How to Monitor a Chromebook

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Paola
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There are two parts to monitoring Chromebooks, listed below as Part A and Part B. We have instructions and a walkthrough video for both!

  • If you're on the Bark Premium subscription plan, you will do Part A and Part B.
  • If you're on the Bark Jr subscription plan, you can skip to Part B.

Part A: Set Up the Bark Extensions

Reference this video as you follow the text directions included below for the Bark for Chrome extension:

STEP 1: Access your child's Chromebook and log in with your child's user account.

NOTE: If they have multiple user accounts they use to log in to the computer, repeat these steps on the other user account(s).

STEP 2: Open the Google Chrome Browser  on your child's computer.

STEP 3: Sign in to Chrome with your child's Google account.

  • On the top right click the button with your child's name or People.
  • Click Sign in to Chrome > Sign in with your child's Google Account.
    If your child's account is already signed in, proceed to the next step.

STEP 4: Connect your child's email account(s) to Bark for monitoring on your dashboard.
This is an important step in getting the monitoring set up because it allows our system to identify your child's web browser as their own. 

If your child's email ends in @gmail.com or uses Gmail to view the inbox, select Gmail

If your child's email ends in @outlook.com or uses Outlook to view the inbox, select Outlook.

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STEP 5: If applicable, remember to log out of your Bark dashboard on your child's Chrome web browser.

STEP 6: Navigate to the Chrome Web Store on your child's Chrome browser.
NOTE: Getting an error message about being unable to access the Chrome Web Store? Click here for more information.

STEP 7: Search Bark, find Bark for Chrome in the results, and select Add to Chrome.
NOTE: Don't see the extension? Select More Extensions on the top right to see more search results.

  • Click on the Bark for Chrome extension on the top right and select Manage Extensions.
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  • Toggle on the Allow in Incognito option. If it's not present, it likely means your child's browser has Incognito Mode disabled (learn more).
STEP 8: Return to the Chrome Web Store on your child's Chrome browser.

STEP 9: Search Bark for Chrome Watchdog, find it in the results, and select Add to Chrome.
NOTE: Don't see the extension? Select More Extensions on the top right to see more search results.

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STEP 10: Click on the Bark for Chrome Watchdog extension on the top right, and select Manage Extension.
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STEP 11: Toggle on the Allow in Incognito option. If it's not present, it likely means your child's browser has Incognito Mode disabled (learn more).

STEP 12: Browse 5 - 10 webpages on your child's Chrome browser so that Bark can start analyzing web browsing activities and reflect Chrome is monitored on your Bark dashboard.

NOTE: After the first time setup of the Bark for Chrome extension, Chrome web browsing activities analyzed may take some time to reflect on your Bark dashboard.

STEP 13: Repeat steps 1-12 for any other children, if applicable.

For example, if the computer is a shared device that has different logins (e.g. Bob has a profile, Renee has a profile, etc) then you'll want to log out as the child you've just set up and log in as the new child you still need to set up. Then, follow the steps above to set up the Chrome extension on the other child's user profile.

STEP 14 (optional, but recommended): Disable Guest Mode on Chrome.

Guest Mode is a feature on Google Chrome that allows someone to browse the web without being signed in to an account. Because Bark's Chrome monitoring follows your child's account, disabling guest mode ensures Bark will be monitoring the Chrome web browsing on your child's computer.

  1. Sign in to the Chromebook with the owner account.
    NOTE: You may wish to make the owner account the parental account that only you have the password for, so that your child cannot edit these settings later.
  2. At the bottom right, select the time.
  3. Select Settings gear icon.
  4. In the "People" section, select Manage other people.
  5. Turn off "Enable Guest browsing." When guest browsing is turned off, users need to sign in with their Google Accounts to use your Chromebook, and below we'll restrict sign-in to only your child's account(s). This ensures your child cannot sign in with additional accounts to get around monitoring.
  6. Turn on "Restrict sign-in to the following users."
  7. You'll see a list of all the Google Accounts on your Chromebook. You can add or remove accounts from this list. We recommend just restricting it to the account(s) that have already been set up with the Bark monitoring described above.

NOTE: If you’re using a Chromebook issued from your child's school, you may be unable to turn guest browsing on or off. The good news is, they likely already have guest browsing turned off. For more information on guest browsing settings, you will need to contact your school's IT administrator.

Congratulations! 🎉

The Bark for Chrome extension is now installed and actively monitoring web browsing on Google Chrome going forward

Remember to connect the email accounts that your child uses on the computer to Bark. To connect these accounts (like Gmail and Outlook), check out this article.

How do I know if monitoring is working?

If Bark is monitoring your child's Chrome browsing on their computer, you should see a Chrome icon on the list of connected devices and accounts for that child when you click View Profile for the child:

NOTE: After the first time setup of the Bark for Chrome extension, Chrome web browsing activities analyzed may take some time to reflect on your Bark dashboard.

Reviewing Alerts Found

If Bark detects instances of cyberbullying, sexual content, self-harm, or other worrisome content in your child's web browsing or searches, we will send you an alert.

Learn more about what makes Bark's content monitoring unique.

Will I get alerted if the extension is removed?

Yes! As of May 2021, we have introduced uninstall alerts for both Chrome extensions. If we detect either extension has been removed, we will alert you! Here's an example of what that alert may look like in your dashboard:

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Part B: Set Up the Bark for Chromebooks App 

Check to see if your child’s Chromebook supports the Bark for Chromebooks app, which allows you to monitor photos and videos saved to the Chromebook and allows you to enforce on-the-go web filtering (also known as Screen Time) on their Chrome browser. If their Chromebook supports the app, download and install the app on your child's Chromebook by the following the steps below.

If the Chromebook doesn’t support this app, you won’t be able to monitor the saved photos and videos nor enforce Chrome filtering on the Chromebook. Fortunately, you are still able to monitor Chrome browsing for worrisome content with the Bark extensions installed in Part A. You can also set up filtering of any internet-connected device (like Chromebooks, gaming consoles, etc.) with Bark Home.

STEP 1: Click on the clock on the bottom right.

STEP 2: Select the gear icon ⚙️ to access the device Settings.

STEP 3: Type "play store" in the Settings search bar, or scroll down until you find Google Play Store.

NOTE: If you don't see this option, your Chromebook doesn't work with Android apps.

STEP 4: Turn On the Google Play Store:

NOTE: If the "Turn On" option is greyed out, you may be using a managed school or work Google account. Signing into the Chromebook with a personal Google account will allow you to turn it on. 
  • In the window that appears, select More.
  • You’ll be prompted to agree to the Terms of Service. When you’ve read and agreed, select I Agree.

STEP 5: Open the Play Store app from your app list.

  • Click the O symbol on your bottom left.
  • Open the Play Store  app. 
    NOTE: You may have to click on the ^ arrow to see all installed apps.

STEP 6: Search Bark for Chromebooks in the top search bar of the Play Store.

STEP 7: Install the Bark for Chromebooks app onto your child's Chromebook.

STEP 8: Open the Bark for Chromebooks app.

  • Click the O symbol on your bottom left.
  • Select the Bark for Chromebooks  app from the app list.
    NOTE: You may have to click on the ^ arrow to see all installed apps.

STEP 9: Enter your parent credentials and select Get Started.

STEP 10: Follow the on-screen instructions to allow permissions.

You will see several screens that will ask for permission to monitor your child's device. Some of these prompts are only surfaced to those on subscription plans that include content monitoring.

  • Select the child's name that uses this Chromebook or select Add Another Child to add a new child to your Bark account.
  • Click Allow on the following prompt.
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  • Select OK to enable the Bark VPN that allows you to enforce Screen Time rules on your child's Chromebook.

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  • Click the screen preview (1) and then click Share (2) on the bottom right.
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  • Select Open Settings when prompted about Accessibility.
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  • Turn on Bark in the Accessibility Settings that appear.
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  • After ensuring Bark is turned on, click the top left arrow a couple of times to go back to the Bark for Chromebooks app. Otherwise, you can also open the Bark for Chromebooks app from your app list in the bottom left O symbol
  • Select the Bark for Chromebooks  app from the app list.
    NOTE: You may have to click on the ^ arrow to see all installed apps.
STEP 11:  You will see a message about turning off Secure DNS in the Chrome app. Click on View Instructions or follow the instructions described further below.
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Turn off Secure DNS on the Chrome App:

  • On your child's Chromebook, open Chrome.
  • Then, click the three-dot menu on the top right > Settings.
  • In the Settings search bar, search for Secure DNS.
  • Select Security from the search results. It will have a yellow flag pointing it out:Screen_Shot_2021-05-27_at_9.33.13_AM.png
  • Under Advanced, find and turn off Secure DNS.

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STEP 12: (For Bark Premium subscribers only) open the Bark for Chromebooks app again and tap Test Monitoring.

  • If your subscription plan includes content monitoring, let's go back to the Bark for Chromebooks app. Otherwise, you can also open the Bark for Chromebooks app from your app list in the bottom left O symbol
  • Select the Bark for Chromebooks  app from the app list.
    NOTE: You may have to click on the ^ arrow to see all installed apps.
  • Tap on the bottom right gear icon > Test Monitoring. Otherwise, skip this step.

NOTE: Do NOT logout of the Bark for Chromebooks app, or monitoring will be impacted.

Congratulations! 🎉

From your Bark dashboard, you will now see the Chromebook under your child. This is an example:

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Even if the Bark for Chromebooks application is X-ed out or not on the bottom taskbar, rest assured that it is monitoring.

Best Practices

  • Repeat these steps on any other child profiles on the Chromebook, if applicable. 
    NOTE: If one of the profiles on the Chromebook is a student account, the school may have settings in place that prevent you from installing Bark's app or extension on that profile. If you have questions about your child's student account security, reach out to your child's school!
  • Consider talking to your child about Bark and why the Bark for Chromebooks app needs to remain installed. Don't worry, if the app is deleted or stops working, we will alert you.
  • Connect the Google accounts that your child uses to Bark for monitoring. To get started monitoring Gmail and Google Drive, check out this article.
  • Let only certain people sign in to the Chromebook (see below).

Let only certain people sign in to the Chromebook:

  1. Sign in to the Chromebook with the owner account.
    NOTE: You may wish to make the owner account the parental account that only you have the password for, so that your child cannot edit these settings later.
  2. At the bottom right, select the time.
  3. Select Settings gear icon.
  4. In the "People" section, select Manage other people.
  5. Turn off "Enable Guest browsing." When guest browsing is turned off, users need to sign in with their Google Accounts to use your Chromebook, and below we'll restrict sign-in to only your child's account(s). This ensures your child cannot sign in with additional accounts to get around monitoring.
  6. Turn on "Restrict sign-in to the following users."
  7. You'll see a list of all the Google Accounts on your Chromebook. You can add or remove accounts from this list. We recommend just restricting it to the account(s) that have already been set up with the Bark monitoring described above.

NOTE: If you’re using a Chromebook issued from your school, you may be unable to turn guest browsing on or off. For more information on guest browsing, you will need to contact your school's IT administrator.

Reviewing Alerts Found

If Bark detects instances of cyberbullying, sexual content, self-harm, or other worrisome content in your child's saved photos and videos on their Chromebook, we will send you a notification.

Learn more here about what makes Bark's content monitoring unique.

 

Need additional assistance?

We have troubleshooting solutions here. If you're still having any issues with setting up your child's Chromebook, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.