Over the years since I’ve been writing about parenting in the age of smart phones, apps, tablets, and everywhere internet, I’ve been asked about what apps and filters I recommend to keep your kids’ devices locked down tight—and keep your kids protected. I could always recommend a few I knew were held in high esteem, but in the case of a smartphone, I didn’t have personal experience with an app or filter that worked well. That, of course, was all my fault, as I held off giving any of my kids a smart device of any kind as long as possible.
However, recently my husband and I finally caved and gave our fourteen-year-old son a smart phone. The reason? The “dumb” phone we’d gotten him to keep in touch was so clunky and slow, it made it very hard for us to monitor his text messages. AND…he’s a teenage boy. We NEED to monitor his text messages.
So, enter the smartphone. And THANK GOODNESS, enter the Bark App. Before we agreed to give our son a smart phone, my husband and I agreed we would have it “locked down tight.” The Bark app was basically the answer to our prayers. It’s super smart and analyzes any account you sync to it. Because our son isn’t allowed any social media except a YouTube channel, we only have it monitoring his email, YouTube, and text messages. But if he had Instagram, SnapChat, or any other social media accounts, the Bark app would monitor them as well.