NOTE: Detecting new apps and accounts is available on our Bark Premium plan. If you are not currently on that plan, upgrade today!
How does Bark detect potential new accounts?
When you set up a device or email account for monitoring, we can detect apps your child has installed as well as accounts they've created that haven't been connected to Bark. To monitor email accounts, phones, and tablets, follow these steps: How to Monitor Accounts and Devices
We've also recently implemented the ability to detect apps and sites your child is likely using by analyzing their filtered web traffic. To set up screen time & filtering on phones and tablets, follow these steps: How to Set Up Screen Time & Filtering
After setup, we help you with these insights in the following ways...
1. Listing All Installed Apps
Parents and guardians are able to see any new apps their kids may have downloaded, as well as when they were downloaded. This is helpful for parents that aren’t familiar with new apps — or if their kids may be using “vault apps,” which are apps that may be disguised as normal tools like calculators. These apps allow children to hide photos and videos in discrete and unassuming ways so parents aren’t easily tipped off.
You can find the Installed Apps section on your dashboard by selecting Insights under a particular child.
Then, scroll down to the list of Recently Installed Apps. If you'd like to look at the inventory of all apps installed on the child's devices, you can select Review all installed apps on the bottom right, as indicated below:
2. Categorizing Each App By Rating
Parents and guardians can get a sense for how appropriate or inappropriate an app is for their child according to the age rating given by the app stores, which can be either “Mature,” “Teen,” “Kids,” or “Everyone.”
Just because many children are using an app, it doesn’t mean they’re mature enough to use it. For instance, Instagram is popular with kids all over the world, but technically you have to be 13 to use it. There’s an easy workaround, however — kids can just enter an older birth year and can then create an account.
Connecting an email and device to Bark for monitoring helps you have conversations about risky apps with your children.
3. Identifying Whether Bark Can Monitor a New App
If a parent/guardian discovers their child has downloaded a new app — or if a parent/guardian isn’t familiar with it — they’ll instantly be able to find out whether or not Bark can monitor it for signs of danger. All new apps that can be monitored will feature text stating “Connect to Bark," as seen below:
4. Alerting You to New Apps or Accounts that May Require Further Action
There is also another way we can detect new accounts or apps your child is using. When your child signs up for a new platform, there is generally a text or email that is sent to an existing phone number or email address to confirm that sign-up. If your child's iOS or Android device is connected to Bark, or your child's email address is connected to Bark for email monitoring, Bark will detect this message and alert you of a "new account detected"!
This is an example alert where we detected evidence of a Twitter account for a particular child:
Does Bark alert on risky apps?
Though Bark does not alert on every new installed application on your child's iOS or Android device, Bark can alert you if a monitored device downloads a risky app, like anonymous messaging platforms, even if at this time Bark cannot monitor that platform for worrisome activity. You can then have a conversation with your child about that app and even block it.
We know that there's always changing trends on the latest apps children use, so we are consistently adding to the list of potentially risky apps our system will alert on for you!
This is an example alert where we detected a Risky App was installed on a child's device:
What's to stop a child from opening a new account under a different login/password?
Nothing. However, Bark detects changes in activity over time and notifies you if one of your child's accounts has significantly less activity as compared to previous periods. Here is an example:
This drop-off often indicates the child may be using a different account on that same platform, or perhaps using a new platform altogether. Either way, it's worth asking the child about their change in usage and understanding why it might be the case.
As discussed earlier in this article, there is also another way we can detect new accounts or apps your child is using. When your child signs up for a new platform, there is generally a text or email that is sent to an existing phone number or email address to confirm that sign-up. If your child's iOS or Android device is connected to Bark for text monitoring, or your child's email address is connected to Bark for email monitoring, Bark will detect this message and alert you of a "new account detected"!
How do I set up my kids' devices?
Need help or have additional questions?
We are happy to assist! Reach out to Bark Support, and we'll help every step of the way.