Getting Started with Bark

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Paola
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Bark is an award-winning technology solution created by parents, for parents to offer a better, easier, and more effective way to keep children safer online.

In this article, you'll discover how to get started with Bark, how to access our community resources and support team, and how to be on your way toward keeping your child safe online. 

NOTE: This article covers the first-time setup under the Bark Premium subscription plan.

Setup Checklist for Online Safety

1. Set Up Your Bark Parent/Guardian Account

2. Enable Parental Controls (block and filter content you never want them to access)

3. Set Healthy Screen Time Limits (using our customizable schedule) 

4. Connect Devices for Monitoring (get alerts for potential problems) 

5. Connect Accounts for Monitoring (like Gmail, Instagram, Pinterest) 

6. Finish Account Settings 

A couple of things to know as you get started:

Bark offers layered protection. This means we have different levels of coverage for your child's devices (think phone, tablet), accounts (think Gmail, Instagram), and shared devices (think Xbox, home computer)

We recommend first setting up the devices that your child has access to, followed by connecting their personal accounts and shared devices.

When it comes to social media monitoring: 

  • You OR your child can connect accounts for monitoring.
  • Most platforms require that you (or your child) enter the account's username and password during setup.
  • Some platforms may require that you have the child's device or your family's home computer on hand during setup.
  • We'll let you know what is needed to monitor a particular platform or device. Every social media platform is a little bit different in design, so how Bark is able to monitor each app is unique to what those app developers have allowed. We can assure you we have worked to have the most comprehensive coverage allowed in the industry. 

Let's Get Started!

1. Set up Bark Parent/Guardian Account

  • Add your children.
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  • Select the email, social media, and device(s) that you know your children use.
    Bark monitors over 30+ different platforms for potential problems. Don't see a particular platform? Don't worry, you can still block or schedule access to millions of apps and sites later.
  • Add your payment information.
    Payment information from a parent/guardian is required by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to give Bark consent to monitor your children's accounts and devices. You will not be billed until the end of your trial. You can change your plan or cancel at any time!

2. Enable Parental Controls

Our on-the-go parental controls are also known as Screen Time and Web Filtering. To be able to block apps and filter sites on your child's phone or tablet, follow the applicable instructions below.

  • For Android: Install the Bark for Kids app 002.png on the child's device.
    Download from bark.us/android (not the Google Play app store). 
    video_instructions_button.png
  • For iOS: Install the Bark Kids app 003.png on the child's device.
    Download from the Apple App Store
    video_instructions_button.png

3. Set Healthy Screen Time Limits

You can manage your child's screen time schedule and web filtering rules at any time. Below we include some quick tips to get you started!

Set a Schedule004.png
  • Default rules: The default app and web filters when another rule isn’t currently applied. Make sure to customize this one!
  • Bedtime: Limit device usage when it’s time for lights out and customize what kids can access during that time.
  • School time: Limit what can be accessed during the school day. 
  • Free time: Dedicated time to use devices just for fun and customize what they can access during their fun time.
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  • When you customize each ruleset, you have the option to allow or block whole categories (think Social Media) or particular apps (think Snapchat).
  • Our categories cover millions of apps and sites, so if you don't see an app listed, chances are it's covered under a category like Games or Social Media.
  • You can also input specific sites and apps as exceptions.
  • After making changes, please allow a few minutes for your rules to take effect.

4. Connect a Device for Monitoring

  • Android: You have already installed the Bark for Kids app 002.png on the child's device!
  • iOS: Install the Bark Desktop App 006.png on a home computer or laptop.
    Download from bark.us/ios (not the Mac App Store).
    video_instructions_button.png
  • Amazon Fire: Install the Bark for Kids app 002.png on the child's tablet.
    Download from the Amazon App Store.
    video_instructions_button.png
  • Computer: Install the Bark extension 007.png on the child's Chrome or Edge browser.
    Download from the Chrome Web Store
    video_instructions_button.png

5. Connect Accounts for Monitoring

  • Choose how you'd like to get connected.
  • Select the child's account that you'd like to connect.
  • Enter the child’s login credentials for the account.
  • You may get a prompt asking you if you're sure. If applicable, you will click Allow, as seen in the example below:
Screen_Shot_2021-04-29_at_2.27.29_PM.png 009.png 010.jpg
(Don't worry if you forgot to connect an account, you'll be able to add the new account later!)

⚠️ If you are having trouble connecting a social or email account, check out our troubleshooting solutions.  

6. Set Alert Notification Settings

  • Add emails to receive alerts (can include partner, spouse, or family member's emails).
  • Add a US phone number if you'd like to receive text notifications for alerts.

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7. Download the Parent/Guardian App

   

8. Explore your Bark dashboard! 🎉

You did it! You got through the first-time setup! You can add or remove accounts at any time with no additional cost. 

Next Steps:

Want to add additional devices and accounts to Bark for free?

Want to filter any in-home device?

Consider the Bark Home as an add-on to your family's safety tools. Bark Home is a small piece of hardware that you connect to your home Wi-Fi router. Once activated, it allows you to apply web filtering and screen time rules to any internet device in your home (not just iOS and Android devices!).

Stuck or just need help?

Bark Support has your back! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.