3 Ways Bark Protects Your Child from Porn

by Aug 25, 2020Tech Solutions

Today’s post comes from our friends over at Bark. While no tech solution is foolproof and we emhasize the importance of helping your child install an INTERNAL filter, we’re also big fans of using the amazing tech tools available to help protect your family from pornography.

Porn is everywhere

Teaching your child about porn and what to do if they encounter it online can be quite a task for parents in today’s digital age — especially considering how prevalent it can be on the internet. When our generation was growing up, porn was primarily available on videotapes and in magazines, so it required a little bit of effort to obtain it.

Now, anyone with an internet connection can find it — and quickly. Whether it’s a dedicated website, a random video in a seemingly harmless Google search, or posts tagged with explicit hashtags on Instagram, porn is everywhere

Here are just a few statistics that showcase what modern families are up against when it comes to battling access to pornography:

  • There are currently at least 4.5 million active porn websites that nearly anyone can access at any time of day.
  • Every minute, 63,992 new visitors arrive at Pornhub — a popular streaming platform for both professional and amateur pornography videos.
  • 63% of kids aged 11 to 13 who have seen pornography reported that their first exposure had been unintentional.
  • According to Bark’s 2019 Annual Report, 70.7% of tweens and 84.0% of teens have encountered nudity or content of a sexual nature online.

So, what’s a parent to do? In addition to instilling your family’s values and having frequent check-ins with your child, we recommend using technology to your advantage! Bark gives families a digital safety net for their kids by helping protect their entire digital worlds — where they play, surf, and connect–both online and in real life.

When it comes to porn, Bark can help you learn if your child is encountering it and discussing it, and it also empowers you to limit how and when your child can use their device. When you’re in control of time limits and access, you can help reduce their ability to find porn — whether intentionally or by accident.

1. Get alerts when your kid encounters sexual content online

Bark’s award-winning technology monitors all your child’s devices including 

  • iPhones
  • iPods
  • iPads
  • Androids
  • Amazon Fire devices
  • and more!

We scan for a whole host of potential issues such as 

  • Pornography
  • Sexual Content
  • Cyberbullying
  • Online Predators
  • Depression
  • Violence 

When something worrisome or concerning arises, parents get timely email and text alerts that include a portion of the conversation that triggered the alert so they can figure out what’s going on and who’s involved. Parents also receive recommended actions and guidance for the best ways of dealing with these complicated issues.

While viewing images and videos of porn can be a primary concern for parents today, it’s also important to know when your kids are texting about it, mentioning it in emails, or getting links to porn sites through direct messages (DMs) on their social media accounts. For some devices and platforms, Bark can also monitor your child’s web searches — even if they’re using incognito mode! 

It’s important to understand how kids obtain access to porn (whether by themselves or with friends) and also just how prevalent it is in their social circle. This knowledge better prepares you for how to approach the topic when you discuss it with them.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

2. Receive real-life prompts to help with those hard conversations

Sitting down and having an honest, heartfelt conversation with your child about porn can be stressful and uncomfortable, but it’s essential. Instead of talking about porn in a vacuum or as a hypothetical situation, Bark enables you to use real-life examples your child may encounter online to use as prompts and conversation starters. 

Here are some examples of the types of issues Bark monitors for and how they can help you break the ice:

  • You receive an alert that your child searched in their Chrome browser for “sex.”
    • Say: “It’s totally normal to be curious, and I can understand if it’s not something you want to talk about with me. But I want to make sure you’re handling your curiosity in a safe way — not with pornography, which can show sex in ways that aren’t respectful.” 
  • You get an alert that your child’s friend texted them about plans to watch porn at a sleepover.
    • Say: “I saw that your friend mentioned that you were all going to watch a pornographic video. Has this happened before? How do you feel about it?”
  • You get alerted to the fact that Bark discovered pictures of naked people saved to their phone.
    • Say: “Your camera roll has some saved pictures of people with no clothes on. I was wondering how you got those photos.”

Use this time to reinforce your family’s values and stances when it comes to porn. Explain that pornography doesn’t always represent what happens when regular people have sex. 

Your kid’s favorite superhero movie, for example, is fun to watch, but the people in it are also just actors and the special effects are all made by computers. Porn is similarly unrealistic in many ways — and it can even perpetuate unhealthy ideas about relationships or body image.

Related: 

Healthy Sex vs. Porn Sex: 7 Crucial Comparisons to Teach Your Kid (Before XXX Hijacks Their Future

Your Daughter’s Body Image – Healthy or Shameful? 4 Ways to Counteract Toxic Media

“Have you wanted to talk to your kids about pornography, but didn’t know what to say?! I’ve felt that way for quite some time and finally found a solution – Good Pictures Bad Pictures. . . I highly recommend this book to all people with children. A must have for all parents!” – Amazon Review. CLICK HERE to learn more about Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.

3. Decide which apps and sites they can access — and when

If your kid is usually glued to their phone, it can be hard to keep track of what they’re doing online. With Bark’s screen time management feature, you can decide how much screen time they get and choose which apps they’re able to access — whether they’re connecting via Wi-Fi or cellular data, at home or out and about.

Bark’s web filtering feature enables you to allow or block specific sites — or even whole categories like sexual content, streaming services, online gaming, and more.

Screen time management and web filtering in plain English:

  • Want to disable the internet on your child’s device at 10 p.m.? We give you the ability to manage screen time to suit the needs of your family.
  • Need to limit your kid’s access to internet browsing? We let you filter out entire web categories (like streaming) or just block specific domains (like Netflix).
  • Need to block just YouTube but keep access to Google Docs for homework? You can do it with the tap of a button.

Bark protects from pornography and more

We’re the first generation of parents whose kids have phones with unprecedented access to pornography, and raising them doesn’t come with an instruction manual. And while pornography is a huge challenge that many families will have to address, it’s not the only problem facing kids as they grow up with smartphones. Online predators, cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, and more have become increasingly dangerous with our children’s increased access to technology. 

That’s why Bark was developed — created by parents, for parents to offer a better, easier, and more effective way to help keep children safe online from digital dangers. Bark delivers a research-backed, kid-friendly solution for safeguarding families as technology changes how and where we communicate.

Note: This article contains affiliate links to Bark. If Bark sounds like the right tool for your family, purchasing through our link also supports our mission at Protect Young Minds.

Protect Young Minds Staff

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