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Bark: Introducing a New Way to Monitor Your Family’s Internet While Building Trust

By September 19, 2019 No Comments
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Kids are curious about sex. Spoiler alert: this is normal and healthy. What’s not so healthy: going to porn for all the answers.

In an ideal situation, a child would feel free to tell their parents about what they heard on the playground or found on the computer by accident. Often, they can be too scared to say anything, and the issue won’t be brought up.

We think it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about what porn is, and keep the conversation open, honest, and loving. Instilling a total fear of porn in a young child may work for a short while, but it’s not a long-term help to keeping the lines of communication open. If kids feel their parents are open to listening to their struggles or questions, they’ll be more likely to approach the subject whenever it comes up instead of hiding their curiosity and searching for it on their own.

And to help curious minds from looking for answers in the wrong places, Fight the New Drug recommends tech-based solutions for anyone who needs help with web monitoring. While filters and monitoring devices are great helps to keep tabs on internet use, there’s no replacement for honest, heart-to-heart conversations between a parent and their child about the harms of porn.

RelatedHelp! My Ex Lets Our 12-Year-Old Son Look At Porn To Learn About Sex

But how do these conversations start, and how do they continue? This is where our friends at Bark come in.

Bark

Why Bark?

Bark is the internet safety solution that parents trust and children like, if you can believe it.

Bark is an easy-to-use, smart tool that parents can use to help protect their children online. Bark uses a highly advanced algorithm to alert parents when it detects potential threats or signs of danger, such as:

Cyberbullying

Internet Predators

Depression

Suicidal Thoughts

Sexting

Bark is a common-sense tool that can augment a parent’s efforts to protect their children online. Parents trust Bark because it uses advanced technologies to alert them to potential online dangers without them reading through all of their child’s online activities, preserving their valuable time (and sanity). Kids like Bark because they are free to continue their daily digital lives without their parents constantly peering over their shoulders.

Interested? Start protecting your children online today.

Traditional tools require parents to monitor every single online action. They can be time-consuming, they aren’t likely to catch deeper issues, it exposes parents to more information than they need to know, invades kids’ privacy and trust. It’s a huge pain for you, and let’s face it—kids don’t like it.

There is a better way.

Who Bark is

Before we get into the who, let’s talk about the why: Today’s tweens and teens are growing up in a world that has never existed in the history of humankind, and we as their parents are scrambling to keep up with parenting in a tech world. Did you know that 55.9% of tweens and 72.1% of teens encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature online last year? Yikes.

Per Bark’s 2018 study (where they analyzed over 900 million messages across texts, email, social media, and school-issued Google and Microsoft accounts of over 2.6M children ages 8-17) the digital landscape is one that needs a product like Bark and parental education ASAP. CEO Brian Bason founded Bark as a solution to help parents work together with their children to navigate the dangers of today’s digital world.

Related: What’s Scarier For Kids Than A Shirt With The Word “Porn” On It? Actual Porn

Brian was working at Twitter at the time, and realized there was no good way to keep his own two boys safer online—so he left Twitter and started Bark in July of 2015.

Conversation Blueprint

What it does

Bark’s affordable, award-winning service proactively monitors text messages, YouTube, emails, and 24 different social networks for potential safety concerns, so busy parents can save time and gain peace of mind. Here’s how it works, and here’s an extensive overview of everything it monitors.

In a (digital) nutshell:

  • Bark tracks conversations and content on Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GroupMe, and more.
  • Bark works with iOS and Android to search through texts, photos, and videos for concerning interactions.
  • Bark monitors emails from Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Comcast, and AOL for harmful content.
  • Bark looks for activity that may indicate online predators, adult content, sexting, cyberbullying, drug use, suicidal thoughts, and more.
  • Bark sends automatic alerts when our algorithm detects potential issues, along with expert recommendations from child psychologists for addressing them.
  • Bark saves you from manually monitoring your child’s activities, respecting your time and your child’s privacy by only surfacing potential concerns.

In partnership with parents and schools, Bark now protects over 2.5 million children across the nation, has escalated 16 plausible school shooting threats to the FBI, and has detected 10 thousand severe self-harm situations. Check out these actual testimonials from real parents here, and see how 36 families have shared that Bark alert saved their child’s life. Cool, right?

You can start protecting your children online today by clicking here, and signing up for a free 30-day trial. After the free trial, it’s just $9.99 for every month after.

Bark

Don’t shy away from the difficult conversations

The fact that your child will come across porn, intentionally or otherwise, is a given. But do not panic! Parents’ responses to those moments are what matter more, because they are what can be influenced more. Simply, as a parent, if you teach your children, the industry doesn’t have that argument to turn against you.

Related: For Parents: How To Update “The Talks” With Your Kids To Include Porn

Let’s face it—if kids feel their parents are open to listening to their struggles or questions, they’ll be more likely to approach the subject whenever it comes up instead of hiding their curiosity and searching for answers on their own in the wrong places.

We think it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about what sex and porn are, and keep the conversations ongoing, open, honest, and loving. Instilling a total fear of porn in a young child may work for a short while, but it’s not a long-term help to keeping the lines of communication open and loving.

This is why tools like Bark are so needed in helping to shape the next generation of Fighters.

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