Parents are more and more aware of the need to help protect their kids online activities. But what to do? Yes, they can talk with their kids about being careful online; and yes, there are different types of software that they can install.

I just read Sarah Perez’s article about a new approach that I want to share — it’s called Bark and part of its appeal is that its genesis came from a founding team composed of parents (; “Bark helps parents keep kids safe online without invading their privacy”; May 10, 2016).

Ms. Perez’s article provides a thorough description of Bark. In brief, she writes that Bark differs from current types of software or net nanny-type applications.  Parents enroll on Bark’s website, add their kids and then Bark provides the means for parents to work with their kids to connect their social accounts. How is this different? Because, as Ms. Perez writes, parents who use Bark are “ the software access to read and view information from those accounts, but you’re not giving Bark permission to store that social data on its own servers indefinitely.”

Even more important for parents, Ms. Perez notes the Bark technology uses “machine learning techniques” so that it can scan and detect any dangerous activity or incidents (e.g., cyberbullying, or even signals indicating that a child might be going through a mental health concern).

I can’t vouch for Bark. However, it has features that parents might find very appealing to allow them to work collaboratively with their kids so the latter can travel and use the web and social media more safely.