adding apps on their phones that make them believe they aren’t trustworthy and they are immature and childish. Not only will this app make your child feel bad, but it will also make them feel like they can’t talk to you about anything even though you are the parent and you are supposed to be the person they trust most in the world.
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3 years ago, MKB-1
Great concept but I found the app very complex. It takes awhile to set up but then syncing the kids phones nightly or however one chooses to download the data to the Bark app for monitoring is another hurdle. I found the downloading takes up A LOT of data so best to use an external hard drive as another device besides just your cell phone is needed with Bark. I learned both devices had to be on the same operating system (as for Apple devices) to work optimally. Also, turning off a social media platform on the Bark parental controls doesn’t necessarily mean the kids can’t access. It may block the use thru the app directly but logging on thru the internet directly was an easy work around. The Bark monitoring on the kids phone was easy to shut on and off. Even when one used the iOS controls that supposedly prevented deleting things didn’t work. I could never feel confident using Bark. The company only gives you a short period of free time to evaluate the app before they charge the full annual subscription fee - be aware of this! It is not enough time based on the complexity of set-up. After months of trying to get the monitoring to work, I gave up. I wouldn’t spend my money on Bark.
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3 years ago, Hi Im Olivia
Bark From A Pre-Teens View
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great app, but not for older kids. We understand that we need to stay safe online. All you need to do is talk to us about it and that’s it. You don’t need an app to monitor what we do! I see most kids say that it invades privacy, and yes slightly. I also believe that the age rating should be changed. I think it should be 7yrs and younger. Why? At a younger age, kids don’t understand that people want to harm them. Parent’s, there is no point in downloading the app if you can just talk to them! Plus you should give your child device’s if they have shown that they are responsible. Plus, kids can have a weird sense of humor and it couldn’t tell when my friends were joking. It always feels like I’m walking on eggshells! It doesn’t even let me comment anymore on videos and some things get blocked/restricted, even though the YT video is fine. The worst part is Even if I get my mom on my side, she’s not going to cancel bc she PAID for it. Parents, LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS, They aren’t going to open up to up to more if you download this. You are losing your kids trust, and it feels like you don’t trust us. It’s bad both ways. Please, Please don’t use this app.
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4 years ago, ThankfulBoyMom
Don’t let the bad reviews stop you from using this app for your kids!
As one can see, Bark has a bad rating due to kids/teens who have submitted reviews because they don’t like their parents monitoring their phones. Parents—do NOT let this dissuade you from purchasing this valuable parenting tool! We are parents and it is our job to teach our children how to responsibly use technology. Bark is an invaluable tool for me as a parent. It has opened up the lines of communication between me and my teen to discuss how to make good choices, what is appropriate and how to be a responsible user of technology. Many times my teen has expressed relief and gratitude for Bark allowing me to help him navigate technology. This app is a must have for any parent!! I cannot express enough how thankful I am that Bark exists. The app is so user friendly and easy to set up. We have experienced no slowness and use it on multiple devices. I have the iOS app and my son has the android—not are simple and easy to use. Thank you so much Bark!
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2 years ago, GACHA_COOKIE>:3🍪crap :p
It’s safe but scary.
what I find really scary about this is my mom wants me to be safe and she says I can trust her but when she gets a notification on what I did she like scolds me and as it SAYS on the app, “ have an understanding conversation on why it’s important not to do these types of things “ I get yelled at or sometimes my mom is kinda “ understanding “ but it’s scary how I know my parents are monitoring everything I do it’s a great app only if your parents understand that your child is still learning on how bad things can be when you do bad things. Today I said some unkind words like profanity kind and I was screen recording on accident so I panicked and I realize what is gonna happen, also I wish my parents would realize not every person on the internet will kidnap me or try to get my info like.. I’m aware enough not to give it to them and I wish my parents could just let me roam the internet but there are other inappropriate things in the internet I shouldn’t see which is something I will avoid. p.s most parents are very bad a keeping track of what happens on the app when their child has their phone lol
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1 year ago, RJ172126
Invasion of Privacy IMO
I understand this app, and in theory it’s actually pretty good because it can protect your child from predators etc and if you have strict parents it can help them from not searching your phone 24/7. However, it is too sensitive. I don’t appreciate how it lets you read texts from your friends or see sites your child views. for one, not only does that invade the privacy of your child, it invades the privacy of the other child sending those texts. I saw one review of a child talking about the mothers attempted suicide. That wasn’t for the mom to see. that was a vent to the other child. Now I know rumors are being spread about that mother and her family 🙄. Just saying if my parents downloaded this on my phone, I would NOT be okay with it, I would just keep deleting the app until they yell at me or take away my phone. Luckily my parents aren’t that strict. I know y’all are just trying to protect kids as you’ve said, and maybe this is like good like a 7th grader or below but that’s it. Imagine the rolls were reversed and we saw our parents searches and texts. I’m sure they would NOT be okay with that. Anyways love 🩷
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3 years ago, el3o3
privacy vs protection
i’ve seen plenty of parents praising this app, just as i have seen plenty of children bashing this app. personally i haven’t used it, nor was it used on me. however, knowing how i was when i was younger, and how dangerous some people can be, i don’t exactly blame some parents for using this app. however, that doesn’t mean i agree with how some parents decide to use this app. yes, this app is great for monitoring the PROTECTION of your child, but they still deserve their own level of PRIVACY. it is not the developers fault that a parent may decide to abuse the power this app can truly hold. in all honesty, i think this is a good app. if you’re concerned about your child being targeted by dangerous people and want a way to be sure they’re safe, i definitely encourage using this app. but if you just want it because you want to know what all your kid talks about, posts, etc. then you’re definitely not someone i can respect. again, you can’t blame the developers because your own parents don’t respect your privacy. they just wanted to make an app that helps protect you.
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4 years ago, DanielleThoele
Absolutely incredible app
We installed this app as a way to monitor my 13 year old daughter’s online activity. I wanted her to be able to maintain some privacy while also being able to be alerted to items that I needed to see. No parent truly wants to read all of the messages between their teen daughter and her friends. This app allowed me to monitor what I needed to see and have very honest conversations with my daughter. Unfortunately, my daughter was targeted by a predator and began the grooming process. Bark alerted me to the issue and we were able to address it and file a police report. Bark has worked directly with the detectives providing much needed information to them. This app has allowed me to focus on getting my daughter the support she needs while Bark could provide the information needed for the investigation. It has given our family peace of mind. Although the annual cost may seem steep, it is definitely worth the cost for our family!
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3 years ago, greasey sandwhich
It could be a lot better
There’s some pros and cons to Bark from a parents perspective. We don’t use it to micro manage or hover over our 15 year old but we use it as a teaching point to help him through these naturally hard times. So here’s my report: Pros: we enjoy getting the alerts of flagged issues and being able to provide feedback if the alert is helpful or not to keep getting them or not. We also like the check in feature where our son can hit a button real quick (like a text) to let us know when he arrives at his destination. It’s a lot more subtle than sending a text or a call to mom and dad. Cons: the alerts are delayed. Often when the teaching moment comes up for us, it’s been an hour or so and I would prefer it to happen a lot quicker while it’s fresh. You have to do these backups on a manual device and in the 21st century, these backups need to be cloud based . No back ups means no alerts. Also put on a feature in the app where you can’t uninstall it without a password because the kid will uninstall it. Once uninstalled, no alerts coming through.
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4 years ago, jdndncbnedbj74
I’m so disappointed in the parents that get this app for their kids phone. My mom is getting it for me for no reason. She’s just scared. I understand that but your not really getting it for your kid, your getting it for yourself so you don’t have to be scared anymore. This app will only break the trust between you and your child. I can tell you that right now. There are just some things that you don’t need to know. That’s the whole point of responsibility and learning. I know you don’t want to face the truth but kids swear, they have crushes, they talk about sex, and they have probably had a drink or two if there in the older teens. When you were a kid you probably have done all of that. So there is no need to make your kid feel scared or feel like they need to hide something from you for just being A NORMAL TEEN. There are just some things that kids just need to talk to other kids about rather a parent non the less a strict parent. So please don’t get this app for your kid, if you do they are just going to push you away and not want to talk about stuff with you. Trust me they are just going to find another way to do all the stuff you don’t want them to do.
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4 years ago, A_young_trombonist
almost perfect: a teen perspective
hey! as a 14 year old, i think this app is a great idea. it keeps kids safe and lets their parents know if anything is wrong. i also appreciate the privacy for the teen as well. i have two concerns tho. one, how do i know that yall dont use data collected from my phone and sell it online, or have people look through my text and web history? there is a privacy concern there that i have an issue with. secondly, i think the software is slightly too sensitive. i know that this kind of app is difficult to develop and hone, but i wish that my parents would stop getting alerts for random memes and my friends and i talking about people we “like”. its slightly annoying 😒. but other than that, keep up the good work protecting kids! EDIT: so i got a dev response to my questions, and im pretty satisfied with the answers, the data purge option and the sensitivity settings. thank you! i will now bestow on thee five stars! yall are awesome!
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6 months ago, A&EWorkman
Difficult to manage on iPhone
This app does not work easily with iOS devices. There are many workarounds that I had to do in order to get it to get it to work. About every month the app and my daughters phone would quit working together; which required an intervention from me. A couple of times I had to completely uninstalled the Bark app and then reload it back onto my daughters phone. This was very labor-intensive. And after I tinkered around with the app and the screen monitoring feature in iOS I realized that the screen monitoring feature was all I really needed. The Bark app had one unique feature which was it would alert me to things that my daughter would text message her friends. That feature however was overly sensitive. It would alert me to what it considered medically concerning content if one of my daughters friends texted her that they had Covid, or a headache, or needed to take ibuprofen. I could’ve disabled that and then it would have not alerted me to any medical content. Also it was very difficult to cancel the subscription to this through the Apple App Store.
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4 years ago, learn7
From a Parents perspective - a useful conversation starter
The Bark app has been very helpful in flagging topics for my wife and I to be able to discuss with our daughter. The software is very helpful and picking up on potential issues. The app sometimes flags items that may not be relevant but I prefer getting more notices then less and it is still much more efficient and can point us in the areas to focus on. This is Especially true when we are not able to completely review her usage. We are trying to find opportunities to help teach and have an open dialogue with my daughter and I think the ark app is a great tool and a way to bring things to the light. I would highly recommend it for families that are trying to navigate our current communication and social media. My suggestion for families would be to help explain to our kids why we use apps like this and to take the extra steps to talk through why with them. Thank you.
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4 years ago, Interior awesome
A teenager's view.
Why can't you just trust your child to tell you about "concerning things"?? I get that it only alerts them if something concerning happens, but why can't the kid just tell you themselves. If I was assaulted online, I would tell my parents and so would any other sensible teen in this world. If you hide away the horrible things in this world from your kid, they won't be ready for adulthood. Think of all the concerning things you did as a kid, did they help you create a better view of how the world works? Did they teach you a life lesson? Probably. Now, kids can learn those lessons even sooner if you'd just let us do what we want! What we do when we're 13 to 15 probably won't matter when we're older. My parents have said, "Colleges look at your social media accounts." But not stuff from when I'm TWELVE. You all need to calm down with this "bad stuff happens online" spiel. Even though we're younger than you, we're still sensible. We know what we're doing and we can navigate the internet better than you, most likely. We know how to protect ourselves because we're growing up in the age of technology. Adios. P.S. I would give this zero stars, but it doesn't let me.
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5 years ago, RenWym87
Excellent App for a Digital World
I was concerned about the reviews and then realized almost all the negative reviews are from teens. Of course... I’ll tell you what I tell my kids, parents are only caring about you by getting this app. No privacy? It does the the exact opposite and lets you have privacy, but only alerts parents about things they should know about. This is an amazing tool to have as a parent in a digital world. Only the kids doing untrustworthy things are the ones flipping out over this. I will always trust my kids until they break my trust. And sorry, but you are still kids. You don’t need 100% privacy. Parents have every right to make sure you are safe, it’s called good parenting and I hate to sound like every other parent out there, but “you’ll understand one day when you are a parent.” I am so glad this app exists so I can be a non invasive parent, but also a loving and caring parent.
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2 years ago, Michael&Denise
Not IOS friendly
Had this app, had the pro version. It was not user friendly on iPhones. I had to have my home computer on at all times. When my computer would go to sleep mode bark would somehow disconnect and I had to physically connect my child’s phone to the computer. Then the computer bark app would somehow quit working, ALL THE TIME. I had to uninstall and reinstall countless times. At some point I couldn’t get into it on the computer app and just had to go online to login. Customer service tried to help but no use. It was an issue from the get go and didn’t stop for the entire year. I finally gave up and uninstalled it from everything once my subscription ended. Cherry on top, I couldn’t get into it to allow anything once my subscription ended but it didn’t stop working on my child’s phone, making me lose control of it until I uninstalled and logged out of her phone. WHEN it worked it was fine, although it stopped monitoring pictures after about a month. Just problem after problem. Sorry Bark, not for me.
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3 years ago, savimarie123
teens perspective
my parents had me and my younger brother get this app/program a few months ago and let me say it makes sense for kids (12 & under) but when you're a teenager or even before you want to talk about more private things without your parents knowing (i.e. me). it has ruined my relationship with my parents - not from their perspective but from mine. i haven’t told them hardly anything since they got this app. they blame it on me, say “you always are in your room” “talk to us more” “you’re always on your phone” etc. i literally have depression and they refuse to acknowledge that. id say this is a decent app for younger kids but please don’t get this for your teens. they (and i will guarantee you this 100%) resent you for this. talk to your child. they’ll 9/10 rather talk to you each day for 10 minutes what’s going on in their life than you spying on them. i opened up to my parents once and they keep expecting me to do so but i’m done. they made the choice to keep this app. so i’m making the choice to never tell them anything again until they get rid of it. this app also MAJORLY contributed/does my my depression. so thanks.
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4 years ago, fossil234
Teen Perspective
Anyone who is commenting on how invasive it is should have it. If you weren’t doing anything wrong then why would you have an issue with it? I am eighteen with the responsibility to take care of my younger brothers and sisters. I don’t let them have social media anymore because of the stuff I saw the older ones doing. It’s not that I don’t trust them, I don’t trust those master manipulators from taking advantage of it. My sibilinos are intelligent, and kind but that is no weapon against someone who has a predatory agenda. This is incredible for your kids and you should have it if you choose to let them have social media. I have opted to make them not have and they are happier with it. I personally, have never partaken in it out of my own doubts and observations of peers being taken advantage of by older men assuming it made them more desirable or cool. Instead of what it really was which was predatory.
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2 months ago, SaDeHi
Doesn’t work as advertised
In theory this is an incredible service but the result isn’t what we signed up for. The alerts for specifically messenger kids and WhatsApp are so messy and chaotic and not accurate at all. They’ll show incorrect chat, show that my daughter said something that someone else did in a totally separate chat, and I’ll get 20+ notifications for the same message but showing from various chats and senders but it’ll keep popping up as it Bark does a crawl through messages and alerts me every time it crawls, but it doesn’t ever pull accurately or even consistently. There have been several times where something was not working correctly (an app not working even though settings allowed it, or, no phone calls/messaging working) but since there’s no phone or chat support I had to wait for email help and go back and forth through email to troubleshoot, which is insane to me as her phone bill costs more than mine. Also not specific to the app but within 3 months of having the Bark phone the speaker stopped working - no water damage or dropping the phone, just quit working, so headphones have to be used now for any audio. Overall very frustrated, it’s great in theory like I said and it’s a really important service, I just wish it worked. Side note- It would be great for things like spring break/ holidays/ early-releases etc, to schedule in advance temporary pauses from school rules instead of manually updating each set.
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4 years ago, lovetoreadinParis
Breaks privacy
I understand my mom wants to protect me but she often set a the sensitivity level too high and is seeing things that are private to my life. Things are very different now from when our parents grew up. Technology has advanced a lot. That’s why apps have things where you can report stuff. This app would be good for younger kids or somewhat irresponsible kids but the kids and teens that are trustworthy, you are only teaching to resent you more. I admire this app for wanting to protect us but some things need to stay private and separate from out parents. We should feel comfortable with talking to our friends without thinking “what if my mom or dad sees this”. This app is great for security but not so great for teenage life. I understand that the app creators are adults which is why they’re only going to continue to do this their way because it’s their prospective. You need to get some mature teens on your team so that they can feel safe, but also comfortable. I cannot stress enough how safe I feel but also how robbed of privacy I feel. I wish the internet was different.
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2 years ago, alromag
5 stars after help from tech support!
We have tried many different monitoring apps, and honestly at first, I was very frustrated with Bark. In fact, I logged into the account on my computer in order to cancel it, and found some very interesting texts that my child had sent. It was not working as it should though, so I sent an email to customer support and received a reply within minutes. The tech-support actually scheduled a phone call within a couple hours. The gentleman spent over an hour with me and we finally got everything working. I absolutely could not have done it without him! Now, I can truly say with the help of tech-support, this is probably my most favorite child monitoring app. It caught some critical issues that other apps missed. 10 stars for customer service!
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1 year ago, melkreviews
Not compatible with Apple, no online support
I wish I had known how poor customer service would be before paying the annual fee. This app is not very compatible with apple and there are bugs all the time. Bark support blames this on Apple, which is probably partly true, BUT they don’t have real time customer service. You have to email back and forth and usually the tech doesn’t address the question until the 3rd email (just sending links to online help guides). For a paid subscription, there should be real time online customer service. They have the staff to monitor a fb page to make sure no one posts anything negative or asks any questions about problems. Letting the bark user community assist one another on that page and then transferring those page police personnel to online support would be an easy way to improve customer service. They seem to be more committed to keeping the negative issues with Bark secret rather than addressing them and improving the app.
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1 month ago, Samantha the Teen
First review got deleted.
First of all I'm ticked that my first review got deleted. Second of all this app is literally not even worth it. I saw some reviews of someone getting divorced because of this app and someone said their kid committed su!c!de because of it. My parents had this on my phone for a little under a year and I can tell you right now it doesn't do what it's supposed to. It will disconnect itself after a while on an iPhone, and it only stays on instagram for a few months at a time. Huge hassle. On top of that, if the bark kids app gets offloaded on an iPhone, it just shuts off the wifi and data on the phone completely. There are also many easy ways to get around the vpn. The easiest is to just get the login information for the parent account and login from your phone and adjust it to how you want. If you're good enough and want to try your luck you can always change the password. To prevent alerts for searched, use the free version of Brave VPN. It helps so much I'm not even joking. I'm praying this review doesn't get deleted either.
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8 months ago, Queenie114
Controlling parent paradise ^_^
Enough with the “only alerts for concerning things” My parents got alerts for anything I saved on Pinterest that had gay on it. Lil sketchy, don’t you think? It would pop up for BULLYING. Honey what? Way too much parents can control. Deleting apps can be turned off. RELIGION CAN BE BLOCKED. I’m not even religious but yet that just.. feels like something that shouldn’t be blocked??? My parents have blocked literally everything. I can’t do ANYTHING. They control my life more than I do now. Every single message I send or receive that “might be harmful” is sent straight to them. I used to feel trusted and safe around them. Now I feel like they don’t trust me at all. I used to talk about my problems instead of bottling them up. Now? I can’t. I don’t have that safe space where I feel like I can get it off my chest, and tell them when I’m ready. They see EVERYTHING I do. It’s terrifying, I’m not going to lie. There’s too many things they can keep you from doing. I understand the need to protect your child, but Jesus man, give them some space!
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3 years ago, Lj12282007
Absolutely Amazing!
EVERY parent needs this app if your child has any devices and or social media!!! My son is 13 and I wish I had known about this app a lot sooner! I have the peace of mind knowing my child is safe and his mind and spirit aren’t being polluted with trash that is so easily accessed online these days. The fact that this technology is there to help protect our children at a decent price is, priceless! Worth every single penny!!! Thank you to the developers of Bark, for inventing this safeguard for children! You have one grateful Mom here and I will continually sing the praises of this app and referring my family and friends!! Our children are are greatest gift, we must protect them from all of the dangers that are unnecessary and lurking for any opportunity to devour, and hurt our kids!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
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2 years ago, Djjdgh
Destroys child and parents relationships
From a teen’s perspective: This app is great if you want a puppet instead of a child. Teens are supposed to have some privacy, I understand going through there phone in desperate and important situations, but this is too much. For teens the phone is like there diary, the need to be able to talk with the people they trust without parents being able to see. Teens should know right from wrong and this app oversteps the line. This app flagged me once for “depression” because i texted my friend that my dog died. This app is just a way for parents to control their kids. This app destroyed my relationship with my parents, I can’t tell my friends any secrets without my parents knowing, and I can’t even text my friends without thinking “what if my parents get mad at me for saying this?”. Please if you are considering getting this app for your child:DO NOT! You need to trust your child to do the right thing, if you are getting this app because you don’t think you can trust them…well then you raised them wrong.
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9 months ago, Concernedmomma
Just not clear enough
I thought this would definitely solve our kids recent hiccups with internet use but it didn’t, it missed the mark I found more than a handful of times it didn’t block content as it should have, you tube and google were connected and he still got a wide array of you tube videos that were not age appropriate even though it has parental controls and bark , it also warned me about 13 times I had to reconnect you tube to the account…. I was done by the 3rd day, google searches were all over the place and it flagged an ad for cat litter 🤔 as inappropriate…overall Bark failed to deliver for us , we’ll keep searching for now. Note*** Another thing I found especially annoying was that it also hard to connect and scan all the time especially when you have to connect it to a computer or a laptop and some devices simply cannot connect to each other. Overall not a good experience for us but i had high hopes.
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1 year ago, Pop1219
Frustrating with iOS.
I had to contact support to get this to work with my daughter’s iPhone. Support walked me through everything and nothing worked. The last thing they told me was to reach out to Apple for support! As if Apple cares. I wasn’t going to waste my time and since I was within my 30 day trial period, I was going to cancel before paying such a large sum of money when this started working. Since then, it’s the same thing every so often. Apple updates their security and Bark becomes useless again. I’m now at the point where I cannot get it to work again after going through all the troubleshooting guides and it says contact support. For the amount I paid for this app, it needs a lot of work. If I had time to sit around and chat with support to troubleshoot this every few weeks, I’d just scroll through my kid’s phone instead. Waste of a lot of money and time on top of that. And furthermore, still unable to monitor my child’s phone without just directly going through it myself.
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2 years ago, noletheta
Okay just please note
This interface is easy to install and does what it says it will. However, it takes a ton of storage space and only works when a phone is at the house on wifi. It also doesn’t show you what information is being sent only alerts for what is “inappropriate”. I know some parents are like well that’s how it should be. But you are a wise parent if you know not to say “my kid would never” because sometimes it’s not bc something that has happened in your family and it is caused by external sources. So, if you are having issues with a teenager that’s mid-late high school I would want to know the specific information, not just what Bark tells me. BUT whatever you do don’t use webwatcher (who does show the specific info) because it is a total scam to get your money and it doesn’t work. If you are just trying to keep your kid safe on the front end this is a great thing to have!
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2 years ago, thisappisabsurd
this app is absurd.
this app is extremely unacceptable. you’re tracking you’re children every move which causes them to not have a social life. By having this app it’s causing your children to want/ feel the need to hide more things from you. being protective of your children & trying to make sure your kids are safe is one thing but and having this app are completely different. this app makes children feel the need to hide something. most kids have nothing to hide at all and giving them this app makes them feel that you don’t trust them. your child feeling that you have no trust from them breaks family bond and causes conflict. there is absolutely no reason in the world that it’s okay for you to get a notification when ur child sent a text message. that’s absurd. if you want to be in ur child’s life so bad then be a better parent & create a trusting relationship. if you want your child to be the weird kid that has to hide everything from their parent and have no trust then get this app!
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2 years ago, yeet bug
Just no. Ive read a lot of these rating and the only thing you give back is dumb stuff like “we want to keep yours kids safe” “we don’t show the parents anything” blah blah blah. This app is VERY unrealistic and unresponsible. I promise you 100% your kids WILL find a way to by pass this app in dangerous ways no matter what. it will break your bonds if not already, worse. Your children will become more secretive and sneaky knowing that you are watching. It shows parents EVERYTHING. even a simple curse word will be flagged and reported. I promise this app will emotionally destroy your kids mental health drastically, There’s actual proof of parents writing reviews on how this app ruined there relationships and they cannot fix them. Please if you are a parent and you are reading this, for the sake of your childrens mindset and your guys bond, do not think about getting this app. And I know bark is going to write a cheesy review back. so once again, please do not get this unless you want your children to never talk to you again after moving out. thank you!
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4 years ago, protectyourteensonline
Parents rate this 5 stars. Kids rate this 1 star.
After several bullying and sexting incidents with my daughter and her “friends” we installed bark to monitor her online behavior. It has helped draw a line in the sand over what’s acceptable technology use and what’s not. Now We can protect her better from incidents. Teens will rate this app 1 star but really if they are acting appropriately then they should have nothing to hide. Don’t get fooled by the negative reviews here. They’re all from disgruntled kids who want to do things they’re not supposed to be doing. The app doesn’t provide a transcript of all texts and activities. It just gives an alert when something suspicious comes up. Kids still have privacy. Additionally I couldn’t get bark to work with my computers firewall but a tech support call helped solve that problem easily.
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