With the threat of cyberbullying, sexual grooming, sexting and teen suicide brought almost daily to our attention by the media, concerned parents of tech-savvy kids may feel they need a little help to keep their offspring safe navigating the digital world.
Enter Bark, the app that passes all your kids texts, emails and posts (received and sent) through an algorithm and sends you an alert if it detects inappropriate language, sexual content or even signs of depression and suicidal tendencies. And apparently it is more sophisticated than just looking for key words or phrases, using "advanced machine learning and data science techniques".
It doesn't give parents the ability to see everything, so your child's privacy remains intact; it just flags concerning content. It also recommends ways of handling the situation when something untoward is detected.
It can monitor text messages, emails and 24 different social media networks. It is also unobtrusive, not interfering with your child's use of their device in any way.
Bark is available on a 7-day free trial and after that costs $9/month for a family with unlimited devices. There are no lock-in contracts, so you can cancel at any time. It can be used on Chromebooks, which many teens now have for school, as well as all Android, iOS and Amazon mobiles and devices.
The perfect solution for parents and guardians who want to balance their child's growing independence with ongoing vigilance for their safety.•