Managing Screen Time & Web Filtering Rules

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Paola
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To learn more about Bark's Screen Time & Web Filtering, click here.

Overview

You can find the following topics in this article. Click on one to jump right to it:

  1. How to block an app / site
  2. How to allow an app / site
  3. How to pause the internet for a child or profile
  4. How to manage screen time devices
  5. How to view and edit rules for a child or profile
  6. How to apply a temporary override to a schedule
  7. How to enforce SafeSearch for a child or profile
  8. How to add exceptions for an app / site
  9. How to review recently blocked activity for troubleshooting
  10. How to report a miscategorized app / site
  11. How to test whether your rules working
  12. How to schedule a routine
  13. What is the difference between rulesets?

How to Manage Screen Time & Web Filtering Rules

STEP 1: Log in to your Bark dashboard on your mobile parent/guardian app or via bark.us on a browser.

STEP 2: Scroll down to the child or profile you'd like to manage settings for, and select Screen Time.

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STEP 3: At the top, you'll be able to select Devices and Rules. Below we'll go over each option in detail.

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Devices

This section shows you all of this child's Screen Time devices, whether we're filtering them through the Bark Kids App or through the Bark Home device.

If you notice a red exclamation mark ❗ by a device, click on the device for steps to fix it.

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Rules

In this section, you can see a summary of the child's current ruleset. For more details, or to customize the current ruleset further, you can select Settings.

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Customizing rules

When you edit the rules for a ruleset, you have the option to allow or block whole categories (e.g. Social Media) and/or particular apps (e.g. Instagram).

Keep in mind that our categories cover thousands (if not millions) of different apps and sites! Thus, if an app isn't listed, it's likely still categorized under something like "Social Media" or "Games." You can always add specific exceptions as well.

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SafeSearch

We also offer Safe Search at the bottom of the rules list.

When enabled for a ruleset, this feature gets locked in on your child's devices and filters explicit search results from the Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo search engines. You can also enable Safe Search (known as Restricted Mode) for Youtube search results.

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Exceptions

After adjusting rules for the categories and apps, you may need to add specific Exceptions.

Here you can further allow or block specific websites for this child. This supersedes the rules you've already set for categories. In other words, if you block the Games category under Filters, but go into Exceptions and allow game123.com, then all games will be blocked except game123.com.

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Recently Blocked Activity

We also have the Recently Blocked Activity section for troubleshooting.

For example, if your child asks "Why is Bark blocking this site?", you should navigate to this section under Exceptions, click on the site that was blocked and review why it was blocked. You can even allow it right away if needed.

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Report Miscategorized Site / App

To report a miscategorized site or app, select More info under the recently blocked site/app. You will then see something like this, explaining why it was blocked:

Screen_Shot_2020-10-30_at_4.11.26_PM.pngYou can then click on Tell us where you think it belongs, add a comment, and pick what category you think it should be:

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Testing Screen Time Rules

This article discusses how to test whether specific filtering rules are being applied to your child's device: Testing Screen Time & Web Filtering

Switch Screen Time Rules

The Switch Rules option allows you to add a temporary override to the current screen time rules applied for this child or profile. 

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For example, let's say that Charlie needs more time to focus on his homework. I may want to temporarily switch them to School Rules. I'd do so by selecting Screen Time > Switch Rules. In the pop-up, I'd then select School, and enter in what time I'd like this temporary override to end. Below is an example:

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If Charlie finishes their homework earlier than I had planned for, I can go to their Screen Time > Routines, find the override at the top, and select the trashcan to delete it. It'll then fall back to Charlie's original schedule!

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Pause the Internet

When you select Pause all devices under a child's screen time settings, you are pausing the internet on their devices. In other words, you are blocking all internet access. To learn more about the Pause feature, reference this guide: Pausing the Internet

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Routines

Want to set up different rulesets for different times of the day or days of the week? Select Settings & schedule to set up a routine!

In this example, Free Time and Bedtime are other rulesets that are scheduled for later today.

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You can adjust your view to see the schedule from a Weekly perspective or the Daily perspective. Use the Daily view and click + on the top to add a new scheduled ruleset (e.g. School Time, Bedtime). Then, use the Weekly view for a summary of the child's resulting schedule.

Below is an example:

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Adding rulesets to a routine

Add or remove rulesets whenever you need! Below are the ways we thought through these different rulesets, but you're welcome to use them in whatever way works best for your family.

  • ⬜️ Default rules : The default ruleset when another ruleset isn’t currently applied / scheduled. 
  • 🟦 Bedtime: Limit device usage when it’s time for lights out. Customize what kids can access during Bedtime. 
  • 🟩 School time: Limit what can be accessed during the school day. Customize the apps/sites they need for school, like Zoom. 
  • 🟨 Free time: Dedicated time to use devices just for fun. Example use cases:
    a) “I only want my child to have access to social media for an hour a day.”
    b) “I only want my children to access social media after they're done with their homework.”

 

Need additional assistance?

Check out our troubleshooting guide. If still no luck, don't hesitate to reach out to us!