FAQs: Bark for Schools Web Filtering

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Brian Richards
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What is the cost for the Bark For Schools web filtering service?

Bark for Schools provides a world-class online school safety solution. We began with account monitoring services for G Suite and Microsoft 365 that made us one of the fastest-growing companies in EdTech. 

Since then, we’ve added a specialized extension for filtering Chrome / Edge Chromium browsing and a DNS web filter.

Schools might expect to pay a premium for such a service, but Bark for Schools is available completely for free

What options do I have for web filtering for my district or school?

As each school or district has its own specific goals and challenges, we provide two options for web filtering: a DNS Web Filter OR a Chrome / Edge Chromium Extension Web Filter.

We encourage schools and districts to choose the one that works best for them, since they were not designed to be used at the same time. More information on these two filters is included below.

What is the Bark for Schools Chrome Web Filter?

Our Chrome / Edge Chromium web filter is a custom Chrome extension you install and deploy to users in your G Suite or Microsoft 365 admin console. It works at the account-level, meaning that if a student logs in on their school-issued email on any computer browser, the extension will be deployed and filtering their web browsing.

The Chrome web filter allows for whitelisting and blacklisting of any site and offers the function to disable access to certain sites of a given category. 

We also provide granular reports at the school-level, group-level, or student-level within Bark for Schools so that you can make informed decisions on student web traffic behavior.

What is the Bark for Schools DNS Web Filter?

DNS filtering is a great alternative to more traditional hardware and software-based solutions for filtering the internet in schools. Our DNS web filter works at the network-level by redirecting traffic based on the information associated with your school's router and the service supplier. 

Once in place, the DNS web filter will allow for whitelisting and blacklisting of any site, enforcing SafeSearch (on Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo), enforcing Youtube Restricted Mode, and offers the function to disable access to certain sites of a given category.

Within Bark for Schools you can also view granular reports on usage within your school, but due to the nature of it being network-level filtering, it cannot provide reports at the user-level like the Chrome filter can. 

How does Bark for Schools work with our current web filtering service?

Bark’s mission is to equip schools with all the tools needed to ensure superior student safety online. In the past, schools would often layer Bark for Schools’ account monitoring with a paid provider for web filtering. With our added DNS and Chrome web filtering, we are now able to provide a full suite of digital safety tools, offering a holistic approach to online student safety. We are proud to offer this suite of digital safety tools for free (forever!), allowing schools the option to discontinue use of paid web filtering services. 

Though paid web filtering services (and the additional costs involved) are no longer necessary, schools can continue to use Bark for Schools' account monitoring layered with third-party web filtering service if needed.

How do I turn on a Bark for Schools web filter?

We've created step by step instructions to get you started. Select a guide below!

NOTE: We encourage schools and districts to choose the one that works best for them, since they were not designed to be used at the same time. 

How do I troubleshoot the web filters?

We've created a guide to help. Click here: Web Browsing Troubleshooting

If I turn off the web filters, does it also turn off the student Gmail, Outlook, or Drive monitoring?

The web filters only filter web browsing according to your web filter policies. In other words, the web filters do not contribute to monitoring emails, documents, and images on student accounts. The Bark G Suite marketplace app or the Bark Microsoft 365 app is what contributes to the account-level monitoring. Make sure those apps are installed in your G Suite or Office 365 instance, and monitoring of student emails and documents will remain uninterrupted, even if you've uninstalled one of our web filters.

Is web filtering the same as web monitoring?

No, they are different services with different setups, though you can use both for comprehensive coverage.

The Chrome / Edge Chromium web monitoring extension does not filter or block browsing, but it does detect and alert on issues found in students' browsing. We analyze the webpage title and searches of student browsing for alarming content like suicidal ideation, threats, weapons, sexual content, and more. If something meets the criteria for an alert, you'd see the alert on your Alerts page with a Chrome icon:

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If you'd like to filter or block browsing, set up one of the web filters. Blocked sites would not result in alerts (for your time and sanity) but you can review blocked and allowed sites in your Chrome or DNS filter reports. 

 

Need additional help?

We have an incredible team behind the scenes here at Bark. For technical questions, we can be reached here. Our team is happy to help!